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Emotionally Healthy Twins Blog » Ask Dr. Joan: Twins Pre-School Predicaments
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“One of the twins has always been the leader and has bossed his brother since early on. I have enrolled them in a preschool and this is their 4th week. The boys seem to block out the teacher and do not want to follow rules. They will not make eye contact. The biggest issue today is M pushed another child and stomped on the teacher’s foot. M doesn’t seem to want to sit at circle time and one day this week he got up and pulled pictures off of the wall. His brother T then followed him doing the same thing. So in a nut shell they are disruptive to an existing class.”

I recently received this email from a mom feeling distraught about this situation with her twin boys. She read what I wrote about “too much togetherness” in my book and concurred that this is truly what has happened. I can’t tell you how many times I have encountered this issue with preschool age twins. The twin dynamic that has characterized the twin pair can become a problem within the contextualized social world of preschool. If this pattern of one twin controlling the other and the other twin imitating and accommodating to this pattern, entry into a preschool class with other children will only exaggerate the difficulties. Hoping or believing that the presence of other children will help to minimize this dynamic is often wishful thinking. In fact, often times the opposite occurs – there is a resurgence of the dynamic in spades as both twins are threatened and uncomfortable by the socialization demands to which they are unaccustomed.

Don’t deceive yourselves – there is no magical solution. What it takes is dedication to the principle of separate experiences with the hope that given ample time the twins can adjust to being in separate classes so that the strength of the twin bond is reduced, thereby giving each child the opportunity to be acting on his own behalf rather than feeling like half of a pair.



1 Comment

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I have twin girls they are 5 years old recently only i noticed the younger one controlling her sister, she wants her to color pictures according to her choice, plays the teacher while her sister has to be the student and once the teacher told me the eldest droped her colors on the floor the younger scolded her.
I have not interfered till now in fear i will do more damage > can u please help me. I am happy that the younger has a leadership quality but I fear it will effect the personality of the older. Although from when they were young I dont let them dress the same or force them to do the same things or eat the same food sjust because their twins , Ihave been trying to avoid this manner>
Thanks

Comment by shama on October 25th, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

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