Giveaway: “Two Snowflakes,” a Children’s Book by Jennifer Miller! (CLOSED)

We have another great giveaway on TwinsTalk! Author Jennifer Miller is offering a copy of Two Snowflakes, her charming children’s book about identical twin snowflakes, Phina and Bella. They appear to be exactly alike, but they aren’t quite the same when you get to know them … just like real twins! Phina and Bella like being twins because they always have each other, but they also get tired of being seen as exactly the same since 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! Two Snowflakes is available at http://www.twosnowflakes.net or on Amazon.

GIVEAWAY!

To enter to win this terrific book, leave a brief comment on this page describing how your twins are different. You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional, additional entries when you:

– Become a friend of Jennifer Miller and me on Twitter (@TwinHappyJen and @ParentingAuthor) and tweet this giveaway. Leave a comment here with the URL of your tweet. You can do this once a day! Leave a separate comment for each daily tweet.

– Sign up for Jennifer Miller’s TwinHappy newsletter at http://twinhappy.com/twinhappy/newsletter/. Leave a comment here with the email address that you used to subscribe.

– Put a button for TwinsTalk on your blog or website. The code is below. Leave a comment with the URL of your site.

– Become a Fan of TwinsTalk on Facebook. Just go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/TwinsTalk/92832936823?ref=ts and click on the Fan button. (You must be a member of Facebook to do this.) Leave a comment with your Facebook name.

– Become a Fan of TwinHappy on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/TwinHappy/122586192860. Leave a comment with your Facebook name.

– Post this giveaway on your blog or website with a link to this page. Leave a comment with a direct link to the post.

One lucky winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Thursday, November 5, 2009, at midnight ET. Please leave an email address on at least one of your comments so I can reach you. Winners must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner: Nancye Davis!

Should Parents Treat their Twins Equally?

By Audrey Porterman

It is tempting to treat your twins equally from the moment they are born. You start with matching layettes, then start dressing them in matching outfits everyday from then on — right down to the socks or the hair bows to match. Toys are purchased in matching sets. Play dates are scheduled together.

This focus on equal treatment starts to extend to all aspects of your lives. Time with mommy and daddy is carefully monitored to ensure that no one twin gets more than the other. Rewards and praises are watched closely to ensure that both are given equally. After all, you don’t want one twin to get preferential treatment.

Yet this careful attention to equal treatment may not have the well-intended effects you hope. Often, it can impede their development of individual identities, which they profoundly desire. The development of an individual identity starts as early as infancy and continues throughout adulthood.

In order to help your twins develop their own identities, it is important to focus not on treating them equally, but on treating them fairly and on finding ways to meet their individual needs. Here are just a few ways you can break away from treating your twins equally and focus instead on treating them like individuals:

One-on-One Time

One of the easiest ways you can foster your twins’ sense of individuality is to spend time with them individually, starting in infancy. Make it a point to have special one-on-one time with each of them every day. This can be as simple as mommy reading one twin a bedtime story while daddy gives the other a bath. Each twin has alone time and the chance to establish that individual relationship and to talk about individual interests, hopes, fears, and so on.

Clothing

Clothing helps us express our personality and our individuality. Help foster that in your twins by dressing them separately, starting in infancy. Don’t merely choose different colors for the same outfits, or different but complimentary styles in the same color. If the outfit of one twin was chosen based on the outfit of the other, you are not allowing them to be considered individually.

Dress each twin as an individual. Later, when they are old enough to express their own choices and begin to develop their own sense of style, let them choose their own outfits. They may decide to wear similar (or even the same) outfits. If that’s the case, let them — so long as it is truly their own choice.

Play Dates

Of course, many twins are likely to share some of the same (maybe all of the same) friends. However, this doesn’t mean that they have to spend all of their time together, even when they are with shared friends. Twins have to learn to develop individual relationships. You can foster this by allowing them to have individual play dates.

Not every play date has to be an individual one. Yet you should strive to make them at least a regular part of the rotation — perhaps every two weeks or so, depending on what works best for your family.

Celebrations

Imagine how you would feel if every time you celebrated a milestone — a birthday, a graduation, heading off to college — someone close to you was celebrating it at the exact same time. This is the constant reality for twins.

