Raising Twins

‘Twins” are associated with being identical, having similar sounding names, dressing alike, falling sick together and having a little telepathy, whether fraternal or identical twins.

Yet every child is unique, as are twins. There are many lessons I learnt watching my twins grow up.  Each twin has his or her own likes, dislikes and personality. If we look at them as a unit, we tend to miss out on cues given by the individual child. Each child may require a different kind of support and guidance based on their individuality, which is lost if they are boxed together. 

For example, one could be good at sports, but we might enroll them in the same class simply because it's convenient. The differences could be in many areas – social skills, motor activities, talents, personalities and even physical health. It is vital to meet each individual’s need separately, to prevent overshadowing or resentment towards each other. Twins are often pressured to act like the other, leading to rivalry and rebellion.  My twins are 24 years now and these are some pointers which have helped me till today: 

  • Twins like siblings, are similar in some respects whilst differing in others.

  • Comparison is the most common mistake made not just by parents but friends and family as well. We are their ally, and so it’s important to protect them from comparison. We can highlight each of their talents by saying “Arun likes to sing rather than play football.” 

  • Each child has their own timetable for development and will grow accordingly. One child may learn to eat or bathe earlier than the other, so we can wait with patience and understanding for the other child to blossom at their pace. 

  • Since the children are of the same age, we expect them to have similar capabilities. It was an eye opener for me when one of my twins who had scored less in a particular subject turned around and said, “I did not know that I did not understand.” This helped me to realise that each has different needs and abilities and I started to offer them help accordingly. 

  • Each child may enjoy spending time with us in different ways. Just like any other siblings, one child may like to help out in the house, while the other may enjoy going on errands. Or one may like to chat with us while the other may want to play. We can spend our time with them in the way they most enjoy.

  • We can celebrate their uniqueness and make each of them feel special. For their birthdays I buy 2 different cakes and also cook 2 different sweets according to what each of them likes.

  • If one is an achiever, we should try not to shine the spotlight or put singular focus on that individual, as the other child may feel inadequate. I showed restraint in my celebrations either when one scored well, was better at sports or learnt to drive proficiently. 

“Just because two people look the same, doesn’t mean they have the same dreams.” Brandy Scraps

Twins maybe hard work, but they are also special. So, let’s enjoy life doubly by celebrating their differences.


Author: Sunitha.R, is a certified parent educator with Parenting Matters, an organization which empowers parents to build deeper connection in families.