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October 12, 2012

Do Twins Make Better Friends?

I had lots of concerns ahead of the girls starting preschool.  My main worry was how they would do apart from me.  A close second was how they would behave around other children.

For the first three and a half years of their life, the girls’ friends were my friends’ children.  We had play dates from time to time…at the park, at each other’s houses…but not really on a regular schedule.  And I have always been too much of a germophobe to sign up for any type of regular story time.

To top it off, all my mommy friends have twins.  So 99% of the same-age interaction the girls had was with other multiples.

Our girls have a certain dynamic between them.  They play really well together most of the time, but there seem to be “rules” in place.  The rules are unspoken, at least to me, but B is apt to sit back and let A have her pick of toys.  A knows how far she can push B, only to a point. 

The girls are not always playing together, but each is always, always aware of the other.  They share everything…like it or not.  There’s very little sense of personal ownership of their things, and very little sense of personal space.  To an outsider, it might even look like the girls have very little respect for each other, at least in the course of some of their play.

I’m assuming it’s a similar story with other multiples.  And I’m pretty sure this is not the case with singleton children, even those with different-age siblings.

I worried how the girls would adjust to being around a different group of children…if they would assume that their “rules” made sense for everyone.

I haven’t gotten much formal feedback from the girls’ teachers yet, but I have had a handful of hallway conversations.  Every time, the teachers stress how “pleasant” the girls are…how well they play with other children…what good friends they are to each of their classmates.

This is music to my ears, as I’m sure it would be to any parent’s…but even more so because this is not really what I would have expected.

Maybe I was giving the girls too little credit, though.  Maybe the idea of sharing everything since they were born (actually, before!) has made the girls more amicable.  Maybe they are almost innately conciliatory, at least on some level.

I wouldn’t have guessed these things…especially thinking about the wrestling matches and hair pulling that occasionally ensue at our house…but I’m thankful for yet another amazing benefit of this incredible dynamic of twinship.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

What a pleasure to hear such lovely words!

I hope there's a benefit to always being together. My two also seem to know their boundaries with each other. Connor gets his way a lot of the time but there are things Kendra NEVER gives in to, like stickers (!) and anything to do with writing!

My kids think all babies come as 2s so I had to tell them we get triplets, singletons and the other day I told them quads but they still default to "these are my twins, Mummy" :)

Olusola said...

I don't think all twins are amicable but most are. I suspect a lot of their ability to get on with their peers is also due to how you've guided them to share with each other and created standards of behaviour. Without that, twins can easily become terrors. (Seen it)

Mandy said...

That is something I absolutely love about having twins. They have constant interaction, occupy each other, and develop boundaries. It took our Dr pointing this out to me when I was pestering her about their social development. Sharing is a foreign concept to singletons, just as 'mine' doesn't really exist in our house.

Those wrestling matches and hair pulling are all part of sisterhood, a completely different ballgame!

Barbara Manatee said...

So nice to hear good things about your kiddos from others!

With J&S split into different classes this year, I was very anxious to hear about new friends. They have both made friends easily! They still find each otehr at lunch and recess but their 2 new friends also happen to be good friends -so they are all happy in their little group of 4! :-)

Trying to catch up this evening! Life has not allowed much time for blogging...but i'm still here!

Mrs FF said...

I think they do and for the long haul. However, parenting style is also key. I've found that many cases of sibling rivalry boils down to parents favouring one child over the other and vice-versa