Treating multiples as individuals

Posted on July 2, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

A good rule of thumb when dealing with twins, triplets or more and you are having challenges with behaviour, bedtimes, mealtimes, curfews, allowances and so much more, is to ignore the fact that they are multiples and ask yourself:  “how would I handle things if they were singleton children?”  Very often treating each child as an individual with individual interests, focuses, ideas, behaviour, growth and more, offers the solution.  Example:  a mother with triplets, two girls and a boy, shared that her son required less sleep (they were 15 months old) than her daughters and as they were all in the same room, he woke earlier and then bugged his sisters until they woke up.  In essence she was left with 3 cranky children for different reasons (one had no playmate and the other two needed more sleep time).  I advised that she had a natural split between the 3 and that at a certain point they would need to separate the children for privacy reasons, why not do it sooner rather than later?  She responded, “But they are triplets…..”   The parents were so stuck on the fact that they were triplets and ‘needed’ to be together, that they were unable to see that the children needed, quite early in their lives already, a different response for their individual needs.  If they had all been singletons, I suspect the answer of giving them separate rooms would have been more obvious.  Multiples do not need to be together just because they are multiples.  They need to separated for little periods of time to get used to being separate and enjoying the freedom of discovering their own interests and abilities; and they need to be together when there are family events, special occasions, mealtimes and so on, just like any of our children with benefit from.  Cheers!

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