Challenges for siblings of twins

Joan Friedman, PhD Psychologist and Twin Expert, shares advice for parents on the challenges that siblings of twins face and how to help those siblings through the challenges
Raising Twins | Challenges For Siblings Of Twins
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Challenges for siblings of twins

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Siblings of all ages will have reactions to the birth of babies, but specifically to the birth of twins it's quite a different story. For example, when we told our 4-year-old daughter that she was going to have baby twin brothers, she defiantly said, "Oh, well name them Shit and Poo Poo." So there are things you can do though to try to help other siblings get through the birth of twin babies. The first thing is is to expect regressive behavior. Maybe a child that was not using diapers will start using diapers again. Maybe one that was off the bottle will ask for a bottle again. And just allow them to regress if they need to and also allow them to express negative feelings. It's not awful to say I hate the baby or I want the baby to go away; parents have to be empathic about listening to these negative feelings and recognizing that this is a way that they can get through this time. It's also very important not to glamorize the twin situation. Everyone else is making such a big deal; twins are so wonderful and so much notoriety and so much attention. Normalize the twin situation for your siblings. Talk about that it's difficult, that the babies have to share everything, they're always going to be competing, they're always going to be compared to one another, they're never going to have time alone with their mom. Explain that there are difficulties to being a twin and it's not so wonderful as everybody else says. Try if you can also to take one twin with you when you go out with the other siblings. Having one baby in the car doesn't create such a big chaos as having two. And finally, try to spend some alone time with the older siblings. This is what will really make them feel special and also help facilitate the transition.

Joan Friedman, PhD Psychologist and Twin Expert, shares advice for parents on the challenges that siblings of twins face and how to help those siblings through the challenges

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Joan Friedman, PhD

Psychologist & Twin Expert

Dr. Joan A. Friedman is a prominent and well-respected twin expert who shares her passionate views and insights about twins and their emotional needs with twins and their families throughout the world. The fact that she is an identical twin and the mother of five, including fraternal twin sons, makes her ideally suited to this task. Her commitment to twin research and her treatment of twins of all ages demonstrate the breadth and depth of her skills and experience. She conducts ongoing groups for parents of twins and provides consultation on twin related matters such as school placements, developmental discrepancies, and behavioral issues.

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