The Importance of Treating Twins as Individuals

While it may be fun to dress your twins in the same outfits and buy exact duplicates of everything from toys to bedding, could you be perpetuating a specific behavior? Twins can share nearly every genetic characteristic to be identical, but each has their own mind. Each can develop his or her own likes and dislikes that can be completely different from their sibling. Prompting them to be identical in every aspect of life could stunt their own development for individuality. In what ways can this be detrimental to growing up?

1. Self-Discovery – By forcing both to experience life in the same manner, neither one has the opportunity to grow as an individual. While twins may already have a “special bond” that develops, they still need to know what life is about as a single person. This isn’t saying you should lock them up in separate rooms or force them to live apart. Individuality can be developed through choices. Allowing a child to choose what clothes to wear or what foods to eat helps them find who they are as a person. You may find that your twins are identical in their decisions, but then again, you could find out that their personal likes and dislikes greatly vary. You won’t truly know until you give each one a chance to find themselves.

2. Self-Reliance – While teamwork within the family is a very important aspect to teach your children, self-reliance can be equally as beneficial. A child needs to be able to depend on themselves to accomplish specific goals. If the twins are constantly relying on each other for assistance, this can make them dependent. This isn’t always a bad thing, however. Many of us would love the prospect of our children cooperating instead of bickering. The children still need to learn how to adapt in situations if they are alone for any specific reason. Teaching self-reliance could include specific chores or tasks that require just a single person to complete.

3. Whose Childhood Was It? – Children can go through their childhood always conforming to what the parents or siblings want. Instead of speaking up, these children could go along with the group even if the situation is not enjoyable. For instance, one child could hate spicy food. Instead of speaking up, he or she could simply go along with eating spicy food never saying a word to anyone else in fear that they don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone else. This same child could go through his or her formative years doing what everyone else wants to do, living out his or her sibling’s childhood. It may sound strange to some, but I have experienced children who have done exactly that. They usually grow to be introverted teenagers who are incredibly shy and are very submissive.

Although it is important to teach twins how to cooperate as a team, don’t forget that they are indeed individual people. If they prefer to dress alike and share the exact same tastes, then that’s OK. Just don’t forget that choice is one of the things that makes humans special and is a way for us to grow as individuals. Let them choose their own paths whether it is different from their siblings or not.

Author Bio:

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to @

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