Singleton Siblings of Multiples

Posted on October 2, 2015. Filed under: Multiple Birth | Tags: , , , , , |

If you have older or younger siblings than your multiples, there are some behaviours you might need to address.  Take a look at the article Singleton Siblings of Multiples on my Site at to learn hints and tips of what to expect and how to meet any possible challenges whether the siblings are older or younger than your multiples.  Make sure things run as smoothly as possible!

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Celebrating Quadruplets………

Posted on March 23, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today is a very special milestone for these 4:

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Triplets and their 2-year old sibling

Posted on February 15, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Question:  What could be some of the possible long run physiological effects for a two year old and the birth of triplets if the older sibling constantly felt left out.   Could that real or perceived lack of attention/love cause real problems?  If so what? A.D.D.?


You have asked important questions and there are several things that can happen to make sure that your 2-year old still has a supportive environment and feels love, affection, caring and not side-lined.  I don’t think at all that ADD would be one of the side effects.  Even with lots of attention, some children experience it.  I think you will find that it is more of genetic make-up rather than situational, although situations can make children feel resentful, angry, vindictive unloved.

Firstly I would make sure that the babies are not called “the triplets.”  Use their full names at all times.  When they are called “the triplets,” not only do the babies
lose out on their individuation, the older sibling soon realizes he is not a part of the “special package.”  As parents, you call the shots so indicate to everyone that names are to be used only and correct as necessary, each and every time.
A challenge is that a 2-year appears so mature and capable next to three, probably premature, infants.  Remind yourselves that a 2-year old is still very young
does not yet understand being careful, what dangerous means, getting dressed, eating properly, etc.  A 2-year still needs a lot of guidance, time, caring and
Don’t use the 2-year old as a constant ‘go-fer.’  Fetch a diaper, get a bottle, hand me this, hand me that.  It is OK to help once in a while because a family is about
the Team, but don’t fall into the trap of using him in a lot of the day to day  caring taking.  They are not his babies, but are the parents’ responsibility and a 2-year
old still needs to be a child.
You might consider having the 2-year old in an activity that belongs to only him:  preschool, art camp, swimming sleepover with Grandparent or such.  Then when he gets home you can discuss what he did, friends he made, songs he sang.  In other words, he is the centre of the universe for a time.
Set aside time each day, just for the 2-year old with one-one-one.  Could be bath time, story time, errands or something else.  If he really needs you and you
aren’t available, give the child a timer and set it for a few minutes and say “when it rings, I will be with you.”  Try to keep your promise.  He needs to be able to
count on you and promises made.  This is an investment in both of your futures.
Sometimes have the babies wait while you finish what you are doing with the 2-year old.  You know the 3 are safe in their cribs and a little crying won’t hurt them,
but the fact that you don’t immediately jump up and run to 1 or more crying babies, sends a message to your 2-year old that what you are doing with him is equally important.  Once again, an investment in future behaviour.
There is no guarantee that there will not be any psychological problems in any of our children, but we can stack some of the cards and play them in a kind, caring,
meaningful way.  If you cannot go when your 2-year wants your attention be honest and explain that you are tied up and will get back to him as soon as you can.
Don’t ignore or snap your child.  This will cause more problems in the long run for the 2-year old than a lot of other things.  Instead of interpreting things as “Daddy does not want to be with me” he understands that Daddy is busy with my brothers and sisters and will be with me shortly.  Little children tend to internalize what is going on around them rather than really understanding that because of the situation, I am not available but can be shortly.
And what is important for the triplets is that they be treated as individuals as much as possible, in spite of their type of births.  Rhyming names, constantly dressed alike and the label of “the triplets” presents them as a package and that is how the world will see them.  They will each have their own likes, dislikes. abilities and capabilities and we, as the parents, need to encourage them to go after their own choices.  Start early such as taking only one on an errand, let Grampa and Gramma rotate as to who will go visit or sleepover.  Starting earlier is much easier on everyone than trying when they are older and have opinions.  Don’t make it an issue.  If it is an issue for you, it will be an issue for them.  It is really good for your 2-year old to witness that all the siblings are treated as individuals, important individuals.
I hope that this has helped you somewhat.  If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Sincerely and best wishes,
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Singleton Siblings of Multiples

