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A Birthday Party For Twins: Shared Or Separate?

twinpartyWhen our twins were born, I quickly realized that the more I did with my babies as a set, the more validation I got as a mom. The average person would look on as I tandem breastfed and would marvel at my accomplishment. Merely navigating the aisles of the supermarket with one baby in the cart and the other in a sling was enough to garner looks of approval and a brief adult conversation or two. All this was so needed early on that I actually feared taking out only one baby and no longer being “special”. On top of all of this, there was so much of an accepted mystique about twins and how they should always be together, that they would miss each other and so forth.

Over time I realized that this widely held belief that twins prefer to be together was actually getting in the way of many things. As my children have gotten older, I have really come to understand that although it is a unique and wonderful thing to be a twin, it is perhaps even more wonderful to be known for one’s own individual self. One of my favorite quotes is from the book Siblings Without Rivalry: “To be loved equally is somehow to be loved less. To be loved uniquely – for one’s own special self – is to be loved as much as we need to be loved”.

Over the years I have done a lot to help my children feel that they are known for their own individual selves, not just as part of a set. Although we do a lot as a family, we also spend a great deal of one on one time with each of them, they have play dates without the other, they have separate rooms, they will be in separate classes when they start Kindergarten next year, we encourage separate after school activities and so forth. This does nothing to diminish their bond as siblings or twins; in fact, I believe it strengthens it immensely.

Of all of the things we do to nurture their individuality and encourage their sense of self, what has most recently seemed to make the greatest impact on them was having separate birthday parties for their 5th birthday.

We always had two birthday cakes and sang “Happy Birthday” to them separately, but this year I offered them the opportunity to have a party of their own and they jumped at it. Over the next couple of months the excitement built, they told everyone about their respective parties, what the theme was going to be and who was coming. Most of all, they told everyone that they were having their own party, just for them. I began to realize that it was a different sense of excitement than in previous years, this time it was a chance for each of them to bask in the glow of their special day when everyone is there for them, without having to share that experience with another person.

Most of you who have a sibling know the feeling of having to share toys or clothes or maybe a room. But few siblings of different ages have to share a birthday. It is just obvious to most parents that each child would get his or her own birthday party. Yet the reaction from many people was one of surprise when I said I was doing this for my children.

Although throwing two birthday parties in one weekend was more work (and a greater expense) for us, seeing the joy our children had being able to experience their special day just for themselves was well worth it. On top of this, the experience also allowed us to teach them lessons about being gracious when it was not their day, being aware of their own feelings as well as the feelings of their sibling, exercising patience and most importantly, having the awareness that they were each being honored for who they are, as individuals.

Gina Osher

Gina Osher is a former holistic healer turned parenting coach and mother of boy/girl twins. She is also the author of the blog, The Twin Coach in which she offers advice, bares her soul, works though her imperfect parenting moments and continues on her journey to be a more joyful parent. Gina is dedicated to helping others find both a deeper understanding of themselves and a stronger connection to the children they love.

How To Handle Kids Who Won’t Do Their Homework or Chores

chores1Empathizing versus lecturing can go a long way in diffusing power struggles and it reinforces that you’re on the same team. This week, if your kids start complaining about doing their homework or chores, instead of lecturing, just say this simple phrase.

Watch the video below to learn this simple phrase that will deflect the power struggle.

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Taking the Terror Out of Teen Dating

teendating1Let’s be honest: the idea of your little darling off on a date might be the scariest thing since potty training. The natural instinct for many parents is to clamp down; but while placing your teen under house arrest may keep the dates at bay for now, it doesn’t do much good in the long run.

Rather than reacting in fear to this new part of your young adult’s life, lead with love. Make it clear you are on the same team as your teen: your job is to give them the structure to help them make the sophisticated decisions that come with dating.

By talking openly with your teen, you can implement dating rules that fit into your existing parent-child dynamic. Although it may require having difficult conversations, working with your child to establish these boundaries will take stress off of each of you and help clearly maintain high expectations for your teen’s behavior.

Below are some dating rules that we might want to set, and some ways we can tweak them to keep our teens both safe and happy. Do any of these sound familiar?

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Dad Shoots Laptop in Video Rant – Parenting Hero?

You’ve probably already seen the video of the Dad who posted a YouTube video rant to his daughter in response to her recent Facebook tirade. In her Facebook post, the daughter spews her disgust for being required to do so many family chores, to the point where, “I have no idea how I have a life.” Dad’s emotional YouTube rant ends with him shooting bullet holes through her laptop. As I watched the video, my heart broke for the whole family.

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Turn HomeWork Power Struggles Into Learning Opportunities

homeworkWhen you review your kid’s home work or tests, do you focus on the wrong answers or the right answers? If you focus on the wrong answers instead of the right answers, you could be inviting a power struggle because your child feels like he’s being judged and your focus is on the areas in which he “messed up.”

Remember, we can learn a lot from our mistakes in life.

Watch the video below to learn how you can diffuse school related power struggles and turn the wrong answers into a form of encouragement.

Parenting and Discipline Resources

The Motherhood LIVE TALK

It was such fun chatting with all of you during The Motherhood LIVE TALK today! If you missed it, you can read the full talk here.

I’m grateful to my fabulous co-hosts. They have diverse business platforms and communities but they are all committed to serving families. I hope you’ll follow their brilliant work:

Jen Singer
Facebook: MommaSaid & Parenting With Cancer & Twitter: @JenSinger

Kelly Lester
Facebook: Easylunchboxes & Twitter: @EasyLunchboxes

Katie Bugbee
Facebook: CareDotCom & Twitter: @CareDotCom

Jennifer Zaranis
Facebook: The Mommies Network & Twitter: @MommiesNetwork

Polly Schlafhauser
Facebook: Families With Purpose & Twitter: @FamiliesPurpose

There was so much to discuss and so little time! Listed below, you’ll find free training resources and articles on some of the most common discipline dilemmas.

FREE TRAINING Resources

Free Webinar – Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling
Wednesday, February 1 at 9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific. Sign up here!

Download Chapter 1 of If I have to Tell You One More Time…by Amy McCready

Solutions for Your Discipline Dilemmas

Tantrums:
5 Strategies to Tame Tantrums in Public
Anger Issues…My Daughter Says She Hates Me!

Hitting & Biting: DOs and DON’Ts to End Hitting & Biting for Good

Backtalk: 5 Steps to Put the Brakes on Backtalk

Clothing Battles: I’m Not Wearing That!

Eating Battles: How Do I Handle My Picky Eater?

Sibling Fighting/Rivalry
Teaching Kids How to Apologize
Travel Battles – Don’t Make Me Stop This Car!
Sibling Rivalry – Are You Contributing?

TWEENS/TEENS – 3 Pitfalls to Avoid With Your Tween or Teen

ALLOWANCE…When to Start & How Much to Give

Thanks again to The Motherhood and my wonderful co-hosts! Here’s to your parenting peace!

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