Posted on November 30, 2017. Filed under: raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Our children present us with many opportunities to take photos to mark special occasions, achievements or just because they are so darn cute!  And we, as their parents, love to take their photos.  There is something important to keep in mind though, when taking photos of our multiples, especially if they look a lot alike.

Our local multiple-birth support association once had monozygotic (identical) adult women come and speak to us.  The ladies were about 35 years old at the time.  They brought a photo of them when they were about 4 years old.  They were dressed identically, hair done the same and posed mirror-image across from each other on a bench.  It was a beautiful photo.  One of the women took the over-sized picture and tossed it on the table in front of them saying, “We don’t which one is which!”  All of their family photos (there were several other children in the family) involved them being front and centre, identically dressed but none of the photos were named.  Both of them felt angry, hurt, depressed and resentful that their parents could not remember which was which and also had taken the trouble to mark the photos so that they would have the right photos of themselves when they were young.  Further, they were consistently placed from and centre of family gatherings over their siblings, who then resented and blamed them for being shoved to the background.  The siblings felt marginalized by their sisters, even though the sisters had no say in their photo placements.  These photo sessions were lose/lose all around.

All this to say, we all love to have, share and recognize ourselves in family photo albums.  Such pictures are our right of passage and it is a joy to look back on our personal journeys and milestones.  What isn’t right to have to guess which one is the “Real Me.”  Parents can make sure that our children each have pictures of themselves as youngsters (and beyond) to cherish and to share with future partners and the children they will have.   Here are some imperatives:

  1.  Don’t always have your multiples dressed alike in photos.  This will help make sure you can properly identify who is whom.
  2. Mark the back of each photo as soon as you get the hard copy.  Our memories fail over time and we will not necessarily remember who is on the left or right.
  3. Do not continually place your multiples in positions that minimize the prominence of your other children.  EACH child is important and deserves center stage at some points.  To do so makes your other children resentful of their multiple-birth siblings even though the multiples have no input into their placement in family photos.  The multiples get to pay the price with their siblings of their parents’ choices.
  4. The inability to identify oneself in family photos may seem innocuous to the parents, but it is important to us all to be able to see ourselves in photos without having to question:  Which one is me? and knowing their will never be an honest answer.




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