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Should twins be seperated?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
***I'm not sure which forum this is best suited for... Parenting, childhood, education... I apologize if it needs to be moved***

Should twins be seperated when they go to school? Some friends of mine are having a discussion about seperating twins at school... one of my friends is a twin... she and her sister slept together as babies, in the same room as toddlers, and dressed similarly... then they were seperated into different classes at school so to "develop seperate personalities". She says it was so heartbreaking to her that she felt physically ill about it for years.

I've heard both sides of the argument... "such a strong attachment is like addiction and needs to be dealt with", "attachments are natural and need to be encouraged", "children will wean themselves from each other when they're ready", "it's unhealthy and they should be seperated before it gets worse", etc.

I'd like to hear some opinions from some here ~smiles~
post #2 of 17
My sisters were always put in separate classrooms, except at the private school we attended for a few years, which had multiple grades in one room so it wasn't an option--though they weren't seated next to each other at their cubicles.

But they were also treated as separate individuals at home and in the rest of their lives. Sure, there were photos w/ matching/coordinating outfits, but some of those included me as well. They were not dressed alike on a day-to-day basis.

Given their personalities now, if anything they would have benefited from more social separation at school because one tended to "leech" on the other in junior high/hs and didn't have as many friends she could call just her own--until she fell in with a bad crowd while they were going to diff high schools during my parent's divorce (one of them went to live w/ dad for a while).

They're close now, but also fight like cats if they're around each other two much. We joke about their relationship as being like a nuclear reaction: particles drawn to each other, until they get too close, then they repel each other. :LOL

Of course, that's just one family's experience. Academically they led independent lives and were treated as individuals, but still were/are very close in some ways healthy and some not. There was a set of twins in one of my college classes who were 19, with the same major and class schedule, rooming together at the dorm, and went to what were possibly great lengths to dress alike (as one was about 20lbs and several sizes heavier than the other). Their names differed by only a letter, etc., and it was obvious that they'd been raised/conditioned to be like that. They didn't seem unhappy, but then who knows? Look at the Olsen twins.

So...as a brutal transition at age 5 when prior to that they've always been together and treated alike, I'd say it's a bad idea. As part of generally treating MZ twins as individuals, probably a good idea in most cases.
post #3 of 17
I think it would depend on the children. Some would wilt if made to be seperate from their twin in school, especially in the early years when it is still new and frightening, others would flurish, depending on their personalities.

There were girls in our High School who dressed alike, they dressed themselves, and I'm sure they had similar classes together (they were a few years behind me, but small school). They were sports stars, well liked by everyone, were popular and all that stuff.

I think that I'd go slow, see how it went with them together at first and then see if they would benefit from seperate classes.
post #4 of 17
I would say that no, those kinds of generalizations should not be made.

When one says that all twins should be separated just because they are twins, they are still not respecting the uniqueness of the individuals involved.

Temperment, personality, interpersonal dynamics, ages, abilities, ect. can have so much impact. I think slapping a general policy (either of refusing to separate or demanding separation) is lazy and disrespectful.

So no, they shouldn't be separated. And they shouldn't not be separated. They should be respected as individuals, which means that each situation should be evaluated as it is--and if at all possible they should be given a chance to have a voice in the matter. And then the compromises begin.

That is what *should* happen, IMNSHO.
post #5 of 17

I finally got to use that smiley!! wooohooo!
post #6 of 17
Moved to Parenting Multiples...
post #7 of 17
Well I certainly don't think there's any one right way to do this... it really depends on the kids. I'm actually facing this decision this fall. My boys are currently in the same preschool class (they go one day a week) and they're fine together. They tend to play very independently of one another. So, in light of that, I will keep them in the same classes when they start school. I just keep hope that I'll know when they truly need to separate and that they just sort of go their own ways on their own time, together, if that makes sense.
post #8 of 17
Honestly, I'd hate to see my little guys separated at school. I think William would have a harder time with the separation than John. Recently, I had to take William to the doctor's and left John at daycare and William freaked out 'cause he wasn't with his brother. John on the other hand was hardly even phased by it. I think if both kids have strong personalities and want the change, that's fine, otherwise, I'd keep them together; at least through elementary school. By middle school they will most likely be separated simply because of the different classes they'd be going to. By high school it would be almost definite that they would not be together. I once taught twins and they were not separated until they were in 7th grade. They were ready for it and blossomed. They weren't ready for it before then, though.
post #9 of 17
we are going through this right now. my twins are 5 and will be starting kindergarten in august. I am very torn. they have only been together (in preschool an in sunday school). the only thing they do seperately right now is swim lessons (one is in beginner and one is in intermediate) - but I have one that can NOT be seperated and he even refuses to go to chilwatch (at the Y) uring his brother's swim lesson. the one time I tried he cried inconsolably the whole time (I didn't know till I picked him up) an then had nightmares all week and still talks about it weeks later.