Help make celebrations special and allow twins to feel a sense of individuality by throwing separate celebrations for each that reflect their individual personalities and desires. For example, maybe one twin wants a big party with a clown for his birthday, while the other just wants to go to the movies with friends. Find ways to make these celebrations special for each twin, rather than treating them like a unit.

While treating your twins equally might seem like the best way to establish fairness and to avoid preferential treatment, attempting equal treatment can actually have negative effects on the development of individual identity. According to Dr. Khanh-Van Le-Buckling, the author of “Twins 101: 50 Must-Have Tips for Pregnancy through Early Childhood from Doctor M.O.M.,” the goal should be to aim for fairness, not equality. Doing so will teach your twins empathy and help them to explore their individuality, knowing that they are treated differently based on their individual needs.

In what ways did you attempt to treat your twins differently to help them develop their individual identities? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Audrey Porterman is the main researcher and writer for doctoralprograms.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Ohio State, with a degree in business management. Her current focus for the site involves an online psychology phd and finance phd programs.

Ways to Entertain Your Twins in the Summer

By Monica Curran

As summer finally heats up, being outdoors is the place to be. No longer do children, especially twins, have to be stuck indoors watching television and playing computer games to keep them occupied. There are many things to do with twins outdoors. Swimming is one of the best things to do with twins, especially when it comes to swim lessons. Whether your twins are infants or older, it is important for them to take swim lessons. This is my twins’ second year of swim lessons, and they love it.

My twins are finally becoming comfortable with putting their whole head in the water, along with kicking at the same time. It is a good thing that all I have to do is walk across the street for my twins’ swim lessons. As much as my twins love being in water, it is very necessary that they learn to kick their legs, move the water with their arms and put their head in the water. This year, my twins’ swim lessons will last a couple of weeks, and then they will be off to do other things.

Along with taking swim lessons, my twins are finishing up their fall ballet class. Taking a summer dance class was a possibility, but we decided against it. Anything to keep my twins in motion and busy is a plus. For my twins’ fall Ballet Recital, they will be dressed in yellow and orange flower costumes and dancing to the song, “I’m Walking on Sunshine.” This dance recital theme is called “Seasons.” Once this ballet season is over, my twins will start up again in the Fall. In the meantime, my twins can play outdoors in their swing/slide play fort in our backyard, go for walks around our neighborhood to look for their favorite cat (“Romeo”), and go to the Downtown Farmer’s Market and get their faces painted and jump in the bounce house.

If your church, like mine, has a Vacation Bible School (VBS), you know they last a week and usually begin in the cool of the evening. Well, that is when my church has their VBS! Our church’s VBS this year is called Panda Mania. Oh, it will be so much fun! One of my twins just loves pandas. So, in her kind heart, she will be allowing the church to borrow her pandas for the week. As for me, I will be a volunteer with a professional photographer, who is volunteering his time.

Oh, my twins and I just love summer. It is a shame that summer only lasts three or four months, depending on what area of the country you live in. All I can say is have fun this summer with your twins and keep them safe, whatever age they are.

My name is Monica Curran, and I am a mother of fraternal twin girls who are five years old, going on six. Along with being a mother of twins, I am a freelance writer for various people and companies, a blog writer with three blogs, and a hat and headband designer for infants and girls of all ages. My newest blog is called TwiceTheFlowerHatsandHeadbands. My blog can also be viewed on Facebook. It would be great if you “LIKED” it!

TheCuteKid.com Launches Career of Two Cute Twins

ONE YEAR OLDS LAND NATIONAL AD CAMPAIGN WITH BRAWNY®

New York, N.Y.–March 12, 2008–Twin year old tots, Sabrina and Courtney Walsh, have just landed a national ad campaign with consumer paper towel giant, Brawny®, thanks to TheCuteKid.com, now the world’s biggest online child photo and family site.

Veteran talent agent, Tamara Markowitz, hired by Brawny to find the little faces for its new campaign, turned to what has become her favorite trade tool, TheCuteKid.com. After a few lucky clicks, she struck advertising gold, calling Melissa Kay, Talent & Casting Relations at TheCuteKidTM to report she’d found the Brawny® kids on the site.

The Walsh twins, from Flushing, Queens were born baby beauties. The twins’ parents, Neal and Susan Walsh, submitted their children’s photos to TheCuteKid.com, never imagining it would embark them on the road to TV fortune and fame.

