Can We Please Get a Chapter about Multiples?

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Categories Book Review Theme Week, Parenting, Parenting Twins, Theme Week

This is not a book review. Rather, it’s a criticism of the parenting/baby/pregnancy book industry and their disregard for twins, triplets and higher order multiples.

A mom of twins calls for parenting book authors to give some thought to what it's like to raise several kids the same age. From

As of 2010, twins accounted for about 1 in 30 births in the United States (source). And yet, most parenting and pregnancy books I’ve come across either completely ignore multiples (Parenting With Love And Logic) or only include a short paragraph (What to Expect When You’re Expecting). I realize that not everyone has twins or higher order multiples and I realize that we can’t expect a parenting book to include them throughout the entire book. However, with the rise in multiple births, we can (and do) expect the books to include a chapter about multiples. Do not completely ignore our situation. Do not give us a short, uninformative paragraph. We want a whole chapter. In my experience reading Parenting With Love And Logic, I was ultimately frustrated because a great deal of the discipline strategies sound ideal for a singleton, but are completely inadequate and impractical with twins. A chapter written addressing how to incorporate the ideas into a multiple birth family would have been so helpful.

Yes, there are books written exclusively for twins, triplets and higher order multiples and those books are important and informative. However, they are usually focused on the pregnancy or early days at home. They also aren’t as specialized. For example, there is no Christian Parenting Handbook for Twins, Triplets and Quads or Happiest Twin Babies on the Block.

Maybe no one who has any influence on the publishing industry will read my rant. But maybe they will and in ten years when someone finds out at the ultrasound that there are two heartbeats and rushes home to read about it in her What to Expect book, she’ll find a whole chapter about multiple birth pregnancy and not just a short paragraph.

Janna lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, almost six year old identical twin boys (who were 18 months in the above picture – gah! where did my babies go?!?!?!?) and the world’s laziest border collie.

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Janna lives in Portland, Oregon with a lazy border collie named Cru, her husband and 5 year-old, identical twin boys born at 38 weeks, each weighing over 7 pounds. She works from home as a writer and editor and loves outdoor adventures, holidays, simple living and old historic buildings. She counts list making as a favorite hobby and fully believes the Lochness Monster is real.

16 thoughts on “Can We Please Get a Chapter about Multiples?”

  1. I hear ya!!! I bought a couple of twin parenting books (as you said, mostly focused on infanthood) when I was expecting. I ended up not using them very much, though. I have managed to find parenting books that I have been able to apply to my life with two kiddos. Not all of them work, of course, but I’ve managed to make do. How nice it would be so see literature actually devoted to us multiple mamas!

  2. I just read that the latest edition of “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” has a whole chapter on multiples!!!!! Very cool!

  3. Twins (and more) really do present unique parenting challenges, that singleton parents just wouldn’t understand. What are you supposed to do when both kids are tantruming? When both kids are going crazy? When both are giving you attitude? You can’t send them both to their rooms or the time out stool… They’ll just play. You focus on one, and the other one runs away and doesn’t receive his discipline. I mean, there are just many different logistical problems with some parenting advice out there when it comes to twins! I hear ya Janna!

  4. Yes!! As a new mom of twins it’s very frustrating that most books only focus on single children, not multiples. Sometimes the advice is easy to apply to both kids at once, but it would be nice if there were more books that focused specifically on multiples, rather than just a paragraph or chapter!

  5. Janna, I am reviewing the CPHandbook tomorrow. Be sure to check it out – I actually praise it for covering/handling sibling issues! 😉

    Anyhow, you’re right though… not enough stuff for us. Maybe they think that if we’ve got more than one, it’s going to be so crazy we’re not going to discipline at all.

    1. ACK! I should have read your review before I used that book as an example! I had no idea it pertained so well – very cool!

      And I love your last line about discipline twins :)

  6. I think many parenting books would benefit how to apply their advice to siblings in general, not just multiples. There are definitely unique challenges to having multiples– for instance, starting time outs with twin toddlers– but having different ages has proven to be challenging! I have a 5-year old and 2.5-year old twin toddlers. It is hard to figure out schedules, discipline, and outings when planning for different age groups. Right now I’m potty training one of our toddlers. I have our 5-year old constantly trying to “help” with the potty training process (constantly asking our 2.5-year old if he has to go potty… like, right after I get them all to bed or have just settled them all in for lunch… very helpful! lol!) and I have our other 2.5-year old throwing fits when he isn’t getting treats (our potty training toddler’s reward system). Or when we go to the children’s museum and the toddlers want to play in an area geared towards their age while their older brother wants to go to the science area, an area too advanced for our toddlers to explore— and, of course, neither of these areas are near each other. I’ve found that many parenting sections geared toward siblings can easily be extended to parenting our twins, but that most parenting books sound like they are talking to parents of one child. For this reason, I really liked Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. She is a mother to three: a singleton and then twins. While I don’t ever feel I 100% love everything in any parenting book I’ve read, I really like a lot of her philosophies.

    1. Yes, exactly! My husband and I were amazed at how much Parenting with Love & Logic was geared toward only one child and wouldn’t even work with different age siblings.

    2. Thanks for the recommendation! I absolutely agree that most parenting books really focus on one child at a time and miss out on both the richness and challenges that more than one child in a family bring. I definitely learn a lot of practical pointers that help with parenting my twins from parents who have singletons of different ages. I certainly learn from parents of only children too, but there’s less similarity between the challenges we face.

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