Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Growing Pains of Being a Twin 

By Ann Stewart

Yesterday my twin boys graduated from preschool. I want you to know I am a very proud mother of my beautiful twin boys. I take comfort in believing that my children will always have each other even after their father and I have pasted on, but what are the growing pains of being twins. I am not a twin myself, but I have watched my twin boys grow and I think I am allowed to take a few guesses at what I call growing pains for multiple birth children. First people do not usually call them by name. They call them “the twins.” Like they are a inseparable person with the one name of “the twins” and one child is not known without the other. In other words they sometimes seem to have no separate identity. Another growing pain of a twin is always being compared to the standards of the other twin’s skills or learning abilities. Adults and parents are often so guilty of doing this to their children without thinking they are doing it to them. An example of this growing pain comparison would be saying something like “look your brother can do it, why don’t you try.” My families personal example of this is my son Carrigan became potty trained before my son Cameron and I think all the praise that Carrigan got for using the potty made his brother a little sad and jealous. So much so that Cameron felt the pressure to use the potty too, even though he didn’t want to. Peer pressure can be a powerful thing to children, and completive natures is high among siblings, especially twins. Although in many ways it can make children act in a positive way, I’m sure it hurts when your brother seems to be doing things faster and easier than you. Such as my son Cameron has learned how to count and say his alphabets and Carrigan is still struggling at trying to learn this. No child develops the same way. All children are different and parents or people cannot expect all their kids to learn at the same speed or level. I will say this though; I think the positive side of being a twin is you’re never alone. There’s always someone there for you, and even though kids may fight over toys or compete for parental attention or praise, the twins know they always have someone to play with. I think the positive side of having a twin, highly out weighs the negative side. It makes me wish I had a twin. For now I’m just glad to have twin boys, and boy am I proud of them. They are the most charming and handsome little men on the face of the planet.

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