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100 Tips for Nannies and Families

The advice in this book comes from Candi Wingate, President of Care4hire.com.
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Encouraging Twins to Have Their Own Personalities and Interests

To encourage twins to have their own personalities and interests, parents can do the following:

  • Give them names that are dissimilar.  Paired names such as Sandy and Cindy do not encourage individuation.
  • Refer to the twins as two kids rather than one set of twins.  This sounds like a fine point distinction, but the subtle difference helps shape the paradigms held by each twin.
  • Spend one-on-one time with each twin.
  • Reward good behavior and redirect not-so-good behavior in a manner that is specific to each child: don’t reward both kids for the behavior of one of them, for example.  Similarly, praise abilities individually.  For example, you may say, “Paul, you did a great job today on your memorization of the alphabet!  Well done!  And Marcus, you did a great job today on your finger painting!  Your artwork is beautiful!”
  • Dress the kids differently, not similarly.
  • Cut and style their hair differently.
  • Create separate spaces (i.e., beds, play spaces, bedrooms, etc.)  for each child.
  • Decorate their spaces differently.
  • Give them toys of their own, toys that are differentiated (i.e., tricycles of two different colors).
  • Enroll them in a variety of activities and keep them in only those activities that interest them as individuals.  For example, initially enroll them in music appreciation, soccer, scouting, and finger painting classes; keep each twin in only those activities that suit him/her.  You can subsequently broaden his/her experience in those areas of interest.  For example, if one of the twins is athletically inclined and loves soccer, perhaps you can sign him/her up for track and field or some other sport so that s/he can try a variety of athletic endeavors.
  • Recognize that each of your kids will develop their own friends; when this happens, arrange separate play dates for them.

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