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Twins are so fascinating and being a twin comes with so many benefits, but it also comes with a couple challenges.
Being a twin means you might be compared more to your twin than a singleton would be compared to another sibling. As a mother to identical twins, I have noticed that people tend to compare them a lot to each other.
They constantly look for differences in appearance and personality.
I try my best to encourage individuality in our home by encouraging my twins to dress themselves. They have picked out a majority of their clothing. In our house clothing is something we usually do not share. It lets them have something that is always their own. They can share when they want to, but they do not have too. Although they do have a lot of the same shirts, pants, and hats.
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Helping twins develop their own identity will help them develop their language and social skills as well. It also helps them be less competitive.
Clothing says a lot about a person’s personality. You can dress up, dress down, wear bright colors, or your favorite cartoon characters. Your outfit is a way to show people what you like and express your personality.
Dressing differently helps children express their individuality. Clothes matter because they are a noticeable representation of identity. Many psychologists recommend letting twins pick their own clothes once they are able too. It can also be a safety measure.
It can be hard for friends and even family members to tell your twins apart sometimes when they are dressed alike (especially if they are identical twins). Sharing ways to identify your twins can help people identify them and encourage individuality for your twins. Some ideas are:
It is important for twins to see themselves as two unique individuals rather than a unit or the twins.
It can also be a safety measure too. Imagine you are at a family party and one of your twins reaches up for the hot stove. If your family member or other surrounding adults cannot yell their name to get their attention an accident could happen.
Not sharing tools to help identify your twins can also lead people to struggle to think of their own. Several twin parents and even I have had people that use things like: he/she is the bigger one, the happier one, the more athletic one… and those identification practices can be hurtful to twins as they get older.
Dressing your twins differently can help with doctor appointments. Doctors often recommend dressing twins differently when they are going to the doctor or the hospital. It is easier to keep track of medicine doses (and who needs it) when clothes are different.
I am not recommending that you do not dress your twins alike. I think it is really cute when twins wear matching clothes. My twins love to match and it is not uncommon for them to ask to wear matching outfits. I actually prefer to dress them alike when we are going to a crowded area.
Matching outfits is a great way to provide extra security. It is easier to see both twins when they are wearing the same outfit. It provides a visual reference (making them easier to spot in a crowd). I often dress my two alike when we are going to a park, museum, mall, or any other crowded place. It is important to do what works best for you and your twins. I think it is great to do both (matching and non-matching).
Dressing twins is so much fun. Whether you dress your twins alike, coordinating, or totally different – both ways have their benefits.
I am hoping that this list will make picking outfits a little easier for you the next time you have somewhere to go. Being a twin parent is hard and exhausting at times. If you see me out at the grocery store and one of my twins is in his pajamas. Please remember that he picked out his own outfit and is creating his identity. LOL. No judging, please.
About the author: Heather Stoeckel Karpinsky is the founder of Baby A & Baby B LLC and the
inventor of the Twin Feeding Set. Heather lives with
her family in Louisiana. She is the coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Twins, Triplets, and More.
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