I am looking for any stories or advice on how you raised or are raising your twins? Do you plan on separating them in school? Buying them different birthday/Christmas gifts? Signing them up for different sports? Do you keep them in separate bedrooms? Or is it okay for them to share everything?

I want my boys to be individuals and to each have their own interests, but is too much separation bad for them? How do/did you find a balance between helping them find their own interests but at the same time encouraging them to do different things?

asked 20 Oct '09, 19:12

Shannon%20B's gravatar image

Shannon B
accept rate: 9%

We've separated our twins in nursery (pre-school) and it's working very well so far. It should really depend on the children though.

We don't have enough rooms to give them separate bedrooms (they have an elder brother as well), although we're hoping to extend the house in the future so that by the time they're teenagers they can have a bit of privacy. Having them in the same room does make life somewhat trickier in terms of them chatting and playing up when they're meant to be asleep - but I'm sure they would be upset to be split up.

We usually buy them different birthday/Christmas presents, but along the same lines - two items from a range, if you see what I mean. They have very similar interests, and play with each other's toys a lot. They have very different personalities, however, and I expect that in a couple of years they'll be asking for different presents.

To be honest, I wouldn't worry about it too much in terms of difference/similarities: take your lead from your boys. (Are they identical or fraternal twins, by the way? Ours are fraternal.) If they want to play together and do similar things, it doesn't make sense to separate them - and likewise if they want to play apart in different ways, it wouldn't make sense to pressurise them to be together. I think it just comes naturally - and not uniformly, either. I'm sure they'll be similar in some ways and different in others.

At eight months, hopefully you're starting to get a bit more sleep - I remember the first six months only too well... It gets easier - or at least, the challenges change :)


answered 21 Oct '09, 07:28

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Jon Skeet
accept rate: 35%

They're fraternal as well.

(23 Oct '09, 04:31) Brian R. Bondy

We've got our girls (Kindergarten) in the same class and they were in preschool as well. We told the preschool teacher before they started that we'd like them to see them separate sometimes. She occasionally had them do separate activities, but that was only in the beginning. Soon enough, they spent time apart themselves. We repeated the desire to their Kindergarten teacher and she moved them to separate tables within a month. We were very worried about this issue but it turned out to be easily resolved.

They share everything: room, toys, even clothes. They're fine with it--we ask them periodically just to be sure. (In contrast, I don't remember the first six months at all: it's just a blur of severe fatigue.)


answered 21 Oct '09, 17:12

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accept rate: 21%

One of the things I've chosen to do with my fraternal twin girls is to hold off on revealing who is older. My thinking is that there is some benefit to one of them not being able to claim "older" status until being "older" isn't relevant. As far as I'm concerned, life starts at conception so the fact that one of them breathed air 2 minutes before the other one doesn't make her any older.

I have some identical twin friends that didn't find out who was older until their 21st birthday. I don't think it is a coincidence that they are the closest brothers I have ever met. It also made it fun for all their friends as we made bets about the outcome. Interestingly enough the one that acted older (by birth-order psychology standards) was in fact the older twin.

We have the advantage of thinking about this from before they were born so there's a limited set of people that know which one was born first. Once you tell a lot of people it's going to be hard to contain the information. Some people get annoyed with me because I won't tell them but I've just taken to telling them that neither one is any older than the other. I'm sure I'll eventually think it was a mistake to tell their older brother & sister - I'm not sure they'll keep the secret as long as I would.

As far as separating them - we don't. They sleep in the same room, share their clothes, often wear the same outfits. For gifts we get them different things unless they both request the same thing but already at 4.5 years they have distinctly different desires for presents. Once they are in school I don't think we'll make any extra effort to separate them - I suppose if the teacher asks we will probably tell her to separate them sometimes and keep them together other times. I doubt we would ever specifically seek to have them in separate classes.

I think it's perfectly ok for them to share everything as long as that's what they want to do. There was a movement back in the 60s to try to force twins to be independent by splitting them up in school and I think in the end they found out that it wasn't healthy for the twins. I personally know a twin that went through that in school and even now in her 50s, she feels like she was cheated out of her relationship with her brother.

As parents of twins I think we need to watch them for any over-dependence on each other and find ways to help them develop on their own. The same thing goes for singleton kids - if they are too dependent on us or on their siblings we should gently intervene and encourage other behavior.


answered 26 Nov '09, 02:54

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Steve Hiner
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Asked: 20 Oct '09, 19:12

Seen: 3,111 times

Last updated: 26 Nov '09, 02:54