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Encouraging individuality amongst twins or more

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.Two sets of twins making friends.

Tamba has produced a very useful factsheet called Enhancing Individuality in Multiples including lots of top tips from our members that can be downloaded here.

Enhancing Individuality Webinar

Tamba has worked in partnership with Dr Joan Friedman to create a webinar recording called The Twin Connection - Making Educated Decisions about Raising Multiples. 

What topics are covered? 

    • How can I develop the habit of thinking of my twins or multiples as two+ unique individuals, when the rest of the world is forcing their twin/multipleness?

    • How do I make time for my multiples individually?

    • How as a parent can I be consistently fair towards each of my multiples?

    • Should I encourage my multiples to have separate friends and interests?


Mum of 21-year-old twins, Amanda, tells us how family members helped to encourage their individuality in our video series below.

In these videos, twin mum Kim, shares how she approached individuality and telling them apart.

Adrienne, mum to non-identical twins shares her top tips for encouraging individuality below.

Thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for funding these videos.

Birthday cake for twins. Birthdays

Twins, triplets and more often hate having to share presents or cards. They  might prefer separate parties too, but most 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. Let each child invite individual friends,  and encourage family and friends to give the children separate presents and  cards. You could also appoint other days in the year which each child has as  their own special day.

 Getting out

 Getting out of the house helps entertain the children, breaks up the day and is  good for your mood. However, it probably helps to accept that any outing is  going to be more complicated for you than for your friends with only one  toddler.

 Plan things in advance, and don’t be too ambitious: small children are just as  happy with a small outing as with an all-day marathon. Ring ahead to check on  the availability of high chairs, and take small toys or activities to amuse them. Once the children are confident walkers, you could switch to a single pushchair if that makes outings easier and let the other(s) walk. Identify fixed changing-over points on regular routes to avoid arguments.

Whenever possible, try to give each of the children the chance to go out separately with you, even if it’s only to the shops. Apart from emphasising that not everything has to be done in twos, threes or fours, it’s nice for each child to have some individual attention from you – and for you to experience the blissful ease of going out with just one child!

Making friends

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. Once the children are two years old, explore the possibility of playgroup or nursery school for the following year. Apart from giving you a much-needed break it will give the children a chance to mix more with their peers.

For more information on encouraging individuality in the preschool years, download our enhancing individuality fact sheet 

Click here for more on family lifedevelopment in the early years (including tips on potty training multiples, sharing toys, language, favouritism and moving into beds) and managing difficult behaviour. 


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Tamba guide - Twins, triplets and more - years 2, 3 and 4

Find out what to expect in years 2, 3 and 4