TwinsTalk

Finding out that you are pregnant with twins is both exciting and shocking. It’s such a blessing to be carrying not one but two babies, but double the fun also means double the health consciousness. Being pregnant with one baby is already taxing enough on a women’s body, so when you are expecting twins, you should expect double the challenge. To ensure a healthy and happy pregnancy, it is important to read up on the health implications of pregnancy, follow all of your doctor’s orders and choose a healthy lifestyle that will benefit your babies’ development.

Becoming educated on the more common health implications of being pregnant with multiples is a great way to understand what you need to do to have a successful pregnancy and why you need to do it. If you have just found out you are expecting twins, keep reading to find out more about the health implications associated with pregnancy and the common health care plans used to prevent complications. Click to read the rest of this entry

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More has arrived! People have been asking for a Chicken Soup book about twins and multiples for many years, and it has finally been delivered. I am honored to have coauthored this book with the Chicken Soup for the Soul series founders, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. This newest book is a collection of heartwarming and hilarious stories from parents of “twins and more,” and from multiples themselves, filled with time-tested advice from those who have “been there, done that.” Twins mom and CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien lends her hearty recommendation to this book, saying “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More is funny and moving, insightful and inspiring. Life with twins is a chaotic, wonderful, joyful experience – and this book captures it perfectly! ”

Inside Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More, you’ll read about:

A mother of newborn twins, desperate for “nap time,” who tossed an expensive ham over the fence to keep the neighbor’s barking dog from waking her twins

Toddler twins who escaped from the bath and led their mother on a naked chase around the neighborhood, until one of the twins crouched on the neighbor’s lawn and used it as a toilet

International singing twins who convinced villagers in Papua New Guinea that multiples are a blessing, not a cultural curse

A frustrated mother of triplet girls who got great advice from the cable repairman: Toilet train them one at a time by setting up a competition that included stickers and mommy’s “potty dance”

The new mother who was so sleep-deprived that she panicked over how she would tell her twins apart after their hospital bracelets were removed, forgetting that they were a boy and a girl

These days, it’s hard not to see twins or multiple children smiling back at us from every television screen and glossy magazine. From Jon & Kate Plus 8 to Angelina Jolie, twins and multiples are bounding into our lives from all corners. In fact, according to The Nemours Foundation, between 1980 and 2004 the number of twin births increased by 70 percent. And during the same time span, the number of births involving three or more babies quadrupled. It’s no wonder that people are fascinated by the world of twins!

You can pick up a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More at your local bookstore, here in the TwinsShop, or on Amazon!

NOTE: The comments on this article with names of celebrity twins or parents of twins were entries for a giveaway of this book. The contest deadline has now passed. Thanks to all who entered!

Quelling the Competition Between Your Twins

By Lauren Bailey

Everyone knows sibling rivalry is a part of life. Brothers and sisters fighting is as natural as the sun rising and setting; however, when it comes to the rivalry that can exist between twins, the situation is a little more intense.

Sure, when they’re young it’s no big deal. One steals the other’s crayons. Or, perhaps one saw you giving the other a cookie and demands one as well. These are quick fix situations that require minimal action on your part to “make it better.” But what happens when they grow? Aside from just the basic tension that could mount, twins have the potential of becoming borderline obsessed with competing with their sibling.

Granted, I have always felt a bit competitive with my sister who is 2.5 years my senior, but it’s hardly ever been cause for concern, and I think a lot of that has to do with the age difference between us. We would get a break from each other. At home or with relatives, I felt more inclined to bring up our similarities or differences and constantly felt pressure to one-up her. But, at school, I felt completely different. That was my time to shine and differentiate from her. I was the only Bailey girl in my class, she couldn’t beat me this time, so I already had that going for me.

For twins, unfortunately, they don’t always get that break. They feel they are constantly compared with their sibling, because their sibling is usually always there, everywhere they are. Being in the same class, having the same last name, almost guarantees they will forever be following each other around the school yard, and possibly even the athletic realm, if they both show interests in similar things. So their competitive tendencies never get a break. And, as they grow older, if this is not addressed it could cause real problems. So, it’s best to nip it in the bud while they’re young.

For tips on how to alleviate the competition and ensure your twins form an unspeakable bond, keep reading!

Encourage Their Differences

Now, before you get all concerned, this doesn’t mean you can’t still dress them in those adorable matching outfits, because you can — at least until they’re five. This is more about encouraging them to embrace their passions no matter how different they might be from the other’s. This is honestly important advice for anyone with any set of children, but with twins it really is. Oftentimes — be they identical or not — twins struggle with a sense of self and individuality, since they are faced with someone so similar every day.

So, to help them stand out from each other, nurture their interests. Sign them up for soccer, art, ballet, whatever it is they take a liking to, because in the long run this will help them develop an identity, something apart from their sibling. Sure, some twins will have the same interests, but that doesn’t mean they have to experience them together. If they both like baseball, sign them up for different teams. Sure, this might be a bit of a hassle for you, the parent, or even the babysitter, but giving them that necessary break to explore the world on their own, not as a pair, is important for their personal development.

Highlight Their Strengths

Similar to nurturing their passions, parents should also strive to highlight their children’s individual strengths. Maybe Tommy is really great at drawing, and Timmy is more of an articulate writer. If that’s the case, encourage and embrace it, as it gives them a sort of concrete direction. This is a great way to help them realize that everyone has their own strengths and shortcomings alike. Not everyone is perfect at everything, and shouldn’t strive to be. As long as they are doing the best they can, they owe you no apologies.

So, by helping them realize the two of them will have different qualities than the other, you are teaching them acceptance and appreciation — appreciation not only for their triumphs and skills, but also for those of their sibling, who they will hopefully begin to see as someone they should work WITH rather than AGAINST.

Nurture Their Special Bond

While the previous tips emphasized highlighting their unique differences, it’s important to remember this one, which stresses just how special their bond is. Although the most intense fighting may start between twins, they also have the capacity to love one another and connect more deeply than other siblings. This is not to take away from those of us who are not blessed with a twin brother or sister; this is just to say that having a twin is rare. Even if you feel you see more than you used to, it’s still not the norm and something that sets them apart.

By teaching them to value and cherish the relationship they have between one another, they are less likely to resent or envy each other during their lives. And that’s really what every parent wants in general for all of their children — twins or not. They want them to recognize the importance of family and connectedness, and by utilizing these simple steps, there is no doubt in my mind that your children will grow into loving adult siblings.

Lauren Bailey is an education writer and freelance blogger. In addition to her articles on nutrition and environmental issues, she frequently writes about online colleges and courses. Lauren welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren 99 @gmail.com.

Book Review: Two Snowflakes, by Jennifer Miller

Review by Susan M. Heim

Two Snowflakes is a charming children’s book about identical twin snowflakes, Phina and Bella, who appear to be exactly alike, but aren’t quite the same when you get to know them … just like real twins! The twin snowflakes like being twins because they always have each other, but they also get tired of being seen as exactly the same when they like to do different things. At the end of the story, they meet up with real twin girls and melt on their tongues to be with them forever!

Author Jennifer Miller was inspired to write this delightful book by her own twin daughters, Josie and Anna. At the end of the book, she writes about her twins’ battle with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), a deadly complication that can arise with an identical twin pregnancy. Fortunately, though they had to be delivered early by emergency C-section, Josie and Anna have thrived and are doing well.

Two Snowflakes is available electronically at http://www.twosnowflakes.net or on Amazon. You can even get it for your Kindle! This book makes a wonderful gift for the twin children in your life or for a family who is expecting twins!