Lessons in Twinland: Should I Purchase Two of Everything?

It’s the age-old question asked by many parents of multiples: Do I need to put two of everything in my shopping cart?

When it comes to buying toys, clothing and school supplies for twins, parents often believe that if they don’t purchase two of everything, their children may feel less special or lose their sense of individualism. Although this may be true in some cases, it is a belief that is mostly untrue. In fact, asking your children to share (whether they are twins or not) is a life lesson that is far more important than anything money can buy.

To approach the topic more wholly, let’s break the issue down into three major purchasing categories: toys, clothing, and school supplies.

Toys

No matter how you look at it, toys can (and should) be shared. This is especially true if your multiples share the same gender. For twins of different genders, ask them to share non-gender-specific toys, while also purchasing a few (and an equal amount of) gender-specific toys.

The only time when you should buy two of something is when it is an activity that children enjoy doing together (for example, riding a bicycle). To keep your finances in check, use birthdays and other gifting holidays as the time for buying your twins their “own” toy/s.

Clothing

If they are the same gender, you should absolutely consider having them share some parts of their wardrobe. However, as they grow older, this can become an issue (teenagers don’t exactly like re-wearing an outfit that their sibling wore last week). Save as much money as you can, though, while they are young by having them share clothing until they begin to ask for their own wardrobe. Give them their own underwear and socks, though, and differentiate them by writing their initials on the tags or linings.

School Supplies

This is really the only category where you should always buy two of everything. Sometimes it may not even be necessary to purchase two because some supplies are already packaged in multiples (for example, glue sticks usually come in pairs). This is also a great category for establishing individuality because lunchboxes, backpacks and folders often carry unique designs. Let them display their own uniqueness by allowing them to pick out the design that they want. If both happen to like the same design (which they very well may), you can always have these items monogrammed or use a marker to write their names on them.

In the end, making purchases for your twins is really all about common sense and separating what they truly need from what they only want. We all want to feel special and loved, but this does not come from a toy or department store. Give your children what is sufficient enough to keep them healthy and enriched, and the rest will follow.

Katheryn Rivas is a freelance writer for OnlineUniversities.com. She covers topics related to education, parenting, lifestyle and the home. In her spare time, she enjoys reading mystery novels and biking on the weekends with her cycling group. Send any and all comments or questions to her email at KatherynRivas87@gmail.com.