Guys: Big news! I just published my first children’s book entitled The Only Me, about a set of 7-year-old fraternal twins named Stella and Paige — and Stella’s quest to be seen as her own person. (You can see me talking about the book here.)
Stella and Paige are very different, yet are always being compared and contrasted by almost everyone around them. This impacts Stella greatly; she begins to feel frustrated and insecure – like she doesn’t measure up to her sister, Paige. Yes, they are twins, but they are not the same person.
Stella wishes people would see her for who she is, and not just as “Stella and Paige,” or as “one of the twins.” The Only Me follows Stella along her journey as she begins to recognize her own amazing strengths, and despite what others may say, learns to embrace and value herself as the unique individual she is.
As parents (of multiples, but perhaps of singletons, too!), I’m sure many of you can appreciate the message in this book – and I’m also sure you can relate to why I was inspired to write it:
From the time my now 6-year-old fraternal twins were born, people often referred to them as “the twins” rather than by their individual names – as if they weren’t whole without the other. Soon, being “the twins,” as opposed to Mila and Grace, became their entire identity. This, compounded by people constantly comparing them to one another (both physically and mentally), led them to feel frustrated, unseen, confused about their own identity, and inferior to one another.
The Only Me started out as a book just about twins – in fact, it was originally titled The Twins Who Were Different – but in an article I wrote last year for Lucie’s List about the importance of treating siblings like their own people, I realized the message of the book (embracing differences; honoring our strengths; loving and being proud of ourselves for who we are) applied to all children, not just multiples.
While researching that article, I learned that, even though they tend to look alike and share similar cognitive abilities, siblings actually aren’t much more similar than any two strangers in the world. Whhhaaa?! That blew my mind and gave me even more of an incentive to write the book. I also learned that when we treat our kids like individuals, we show them how much we honor and respect them for exactly who they are. In turn, this helps boost their self-confidence and sense of identity.
I mean, wow, right?! What an incredible opportunity and responsibility we have as caregivers — to help grow and shape our children’s sense of value and self-esteem!
The Only Me is a reminder to all of us that treating each of our children as the unique people they are, and praising their individual pursuits and personalities, goes a long way in helping them feel respected, loved and secure. And again, although this book is meant for everyone, I wrote it with twins in mind – whether fraternal or identical – who, naturally, are often lumped together and viewed as one unit, as mine often are.
I hope you’ll read the book with your children and let me know if and how it resonates. I’d also love for you to share with me some of the ways in which your multiples are similar and different. And, with your permission, I’d love to share your experiences in an upcoming article about the topic. Feel free to email me at [email protected].
Thanks so much, everyone! Cheers to you and your multiples.