the thing is I KNOW they would benefit from being seperate - mostly so they'd be seen as individuals - and evaluated as such.

post #10 of 17
Jumping in to add comments from my DH (a twin) He says (what's been said here...) is don't make a decision either way BECAUSE they're twins. Decide based on the individual kids and what's best for them.

flminivanmama- maybe you can find an understanding school that can transition them apart little by little? I worked in several montessori schools who could have done this, but it seems like lots of schools would be able to. Start them in the same class. Then have one "visit" another class- the first time maybe just or 10-15 minutes. Increasing the visits little by little until they're apart.

Good luck!

post #11 of 17
My girls are identical twins with very different personalities and learning styles. I have decided that they would do well either way, so when the time comes I will let them decide. I think that twins should be allowed to develop their own style early on and waiting until school to separate is too late. I do understand that it's hard to engage twins in different activities due to time, finical, and fairness issues but, well worth the effort.
post #12 of 17
I wish that was possible but it hasn't been in our family. my dh works from 9 am to 11 pm 5 or 6 days a week. we don't have the money and I don't have the abilty to take them to seperate activities.
post #13 of 17
My boys were in the same class through kindergarten & that worked out well for us. That transition to school was a scary one for them & having each other really gave them a lot of security. They started being in separate classes in 1st grade though (they're finishing up 4th right now). Actually being separate has been a very good thing for them. Academically their strengths are in very different things & there was a competition thing that started happening that was becoming a big problem for one of them. This way they have more freedom to develop their own strengths without comparing themselves or feeling like others are comparing them to each other. But again, this wasn't something that I would have liked to have done any earlier - by 1st grade they were comfortable with the school routine & ready to venture out. They still loved hanging together at recess though. Luckily the school they went to kg at was able to accommodate us because I know some principals/school districts around here have policies prohibiting siblings from being in the same class.
post #14 of 17
angela that's a good idea. the school we just registered at seems extrodinarily unerstanding. they said they will do whatever we want - even if we want to put them in seperate classes that are adjoining...

but I think we decided to keep them together this year - they both expressed pretty stongly that they do not want to be seperated.

perhaps in 1st grade.
post #15 of 17
I was adamant that I wanted my girls together (attachment/comfort) until I saw a special on MTV about identical twins. They had a set of college aged boys. One boy had a clear direction about what he wanted to do career wise and where he wanted to go to college. The other wasn't sure. When it came time to go off. The unsure bro stayed home and went to a local college while the other bro went off to his school of choice. By the end of the first semester, the other bro had dropped out and moved home because he couldn't cope with being away from his brother. He gave up his career dreams (very specific) because he couldn't see himself as an individual. Yikes! That freaked me out. I think if we do decide to use school we will ask that they be separated.
post #16 of 17
My boy/girl twins start preschool this fall and we've had to make the decision whether to separate them or not. After much thought, I decided yes, even though they are very much individuals and aren't over-reliant on each other or anything. My reasoning is pretty simple... no other children attend school with their siblings. They get their own attention, and get to have some time by themselves to grow and develop without the influence of their sibling all the time. I also think OTHER people do not always do such a great job at treating my twins as individuals, even though they're different sexes and look nothing alike! A twin thing, I guess. So I don't want some clueless teacher to assume that is dd wants to stay inside and do an art project instead of go outside that ds will too, etc.
post #17 of 17
I know I had already posted my boys will stay together in Kindergarten this fall but apparently I was wrong. When I asked them, after we went to register, they thought it would be the coolest to have different teachers so they'll be apart this fall! Who knew?! LOL
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