Sunday, April 24, 2011

Womb twin kids: (1) Should I tell my child about their twin?

If you are a parent and  you were for a short while expecting  twins, but one twin died during the pregnancy - or was born dead- then should you tell your child? This is how the debate may go:

  •  But is it necessarily something your child needs to know ? 
  • The whole idea of pregnancy loss may just be too much for a child to understand.  
  • As a young child there is no need to tell her. 
  • It would be confusing and do much more harm than good.  
  • You certainly don't want your child to feel guilty about being the survivor. 
  • And you certainly don't want your child to feel remorse or mourning. 
  • I don't want to create a sense of loss that otherwise wouldn't exist.
  •  Telling your young womb twin survivor may be a way for you to preserve the baby's memory and make him/her part of the family in a more concrete way. It may be a way to let your other children know there was another baby. 
  •  Maybe if it was a logical time (i.e. perhaps if your womb twin kid is a girl and one day she may be pregnant with her own child.
  •  Tell a girl at the stage of having children herself, depending on see how emotionally stable she is at the time. I would hate her to grow up feeling that a part of her was missing. 
  •  Your child might overhear or sense it and get it twisted up, best to tell the truth, straight out. 
  •  Twins might run in your family. What if your son has a twin one day? Would you then want to say "Well, that's not too surprising as you were supposed to be a twin." 
  •  Waiting until the baby is a teenager risks it being a big deal. Telling it to the kid early on (in terms he / she can understand and then explaining in more adult terms when he is old enough to comprehend) almost guarantees it will never be a big deal or a problem. 
  • Be sure you know exactly what your want your child to take away from this information, and what you don't.
What do you think?

Learn more about the Womb Twin Kids project  here:

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