Parenting is challenging and adding multiples to the mix can be intimidating. When Sue Darrison had a set of twins she found the local mommy-n-me parenting classes lacking in valuable information for moms of multiples; so she created her own class specifically for multiples. Sue, acclaimed teacher at Babies First Class, feels that parents should always feel empowered and trust their own judgement, “I tell parents to trust their instincts,” Sue says.
With the guidance and mentorship of child development expert and Babies First Class owner Jackie Rosenberg, Sue has created a unique curriculum that focuses on a parent’s natural caregiving abilities, “They are the best judges of their babies needs and desires.” Coupled with her own experience as a mother of twins, Sue’s educational background began in South Africa, at the University of Witwatersrand where she received both her BA and Masters in Child Development. He training and personal experience together has helped her create a unique and useful resource for parents of multiples.
As the number of multiples births rises, Sue is even further committed to motivate parents to raise independent and well-rounded multiples, “Parents of multiples are rock stars,” she reflects, “It’s tough work- 24/7 surround sound.” She says the most challenging part of raising multiples is not comparing them against each other and allowing them to develop their own personalities, “I encourage parents to take their children out separately to form a strong parent-child bond.” She even suggests raising multiples with separate friends, signing them up in separate classes, camps, etc in order to develop individuality.
Parenting of multiples are constantly maintaining a balancing act; addressing all their children’s needs, educating and protecting them, while also being a fun and spontaneous parent. The reward is siblings that are in simpatico and a family that is cohesive and supportive of each other, “I do believe multiples read one another’s needs and one will hang back if they sense they need more attention from mom and dad.”
Being a part of a parenting group not only supports parenting, but gives moms a chance to develop life-long friendships with other moms in a ready made community of like minded parents.
The mounting challenges for parents these days can range from social networking to difficulties in school. To manage this, Sue suggests attending seminars, lots of cuddling and reading with your children, playing board games, family dinners and vacations and changing up their routine every now and again. Make their childhood enjoyable.
For Sue, whether or not you’re a parent of multiples, good parenting means that you’re respecting your children, opening the lines of communication early, staying informed about challenges kids face, such as cyber bullying and other media related issues, remaining calm, laughing and most importantly, cutting yourself some slack as a parent, “We all want to be the best moms- don’t stress over the small stuff.” That good advice for a mom who makes empowering parents her business.
The Art of Raising Multiples
By Andrea McPherson