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Whenever a friend or family welcomes a new baby- somewhere along the way my husband and I get asked- ‘HOW did you do it with two?’ The ‘toughness’ with twins almost always is associated with the infant and toddler years (and perhaps the teen years) but no one really tells you about those ‘in between’ years known as tweens! The best decision as parents of identical twins that we made ahead of their tween years was separating their classrooms in kindergarten.
Although pregnancy and the first year with twins can be quite a challenge, this article will focus on the bigger challenge of surviving the terrible twos with twins. The idea of taking a long, hot shower becomes increasingly enticing, yet still out of reach. Around the two year birthday, the twins begin to develop a bigger curiosity for the world and a sense of independence and watch out Mom and Dad when you try to set limits. We often see parents who are so exhausted and just find it “easier” to give in rather than set limits.  Unfortunately the children begin to learn that the more they push, the more they get, and this will not help any parent who has an interest in surviving the terrible twos with twins. Most parents are afraid of the temper tantrums that their twins may go through and especially so in public places.  It is often seen that parents will do almost anything to prevent a tantrum and is evidenced by the loosening of limits and giving in.
Around this time of independence it is also possible to see some sibling rivalry appear especially with twins of the same gender. Use stickers as a reward for going on the potty.  One sticker for pee-pee and two for poo-poo, or whatever works in your family.

There are some other quick tips to be mentioned in order to make surviving the terrible twos with twins a bit easier. Since (as often is the case) one of our twins had stronger verbal skills, we had a spokesperson for the twins! As they begin to see the lack of response to them in those moments the fewer tantrums you will see.  The more parents give in, the more tantrums parents will see. As parents, the big buzz word is “share,” but I must tell you that twins need to feel a sense of proprietary over some things as they are forced to share more often than a single child. If it is within the budget find a school program that they can attend every morning.  This helps them to become social, follow directions from others and begin to gain a sense of efficacy in their environments. Learning to embrace their independence while also setting firm limits has helped the entire family move through this stage without too much tumult. They’re setting their future study habits, they are challenged socially and culturally and their self-confidence is questioned daily. By separating their classrooms early, each of them learned to communicate and learn on their own- outside of their ‘twinness’ and away from the inevitable comparison by teachers.
Jennifer has an active imagination and after the birth of her twins created two children’s characters, Mrs.

Twins already have a hard time forging their independence because the world simply wants to see them as a ‘unit.’ As tweens they’re compared constantly- from grades, to the amount of friends they have, to their sports or physical abilities, and more. Now as we enter the tough years of 4th grade and beyond- we can more easily support their study skills because we clearly know their individual weaknesses and strengths. As a parent of twins- you have to be more vigilant and dedicated to helping them be individually successful than ever. In her coaching business, Jennifer likes to work with those individuals who have the entrepreneurial spirit but need a bit of cheerleading along the way. Your decision and support during these sensitive years will help them conquer their teen years and adulthood.

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