Multiples and More Question of the Week: How do you encourage your multiples to develop and maintain their own individual identities?
Do you plan to, or already separate them in school? I think a lot of schools have policies about not having twins in the same class, so I'm guessing the girls will be separated. I don't really have a preference yet, as they are only 2. I don't think being in the same class would necessarily hinder their individuality but I do think being separated would encourage them to interact with more/other people and develop other friendships that they maybe wouldn't otherwise.
Do you encourage your kids to pursue separate interests, or try to keep them in the same activities? I do now and will always encourage them to pursue their own interests. I would never force one to participate in an activity just because her sister is into it. I will, however, encourage them to try new things, but ultimately they will be encouraged to pursue whatever it is they enjoy, be it tennis or math club, track or marching band.
What are your feelings on dressing multiples alike? Coordinating names? No, and no! I've always said that if I ever had twins (and I never in a million years thought I would) I would never, ever, ever, EVER dress them alike. I LOATHE the idea for 3 reasons. One, it's just way too cutesy-cutesy for me. Two, they ARE individuals! To me, dressing them alike is treating them like they're the same person. Three, they each have double the wardrobe by me buying, say, 4 different outfits instead of 2 each of the same 2 outfits. That being said, I have made an occasional exception: matching Seahawk outfits, the occasional matching jammies because we just happen to have 2 of the same and that's what's clean, and last Christmas, gasp, matching dresses because I couldn't find 2 different ones that I liked that looked decent together.
If your kids are older, do they still like to, or choose to dress alike? N/A. I am going to assume and hope that they will chose to keep dressing differently, but if they chose to dress alike when they're older (and old enough to buy at least some of their own clothes) that's their choice.
What specific things do you do to help encourage your children's individuality? Basically, I just try to provide them with the opportunity and supplies to do the things I know they like to do. Kayley likes to color and build things, so I'll color with her, buy new coloring books, play with legos, etc. Olivia likes to help with housework, so I'll let her sweep and dust and put clothes in the dryer, etc. Whenver they show an interest in something new, I try to teach them what I can or just encourage them to participate in that particular thing.