Posted on July 12, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I received this message today:

I’m 52. The impact that my twin sisters have had on my life is trememdous. As a child through high school, they hurt me over and over….not intentially. Halfway through high school, I “learned and embraced” their twin relationship, and that worked into adulthood. Now, they are still inclusive with one another and exclusive to others, including my children and my Mom. I find them to be selfish, self-centered, and caring only about each other and each other’s children. The rest of us can rot in hell. Oh, they’re kind, but it’s a image. Do I sound angry? You betcha!  I lived with it but I’ll be damned if I will allow them to do the same thing to my children!
And here are my thoughts:
You didn’t leave your EM address so I am answering you here and hope you receive my thoughts.   I am so sorry for your pain, both for your own and that for your children.  As a mother myself, I can understand the depth and breadth of your wish to protect them.  I don’t have any definitive answers but I would like to offer a couple of thoughts, which hopefully may help you, even partially, understand about their relationship.  A multiples relationship IS a challenge.  Multiple-birth children are bonded from conception and their bond preempts the parents, other siblings and in some cases, the multiples’ ability to have other in-depth relationships other than with each other, including with spouses and sometimes their own children.   A woman recently wrote regarding the death of her twin aged 45 years and her “loss of her best friend and confident in this world” and she complained her husband would not let her speak of her sister nor support her in her grief.  She was upset by this and completely unaware that due to her overriding relationship with her twin, her husband had signed on for the back seat, always behind the twin sister and was resentful and no doubt now hoping to be No. 1 in his wife’s life.  This speaks volumes of a cloistered and very sad focus that some multiples, even inadvertently, foster to the detriment of anyone else, including spouses.  What chance might other siblings have if even those chosen as life partners don’t feel important or included?
52 years along, parents are more aware of the challenges respecting their multiples’ bond so focusing on teaching each to be individuals with separate interests and goals, is helpful but it still doesn’t always work out in spite of informed efforts.   Obviously I am not aware of how your childhood worked out, but I believe parents have some say in the matter by encouraging individualism with their multiples such as splitting them for sleep-overs, play dates, separate classrooms, sports, music and so.  Just because the children are multiples does not mean they always have to be together.  Helping them focus outside of themselves is essential for many reasons, some of which you have stated yourself, most importantly the multiples may not be the only children and parents have a responsibility to ALL their children.  I am left wondering how that played out in your house.  If your parents did not teach all of their children how to include others and what exclusion feels like, then your Mom may be now paying for this oversight by being excluded herself.
With respect to how your children are being treated/ignored by their aunts, consider having an honest conversation with your children but try not to let your anger/hurt lead the discussion.  Address how hurtful exclusionary actions can be and here are good examples.  Address alternatives to the exclusion so that your children can understand that leaving others out for any reasons, can be hurtful.  Share with them that your sisters are making choices and it is about their behaviour and not theirs.   You might wish to share that you felt left out growing up but I would encourage you, once again, to not let your own feelings, which are justified, lead the discussion.  You have a right to your feelings and if you feel it might work for you, consider some professional counselling.  You deserve some peace around this issue and its outcome and to know it is not your fault but a result of the circumstances of their birth, and if I can hazard a guess, perhaps your parents parenting style as well.  Twins were a novelty 50 years ago and their “cuteness” and “sameness” reenforced rather than the fact  they were also individuals.
I recently read an excellent book, One and The Same by Abigail Pogrebin published by Doubleday.  Abby is a monozygotic (identical) twin and she writes about the challenges and joys of her relationship her twin sister.  If you thought it would also help you understand a little more about the burden (yes, it sounds to me as if your sisters are burdened by their twinship) they carry, give it a read.  In truth, you are freer than they are and based on what you are sharing, I would believe that sadly they are very limited by their relationship.
Enclosing very best wishes,
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