Friday, July 4, 2008

A Slightly Aggressive Post

It's funny how one thing can lead to another. I was going to write about the fraternal twin boys at the day camp where we work. I was looking on the internet for papers and research on fraternal twin relationships.

I found an article, from one of those sites that accepts freelance work, talking about the bond between fraternal twins.

The article then references a woman by first name only, "who has a fraternal twin," who says that fraternal twins may be even closer than identicals [no problem there, each pair's relationship is different] because "they don't have to deal with the level of competitiveness or identity issues that identical twins might have" [big problem there].

I then spent a good hour on the internet looking up twin articles, twin research, twin anecdotes. What I found was a little disappointing.

Some people think competitiveness is greater in identicals because of their intense similarities and thus higher level of comparison. Some people think competitiveness is lesser in identicals because their extreme bond overcomes any jealousy. Everyone seems to think that twins, fraternals and identicals, are on the verge of hating each other if anyone compares them (at all) or they don't get exactly the same amount of attention (to the minute) or they are not treated solely as individuals (no "twins" here, folks).

I have known fraternals that have intense rivalry and just don't get along, and I have known fraternals that are extremely close. I have known identicals that don't wish to be considered a unit, and I have known identicals that fully embrace that as their identities.

What I have to say: Let your twins be themselves. If they have a rivalry or don't get along, then you should go with that and try to diffuse the situation. If they get along great, then be careful to respect their individuality but also respect them as part of a whole. Follow your twins' lead, not the advice of someone who doesn't even know your kids.

Side note: Personally, I am not offended (neither is Baby A) when someone asks who is better at what. It becomes both a chance to show off something the one is better at, while also pointing out something the other does well. Like "Baby A is a better test taker, but Baby B is much better at math conceptually." We have always answered like that, automatically. "I'm better at this, but she beats me at that." It's just the way we process it.

Baby B

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