Yikes! Brandon Has Twin Sisters Is Now Available on Amazon.com
Our readers continue to approach us about their unique needs as parents of twins, multiples, and siblings. When I considered my relationship with my grandchildren, I was inspired to share my grandson’s journey of accepting his twin sisters by creating a children’s book titled Yikes! Brandon Has Twin Sisters. Preschool children can relate to the many adventures Brandon encounters when navigating life with his twin sisters. Primary grade children can read the book and learn about living with twins and multiples. Children like looking at the photos of the twins, who look alike, but have different personalities.
At a young age, the twins have already exhibited awareness of their similarities. I have discovered that my twin granddaughters learn social skills from each other and will often take on each other’s personality quirks possibly just to tease and confuse me. Thankfully, the twins have a couple of unique physical characteristics that differentiate them from each other. They love to dress alike because they attract attention whenever we are shopping or playing at a park. They explore their world in shared wonder; helping each other make new discoveries.
Parenting Strategies to Survive Twins
As the twins grow into their preschool years, I am learning these essential parenting strategies to support their healthy growth:
- Regardless of how attached the girls are to each other, I must continue to recognize that they each have individual needs. I work hard to not play favorites and try to give each child equal time.
- The girls are the best of friends and the worst of enemies. To reduce conflict, I am proactive in redirecting challenging behaviors before or soon after they occur. I will remove the girls from each other’s grasp for a ten second timeout to refocus and cooperate with their sibling. The other day Anna wanted a timeout after watching Maria sit through a timeout. Anna loved the reflection time and asked to reflect three more times!
- I will take one twin at a time to preschool to pick-up their big brother to give each girl their own time with grandma. This individual time is beneficial for all.
- I play with each twin individually at their level of development. The other twin observes and learns from these unique interactions.
- I try not to compare the twins’ development as difficult as it may be. One may prefer large muscle activities while the other may want more music time. The twins determine their play preferences as much as possible and develop their skills as determined by their interests.
- I keep both girls on the same meal and nap schedule to ensure continuity.
- Although their beds are close together, I give them enough space so they cannot disturb each other during nap time. Some parents separate their twins at nap time but space is a problem so we must adapt.
- Both twins have similar cherished toys. Dolls, purses, and stuffed animals are different but similar to ensure each child has personalized possessions.
- Each twin wants one-on-one hug time. Sometimes both need reassurance and it can be challenging juggling two at the same time. They have learned to work together and will help me pick them up together.
- The twins love to explore at their own pace. I encourage this as much as possible within close proximity to ensure safety and adequate supervision in parks and public places.
Happy parenting of twins,
Copyright (c) 2017 by GenParenting
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.