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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Family Matters - Dads Role in Raising Twins & Multiples
Family Matters - Dads Role in Raising Twins & Multiples
As the father of twins, triplets or more you have a special role in supporting your partner as you raise your children together. Here are some ways in which you can be actively involved in the lives of your dynamic duo or trio!

1. Support and respect the mother of your twins. triplets or more.
Giving birth to twins. triplets or more can take its toll and although things do get easier as time goes on, it's important to start off in the right way. By both mother and father showing respect for each other. children grow up in a secure. nurturing environment. Raising twins. triplets or more is hard work and can test any relationship to the limit. Romance and strengthen your relationship as a couple. keeping channels of communication open. Children learn from this openness and likewise gain respect for themselves and others.

2. Work together as a team. sharing equally in all child-rearing tasks.
As a father of multiples you will need to take an active role as caring for twins. triplets or more can be difficult and exhausting. Get up at night to help look after your twin babies or agree a schedule so that you both are able to get some sleep. Take an active role in supportive fathering if your partner is breastfeeding twins or triplets. Discuss with your partner concerns and issues you have about your children's health. safety and development. Realise that your partnership means a father's active involvement as well as mother's.

3. Spend time with your children.
Read to your children. with multiples this can mean one-on-one time with each child which they will value. Play with them. it really can be double the fun ! Attend your children's school events. plays or sports events. this can mean a careful juggling act between you and their mother if your children are in different classes. Participate in the school classroom(s) or assist with the occasional school outing. Have fun together doing chores around the home and let your children help out in his or her own way. Also. just spend some quiet time together. Children want your involvement in their lives and need you in order to help develop their own sense of confidence. Putting your children first may mean reprioritizing your life. The rewards are great and will last a lifetime for both you and your children.

4. Show love and affection toward your children.
Be committed to each of your children's emotional wellbeing. Encourage and teach each of your children to live a life of intimacy and integrity with respect for others. Reward your children's desirable behaviour and be prepared to offer guidance for less positive behaviour. Establishing boundaries. setting reasonable limits and disciplining in a fair manner might be necessary on occasion and with twins or more a consistent approach for each child is important. Children need to understand how their behaviour may affect others. This understanding is reflected in a secure. loving and caring relationship with you. When your children are toddlers is a time of much testing of parents patience and Toddler Taming can give you some great tips for handling your children's behaviour.

5. Protect your family.
Enjoy the physical maturation of your children and be aware of your children's immunisation records and visits to the family doctor or dentist. Your children's health is as much your responsibility as that of your children's mother. Keeping a twins or triplets schedule for will help you and your partner keep track in the early days too. You must childproof the home environment. this is particularly important when raising twins or more as this is where twins really can be "double trouble". Ensure items that may be potentially dangerous to the children are secured or removed completely. Teach "street smart" skills and how your children can learn to take care of him/herself if necessary. Educate your children to the world outside the home so that he/she is prepared.

6. Spend time together as a family.
In the early days. take a family stroll with the double buggy. it"s a great boost when passers by admire your twins. Share a meal together on a daily basis. As your children grow. listen to them and encourage them to talk about their day - this may be easier said than done with a gang of them but take the time to ask each child about their day. Provide them with support and advice as to how to cope with various situations they experienced. You may also want to consider visiting friends and relatives as a family. Go bowling. swimming. skating. fishing. etc. together. Attend a community event. Ask your children to help plan a family holiday and let them assist you in organising it. Help your children develop good judgment relative to the TV by letting them help or choose a video or TV show and watch it together. Ideas for family activities are numerous and help your children experience fun with a sense of warmth and security. These feelings will enrich your children"s lives as they grow.

7. Tell your story.
Your history. that of your parents and your own family. can be interesting to your children. Young children often feel the world began at his/her birth. By your reflections on your past. you provide your children with the intriguing sense of history and of past generations. You need not tell all the details of your history. but only those which leave your children with the feeling that you too were once a child and you grew up and became an involved father. Children and adults are fascinated by twins. triplets and more. There may be more twins in the extended family and children will love to hear their stories. There are many great books for children on twins and siblings can join in too.

8. Promote and encourage your place of work to be father-friendly.
Organise a father's day event with your colleagues such as a dad's picnic. Have photographs of your family displayed at work and take along pictures your children have made. If possible. promote a "bring your child/ren to work" day. Schedule time in your diary to be at home with your children doing homework. attending school or seeing a movie together. it"s nice for each child to have some special time alone with dad too. Educate your children to your work environment and tell them the importance of work for you. They will better understand when they see you are working for them and to meet the needs of your family.

9. Be an example.
Be a role model to your children by displaying good manners. honesty and self-discipline. Earn the right to be listened to by your children. Remember. your children are watching you and your interactions with others. Setting a nurturing example. you can promote a feeling of acceptance and respect in your own children.

10. Being an involved father is for life.
Your children will grow up and perhaps eventually will have children of their own. Your participation in their lives and those of their children is ongoing. Fatherhood is a lifelong commitment and your relationship with your children is forever.

And Remember Dads can do it !
Believe in yourself and your potential to be an active. caring father. Every child deserves a loving. involved father.

Most dads of multiples agree that it gets easier as twins grow up. "It gets better and it always changes." says Joe. father of twins. "So when you think it's bad. it gets better. The joy is watching them grow up."



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