Helping Twins Establish Their Own Identity

I have a pair of twins and am wondering how can I help them have their own identity?

parenting twins


MOLLY: We received this question from a reader whose twins are in different classrooms at school and often don't get invited to the same birthday parties. She also wondered if she should ask the parent if she can bring the other twin?

MOM: No, no, no, and no.

MOM: Twins have a very special relationship but as they grow up they need to separate off and feel that each is a whole person unto himself. I am a twin myself and have had a lot of experience with this.

There’s a special relationship between twins that often lasts a lifetime, but as you’re growing up, it’s very important to be in separate classes, to have separate friends. Generally twins feel like they have each others’ backs (unless there’s something really bad going on between them) but they need the separation so that when they leave for college, they go to separate colleges. They need to establish their own sense of identity and not always be known as  “one of the twins.”

MOLLY: How do you help them set their own identity?

MOM: You do it in a natural way. Twins often have different interests and you want to encourage that. They can often have very different groups of friends and you want to encourage that too.

MOLLY: Even if they are identical?

Read the rest of Dr. Rutherford's expert advice at Conversations With My


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