TheCuteKidTM is quickly on the road to becoming a household name on the web, and is already a hot “go-to-site” for cyber savvy moms and dads. In just over 2 years, TheCuteKidTM has grown to over 800,000 members worldwide and has received over 2 million photos of cute kids. The site has garnered partnerships with mega bands Parenting , UPromise, Gerberlife, Pampers and more. Membership to TheCuteKid.com is free.

Casting directors from hit shows like “Nanny 911” and “Everybody Hates Chris” are just a few of the many industry professionals who trust TheCuteKid.com as a leading children’s talent bank.

TheCuteKid has ongoing monthly CuteKid photo contests with monthly winners as well as an annual overall winner. Texan born tot, Kennedy Houston, was just recently named 2007 CuteKid of the Year. She not only landed her face on the cover of local papers, she also won a $25,000 college tuition fund, prizes and her very own CuteKid of the Year web page. CuteKid Brooke Orrick-Arno won the national Oscar Mayer’s 2006 “Sing the Jingle Be a Star” contest. In November 2007, Ryan Sweeney landed a modeling gig with Earnshaw , a popular children’s fashion trade magazine. These are just a few of many success stories.

The CuteKidTM contests are voted on by entertainment industry professionals, top talent scouts and casting agents. Parents can choose to submit their photos for the “The CuteKid of the Month” contest. All category winners are automatically entered into the final judging for the “2008 CuteKid of the Year” award with the grand prize of a $25,000 college tuition fund.

Visit TheCuteKid.com and TheCuteKidoftheYear.com

About TheCuteKid.com:

TheCuteKid.com, A ParentSociety Company, was founded in 2005. Offering $1000s in monthly prizes and its $25,000 college tuition fund grand prize, TheCuteKidTM has become the largest and most respected child photo contest online. Since its inception, TheCuteKidTM has become the go-to meeting place for parents interested in introducing their babies and children into the modeling and acting arenas. In just over 2 years, TheCuteKidTM has grown to over 800,000 members worldwide and has received over 2 million photos of cute kids. Dozens of talent and modeling agencies utilize the site and CuteKids have landed roles in major campaigns including JCPenney, Oscar Mayer, Disney Family Fun, Nickelodeon and more.

Enter to Win 1 of 4 copies of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More”!

The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc. (www.nomotc.org) has declared April 2009 the first National Multiple Birth Awareness Month. At TwinsTalk, we’re celebrating by giving away 4 copies of the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More! Just submit something you’ve written to the Articles, TwinsTips or TwinsTales section of this site during the month of April, and you’ll be included in 4 random drawings for the books. (Hint: The earlier you submit, the more chances you have to win!)

What should you write about? Tell a cute story involving your twins. Share a good time- or money-saving tip that has helped your family, or a favorite recipe! Write a book review about your favorite twins book! Just about anything goes, as long as it’s of interest to families with multiples.

Winners will be selected throughout the month of April 2009 from the qualified articles received.

Dress Your Twins for the Holidays at the Trendy Twin Shop! (DISCOUNT)

The holidays are here! It’s time to think about how you’re going to dress your twins for their Christmas photo or a special day with the family! The Trendy Twin Shop has adorable holiday clothes designed especially for twins! Check out these beautiful designs:

DISCOUNT

For the rest of the year (through December 31, 2009), you can receive 20% off anything you purchase at the Trendy Twin Shop (even non-holiday clothes) if you click on this special link: http://www.trendytwinshop.com?code=2009.

They have clothes for preemies, triplets, babies, toddlers, siblings, moms and moms-to-be! The Trendy Twin Shop was originally founded by a mom of twins, so you’ll feel right at home with their terrific selection of clothes for multiples (and those who love them).

Hurry over to http://www.trendytwinshop.com?code=2009 before the discount expires. Happy holidays!

Famous Twins

The following celebrities are twins. Some of them may surprise you!

Mario Andretti

Karen Black

Gisele Bundchen

Jose Canseco

Aaron Carter

Ann B. Davis

Vin Diesel

John A. Elway

Horace Grant

Deidre Hall

Linda Hamilton

Paul and Morgan Hamm

Heloise

Jill Hennessy

Scarlett Johansson

Ashton Kutcher

Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby)

Joel and Benji Madden

Alanis Morissette

Tia and Tamera Mowry

Gunnar Nelson

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Alexandra Paul

Isabella Rossellini

Kiefer Sutherland

Sawyer and Sullivan Sweeten

Billy Dee Williams