Guest Author - Kris Bigalk
Halloween, like many holidays, involves different traditions and expectations for every family. As twins get older, certain issues can crop up and cause discord in what should be a fun experience. Here are some of the more common situations that parents of twins may run into, along with some suggestions for minimizing the problems.
One Twin Is Easily Scared, and the Other Isn't
Halloween is meant to be scary. People have talking scarecrows in their front yards; dry ice fog floats from behind cardboard tombstones. Most kids get a little thrill from being scared, but some kids, especially younger ones, can get very freaked out. If one twin is more sensitive, be sure to talk to him/her before going to an attraction or trick-or-treating, and let him/her know that you'll be there if something scary happens. Also speak to the other twin, and let him/her know that you expect him/her to be understanding about the other twin's feelings, and that it is not OK to scare his/her twin. Both twins need to know that they can count on one another to respect their feelings.
Trick-or-Treat, Take Your Turn
Maybe you're lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where you feel safe going door-to-door trick-or-treating, or maybe you take your kids to an organized trick-or-treat event at a mall or other facility. In either case, make sure to set ground rules in advance. Be sure to let the twins know that you expect them to get along and have fun. If one twin tends to dominate, make sure that the twins take turns approaching houses or vendors; otherwise, the shy one may feel eclipsed by his/her twin. If one twin is allergic to or doesn't care for certain kinds of candy, have the twins trade treats with one another at the end of the night, so both have some of the candy they like. By going over your expectations and rules in advance, you'll let your twins know what is expected of them, and are less likely to experience a twin meltdown.
One Twin is Invited to a Party – The Other Isn't
This situation is bound to occur eventually, whether it's a birthday party or a Halloween party. Another possible situation is that one twin is comfortable going to a haunted house or other scary party, and the other one doesn't want to go. In either case, most parents agree that it is best to let the child who was invited go to the party. As far as the other twin goes, a parent has several options. While one child is at the party, the parent and the other child could have a special outing or treat, such as seeing a movie, attending a sporting event, or just going out for ice cream. It's also important to talk one-on-one with the twin attending the party, to make sure that he/she doesn't gush on and on about the party and/ or taunt the other twin afterwards, to minimize hurt feelings.