Declaration of TWINdependence

Self, Family

Identical twins bring a unique set of challenges and amusement to the family dynamic.

Thirty-three years after my identical twin girls were born, I hold these truths to be self-evident...

    No matter how hard you try to make them into individuals, the magnetic pull of twin-ism is always stronger than parent-ism. When my twin girls met each other at a spa weekend for their 25th birthday, one traveled east from NC, the other traveled west from AR and they met within only ten minutes of each other at the spa in Nashville, despite leaving at different times and encountering different traffic snags.  LESSON: Don't fight their urge to come together; you'll lose every time!

    There will always be one dominant twin and one submissive twin, although the relationship may reverse occasionally.  That's why I sent the submissive twin on an outward bound camping trip when she was twelve.  To this day, she says it's the best thing I ever did to foster her independence. LESSON: Make sure each twin gets the opportunity to express her individualism so she doesn't end up following the wrong influence in high school and beyond.

    In a family with three children, the twins will always form a united front against the third child, or their parents, or their grandparents. Like I said, it's a strong bond!  LESSON: Form your own parental united front by agreeing on forms of discipline and permissions.  If they can divide and conquer, they will!

    When they're younger, identical twins usually don't like to do anything the same - dress the same, have the same hair, etc. so their friends can tell them apart.  However, when they get older, they may unintentionally do things in an identical manner.  For example, when one visited the other for the first time in her new home, they discovered that they had purchased the exact same sofa in the exact same fabric from two different furniture chains in two different states.  What are the chances of that happening? LESSON: Sit back and watch the performance; twin antics can be very amusing sometimes!

    They will always watch each others backs.  My twins have been know to swap a license when stopped for speeding, swap a college ID to take a test a second time, and swap clothing to fool a variety of unsuspecting friends.  LESSON: Keep a close eye on possible illicit behavior and help them learn to do the right thing despite the temptation to do otherwise.

    Watching identical twins grow and mature into responsible adults has been an interesting voyage of love and amazement!  I am so glad I was blessed with identical twin girls and an older child who paved the way for them.  

     If you have questions on parenting twins, go to my "Ask Grandma" forum:




This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.