Keys to Raising Identical and Fraternal Twins
If you're facing the challenge of raising identical and fraternal twins, always remember that the most important thing is to encourage them to develop their own personality separately.
There’s no doubt that the arrival of a child changes the life of any parent. Being a part of the development process of another human being is quite demanding and rewarding. However, these challenges are doubled when it comes to raising identical and fraternal twins.
Increased multiple birth rate
The number of multiple births has been growing exponentially in recent years. In Europe, for example, Spain is at the forefront, as there’s a 5% rate of children born of twin and triplet births.
This situation is mainly caused by the mother’s age. Due to current social and working conditions, more and more women are deciding to postpone the time of conception, with the average age of first motherhood being approximately 31.
Later age is undoubtedly a factor that multiplies the chances of having a natural twin pregnancy. But no less important is the role that assisted reproduction plays in this equation.
Over the years, it’s become harder for some women to become pregnant, causing many women and couples to resort to in vitro fertilization and similar techniques. These procedures greatly increase the probability of twin pregnancy.
We’re having twins!
While it’s true that we often colloquially refer to identical siblings that share DNA as identical twins, fraternal twins also fall into this category. The former are monozygotic, while the latter are dizygotic. In this regard, the impact caused by the news of their arrival in the future parents is quite big.
Each case has its own peculiarities. However, the truth is that, in most couples, this unexpected event can cause fear, insecurity, or rejection. Due to the unexpected challenge of raising identical and fraternal twins, it’s common for parents to believe they won’t be able to take care of two babies at once.
Keys to raising identical and fraternal twins
For all these reasons, we decided to offer you some guidelines to help you enjoy this challenge.
- Try to make sure everything is ready before the seventh month of pregnancy. It’s very common for twin births to be premature and, when the babies arrive, you’ll only have time to care for them. Thus, it’s better to be ready.
- Be patient with your babies, your partner, and yourself. It’s common for you to feel overwhelmed the first few months after giving birth, and the feeling of fulfillment you expected may take some time to appear. Don’t feel guilty, as you’re learning to be a mother of two and you’re doing the best you can. Also, remember that your partner is in the same boat.
- Organization and priorities. Being strict with your routine can be a lifesaver in this situation. Try to accommodate you and your children’s schedules to a pattern that will help you feel that you have control of your own life. On the other hand, remember that the important thing now are you and your babies. Also, that having a messy home for a few months isn’t the end of the world.
- Ask for help. Don’t be scared of turning to your loved ones when you need them. Making time for yourself will make you feel emotionally healthier and happier.
Same but different: raising identical and fraternal twins
Undoubtedly, the most important key of all is promoting your children’s individuality. When it comes to raising identical and fraternal twins, parents often treat them as one. However, each twin needs to fully and separately develop their personality.
To do this, it’s important to carry out guidelines as simple as dressing them differently or referring to them by name and not as “the twins.” Also, it’s imperative to respect and promote their freedom of choice. When it comes to preferring toys, extracurricular classes, or interests, you must encourage each twin’s particular tastes.
Finally, it’s also essential to focus on developing bonds separately. It’s necessary for both the father and the mother to split their attention and time between the two children, conduct activities alone and, above all, individually value the virtues and flaws of each twin and avoid comparing them as much as possible.