Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who is Your Baby? (Part 3)

As parents of two sets of twins, my husband and I learned early on that genetics (which some call “nature”) have a lot to do with personality!
One of our sets is fraternal (not identical) girls, and one of our sets is fraternal boys. I believe in my heart that we parented each twin in each set very much the same—they were nursed for the same period of time, had the same child care, the same toys and listened to the same music. They (obviously!) had the same mom and dad and grandparents (and for the boys, they had the same older twin girl siblings).

And, wow, our twins are each so different! In fact, there is one in each set that shares similar tendencies: one of our girls and one of our boys have always been “hams”—clamoring for the spotlight with hysterical ploys of goofy faces, silly dances and superb comedic timing. Each twin’s counterpart also shares similar tendencies—enjoying quiet independent play, with a more calm demeanor. I have to laugh thinking that through each pregnancy, one would always kick up a storm and the other I’d visualize was doing downward dog in my uterus!

It is a continuous parenting exercise for us to avoid “labeling” our twins and redirecting those asking “who is the quiet one and who is the active one”, as if every set must fit those boxes. We are amazed as the children grow to see some elements of personality stick, and some completely transform. We’ve also noticed that personality expresses itself differently depending on who is around, and where we are.

We learned that personality started from the beginning—and most definitely had genetic or nature roots. As time goes on, we see how external or environmental influences play into the development of personality. The way we raise our children and the personalities of those people our children are have an impact. There are several positive influences on a baby’s social and language development, such as:
  • animated facial expressions,
  • frequent communication,
  • and parental interaction.

One magical contributing factor to personality is through play! That’s where Sassy comes in. Here is a One Sassy Doctor Suggestion for putting the personality into play:

(This is the final post in a series on personality. Read Who is Your Baby? Part 1 and Who is Your Baby? Part 2.)