I am pleased to present you with the theme for National Multiple Births Awareness Day 2014: "It's a multiple's choice: encourage twins, triplets and more to make individual decisions".
This theme goes beyond the words and actions of multiple-birth parents; it is a reflection for caregivers, teachers, social and medical professionals, friends, immediate and extended family. It is also a reminder to media and the general public to consider how they view and treat twins, triplets and more. Allowing young multiples to grow into strong, independent adults is partially connected to the decision making process – the same or different is acceptable; the importance is in encouraging autonomous choices.
It’s a specific mindset focusing on a positive outcome – and, while it sounds simple, for our twins, triplets and more it is complicated by their loyalty to each other.
In the words of Joan A. Friedman, Ph. D., author of Emotionally Healthy Twins: A New Philosophy for Parenting Two Unique Individuals:
When that authentic sense of self is never allowed to blossom because twins are always being thrown together, treated as a twosome, or left to their own private world, each grows up not knowing how to function as a “me” instead of a “we”.
Patricia Maxwell Malmstrom and Janet Poland, in their book The Art of Parenting Twins: The Unique Joys and Challenges of Raising Twins and Other Multiples, offer more food for thought for parents of younger multiples:
Allow your children to make some clothing decisions. When twins are able to choose the clothes they wear, they are also deciding whether or not to dress alike or differently from each other. This is an important step in developing a sense of mastery of their fates. By asserting their individuality and testing the effects of dressing alike or differently, they are making decisions that affect their sense of self and their awareness of their relationship.
The complication for twins, triplets and more is explained by Joan A Friedman, an adult multiple herself who has experienced this reality:One of the unique challenges of being a cotwin or comultiple is the concern that every step you take will have a direct and altering impact on your twin or multiple sibling.
As I prepare the communication materials for National Multiple Births Awareness Day 2014. I'd like you to reflect and answer the following questions on https://www.facebook.com/MultipleBirthsCanada.
Reflect on a time when you asked your twins, triplets or more to make an individual decision for something specific. Please describe that time. Was it easy or hard for each child to make his or her own decision? What was the resulting benefit or drawback of letting each make their own choices?
When you post please tell me the age and sex of your multiples at the time, and provide their zygosity information (monozygotic/identical or dizygotic/fraternal). Thank you.
If you would prefer, please send the information directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail Moore, MBC Advocacy and Awareness Coordinator
Posted by Lori Oldfield on April 01, 2014