From birth onwards, all children need to develop a sense of self. Their relationships with their parents, care givers, siblings and wider family help them to form this. The process is more complex for multiples, but it's just as important for each child to develop a sense of self and individual worth.
Multiples are born with a deep bond that can be a lifelong source of strength and mutual affection. This bond makes twins, triplets and more unique, and it is an important part of each child’s identity.
At the same time, these children will one day need to make separate choices at school, each according to their interests and abilities. They will need to develop their own social skills and friendships, and one day choose paths that lead them on to separate homes, relationships and families. So, while their bond as multiples is central to who they are, there is a balance to be struck in supporting their development as individuals too.
Twins Trust has produced a very useful factsheet called Enhancing Individuality in Multiples including lots of top tips from our members.
Twins, triplets and more shouldn’t be expected to share cards and presents on their birthday or other special occasions They might prefer separate parties too, it is important to ask them what they would like many multiples do share parties at least until they are at school.
You can still make each child feel special by giving them their own cake and singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to each in turn. It is important to let each child invite their own friends and encourage family and friends to give the children separate presents and cards.
Multiples usually learn to cooperate with other children at an earlier stage than many singletons. Parks, parent-and-toddler groups and multiples clubs are all great places to start making friends. If you are able to you could also explore the possibility of playgroup or nursery - apart from giving you a much-needed break it will give the children a chance to socialise with other children