Emotionally HealthyTwins - Toddler Action Plan

18 April 2012

Reading the book Emotionally Healthy Twins by Dr Joan Friedman has led me to be more intentional with my actions and decisions as a twin parent. Some of the things to be implemented for this toddler stage based on advice I garnered from the book are:
  • Separate classes in daycare. I was initially planning to separate the girls once they started kindergarten. The new plan is to separate them into 2 different classes once they're moved up to their toddler class in a couple of months. Their difference in play style and personality is very obvious now and being in 2 separate classes will help them in a couple of ways. One, they'll learn other ways of socializing and relating with their peers outside of the way they relate to each other. Two, their teachers / caregivers will be more likely to treat them as individuals and not as "the twins"
  • Less matchy-matchy with the clothes. The plan was always to dress the girls differently, but with time I've found myself buying 2 of the same outfits and dressing them alike. Going forward, I'll be a little less matchy with their outfits.
  • Alone time with each parent. In the Emotionally Healthy Twins book, Dr Friedman emphasises the importance of each twin developing a unique relationship with his/her parent. It's very easy to enjoy seeing twins emotionally supporting each other and even thinking it's a sign of maturity. In actual fact, no child needs to carry the burden of being the emotional baseboard for their siblings. That's the job of the adults. One on one time between each twin and parent is important in developing the right relationship dynamics.
  • Individual space and bedroom furniture choice. I do want the girls to share a room until they're in their teens but I now also realise that they need to have their own space and things. One way of ensuring that they have their own turf in a shared room is to get furniture that is dividable. Specifically, I'm looking for one of those old-school dressing tables that have a set of drawers on either side. That way they each have their "side". I haven't found one yet but I'm actively looking.
Those are the little changes that we need to make for now. I can't emphasize enough how relevant I found the advice in this book. A year ago, I would have poopooed some of the suggestions as excessive but not today. Today,  Spice alone and Spice with Sugar in the room is two distinct babies and this holds true for Sugar as well. It doesn't take an expert to see that my girls need an atmosphere that allows them to develop their uniqueness without their twin-ness being a clutch.

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