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Preserving your children's distinct personalities

Social   |   Age: 7 months 1 week


Preserving your children's distinct personalities

Like flower blossoms that have just begun to sprout, your children are starting to claim their own space in the garden of life. And as their primary gardener, it’s up to you to water and care for them as they grow.

It takes a lot of multitasking and divided attention to raise multiples. You might be concerned about whether or not you’ll be able to nurture each baby’s individual personality. If so, you’re not alone - this is a common worry among parents of multiples.

When is enough (attention) enough?

It’s almost impossible to achieve a completely equal balance of attention between your children. But that doesn’t say anything about whether or not you’re a "good" parent. Plus, an equal balance of attention probably isn’t necessary.

To use yet another gardening metaphor, identical plants don’t need the exact same amount of supplies and attention, do they? A good gardener just gives each one what it needs. So don’t worry about splitting your time with each baby into perfectly even amounts. Try to spend your energy learning what each one wants, and then doing your best to meet their preferences and needs. It won’t be simple at first, but over time you’ll get the hang of it and start to understand each baby’s needs.

Despite the fact that they most likely will not want equal amounts of attention at all the same times, you’ll still want to nurture a bond with each baby. To do this, you’ll need to spend some time with each of them, one at a time, and away from the others. Dividing them up with your partner, or enlisting the babysitting help of a friend or family member will give you the chance to get some quality alone time with each baby. This will be a great way of encouraging each child's unique personality to show.

How much should parents interfere?

Ah, the age-old question: should parents get in-between siblings during a conflict? Should they defend the less defensive, or talk for the less talkative? There’s no universal answer to this question. But a good rule of thumb is that when it comes to sibling conflict or strife, intervene later, as opposed to sooner, because the children should have a fair chance to resolve things on their own - they’re going to be doing it for the rest of their lives after all, and could use the practice.

Will personality differences affect the babies’ relationships with each other?

This is pretty much guaranteed, but it’s not a bad thing! They’ll bounce off each other and learn, grow, and share together due to varying degrees of difference in their personalities.

Parents and personality

You probably don’t need us to tell you that your children already have their own personalities! They probably started distinguishing themselves from one another back when they were in the womb, often in the form of one kicking more often than the other(s). And they’ll continue to do so regardless of your encouragement.

Why is this important to remember? Because it’s easy to forget that a big portion of personality is ingrained, and isn’t something you can change or have to worry about affecting. This isn’t to say you won’t have a lot of influence on them in a host of ways. But everybody is born with certain traits, your little ones included.

Look at the long-term

You might still find yourself worried about helping your little ones blossom. It’s easier said than done, right? If this is the case, try taking a step back and looking at how much attention you’ve given them over the course of a month, and not just a day. Most days, things will be uneven. But you’ll find that over a month’s time, things tend to balance themselves out.

Unlike many new parents, you have the special privilege of getting to know more than one baby at a time. And your children are going to have their own distinct personalities, regardless of your influence. Let them do the sprouting while you develop your green thumb.


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