First Day of Daycare (or School) Tip for Twin Parents

Since we're living in our third city in 3 months and also attending our 3rd daycare within the same time span, I just may know a thing or two about easing the daycare transitions. My number one tip for starting the daycare (and eventually school) life right for twin is helping the adults around them see and treat them as individuals.

Any twin parent will tell you that the position comes with some novelty and celebrity status. I've enjoyed that for the most part. However, when it comes to being around their peers, I don't want my daughters to be "the twins!". I want them to be seen as individuals. Here's what I've done every first day in a new childcare environment
  1. Dress them differently even if they're fraternal. A lot of people are stuck on the stereotype of twins looking so alike that it's hard to tell them apart. For the first few days of daycare, I dress them differently and make a note of telling the teacher who's wearing what. By the third day, a good caregiver can comfortably tell them apart
  2. Spell out their name. I have a Nigerian name and so do my kids. In a public place where names are being called, I can always tell when it's my turn. A perfectly literate adult sees my 7-letter name and starts sighing, mumbling and looking flustered. 7 letters people! For me as an adult, it's a good party joke. For kids, it could be the difference between fitting in and being teased and/or bullied. If the teacher can pronounce their names as a matter of fact, the other kids will follow suit. If the teacher makes a fuss about their names being "funny" the other kids will also pick up on that. My solution is to spell out the name. A plus to this is also that you can define what you want the kid to be called versus being at the mercy of a teacher-chosen nickname.
  3. No personality tips. Because Sugar and Spice have such contrasting personalities, it's easy for me to label them and pass the label along to other caregivers. Not a good thing in my opinion. I let the caregivers know the girls' preferences for their physical comfort and that's it. So I don't say for example Spice is a picky eater. I simply say Spice likes to have 6oz of milk in her sippy before her solids.
Here's an example of the note that accompanies each girl on their first day of daycare.
Not much, but it's made a huge difference. What say you?

4 comments :

  1. I admire...3 places in 3 months...sad we didn;t at least meet for a coffee during your SHORT stay in Calgary!

    I love those tips...especially the name thing. Ave is going to run into that "issue" if I don't follow your tip...her name is pronounced awe-vay. Some family members still can;t get it right...

    :)

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  2. I think that's a great idea! I will definitely keep that in mind if/when we go to daycare!
    I know my biggest fear is always that my girls will be treated as a pair and won't be seen individually for their unique differences and accomplishments. This is hard of course, because at the same time I also want them to be treated equally. Double edged sword! Oye!

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  3. I dont have twins though, but I like the part of spelling out their name correctly especially because its a Nigerian name. will keep that for when my lil prince starts daycare, i dont want is name shortened and i want it correctly pronounced...well we are in Nigeria sha,but I see alot of people murder names by their pronounciation.

    good one abt seeing each child as an individual and not "twins"...lot of sense!

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  4. Wow...this is great! I will definitely use the cards like you suggested. I'm just starting to wrap my head around the idea of preschool and how we'll all transition (I think it will be harder for me!). The other day I started to flip through the book, "Preschool Success" by Amy James. It seems like a really good and well-rounded book. I've been worrying about the separation anxiety. I haven't even considered the twin factor. We have a ways to go until preschool, but it will be here before we know it and I want to be prepared. Plus I would like to start implementing some things at home.

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