Monday, February 25, 2013

Twins And Birthday Parties. To Share Or Not To Share?

Contrary to what you may think, time apart
actually builds the sibling bond.

“To be loved equally is somehow to be loved less. To be loved uniquely – for one’s own special self – is to be loved as much as we need to be loved” ~ Siblings Without Rivalry

I think one of the lessons that has made the greatest impact on my parenting is one I learned from Dr. Joan Friedman who taught me the importance of seeing my children as individuals. Perhaps that seems like a no brainer to those of you with children of different ages, but for many with twins there is often a societal expectation that twins love being together all the time and prefer to do things together. Then, because it's simpler for parents, twins end up sharing just about everything from rooms to after school activities. 

Over the years I have done a lot to help my children feel that they are known for their own individual selves, not just as part of a set. Although we place a good deal of importance on time spent together as a family, we also make it a priority to make it possible for them to have time without each other. 

I know this isn't a simple task for everyone and we have chosen to make sacrifies in certain areas so that we are able to make this a priority in our family. But nurturing your children's individuality doesn't have to be complicated or involve a slew of extra help. Of all of the things we do to focus on their uniqueness and encourage their sense of self, what has seemed to make the greatest impact on them was having separate birthday parties.

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