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The Choice I Never Thought I'd Make

The Choice I Never Thought I'd Make

The Choice I Never Thought I'd Make


The mere definition of twins implies togetherness, unity, closeness.  And society loves to love Twins — Double Your Fun, Two Peas In A Pod, Two for the Price of One.

Consider this:  If you are with someone from the moment of conception, it's hard to imagine not being with that person.  My boy-girl twins will always be together, I thought as I patted my belly during my pregnancy.  They will always have each other — an instant best friend, buddy, advocate and of course, class-mate.  Times Two.

Or so I thought...

When my twins were tiny and far, far away from school age, I clipped an article from The New York Times about separating twins in school. To be honest, I turned my nose down at the article. Those twins might be separated, but not my J and M.  I had proof to back this up:  the moms in my Twins Group kept their children in the classroom and they did activities as a pair. These children were happy and well-adjusted and they seemed to feel safer in new situations. I was proud of this twin perk and felt like it was a real gift.



When my twins started struggling in their same pre-K class, I never even thought about splitting them up until their wise, incredible teacher Miss Peggy set up a meeting with me to talk about Kindergarten. I resisted, and I relied on the twin moms who felt the same way I did to back up my case.

So, you can imagine their collective surprise when one month before the summer, I switched sides. Of course, I met with tons of resistance, a few snide remarks, and disbelief from a few family members. I dug deep though and found a calm place and then explained to everyone who asked, Why would you ever split up twins?, that though I had felt the same way, in the end our decision as parents was to do the very best thing for our two children. 

Eventually, the flurry of questions and comments subsided and I've never looked back. Placing our two very different twins in their own classrooms has yielded so much. I still feel surprised by this decision, but I know now that sometime the toughest decisions are the best ones. And, that all those articles I clip and save will come in handy one day!

Image Source: Laura Rossi

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

ShelleyHutton ShelleyHutton 4 years
We separated our identical twin boys the second year they were in creche at age 2 1/2. a decision that many found strange but which we knew was the right decsion for them. At school they were able to 'break the mould" of being a 'unit' and their unique strengths and personalities have flourished. They are welcome to play together and often do but each have their 'own' teacher who understands 'their' twin's strengths and weaknesses and they ar not compared to one another in the classroom environment either. While being a twin is special, I think its also stressful and now at age 5 I can see how being their own person has become so important to my boys. Now, when they enter a more formal schooling environment, it will be a lot easier for them to adapt, and in a bigger pool of children they will have even more freedom to develop their own sense of self.
KathleenMcNeil85747 KathleenMcNeil85747 5 years
Thanks so much for posting this. As in all parenting endeavors, you know you child/children best! My identical twin and I were separated in school due school policy. It was very difficult for us, and I campaigned hard to have the rule changed when I became an adult (and yay it was)! As much as people like "their twins," I think our society has a strong bias favoring independence over interdependence so twins are put under a lot of pressure to pretend that they are more individual than they really might be. (Of course many are, and happy to prove it at any chance :) ). I think the important thing is to have a choice and respect that for twins seperating is a huge milestone. It might be really stressful or freeing depending on the pair. Forced separation when one is already making the huge adjustment to kindergarten seems a bit cruel. I am just so happy that most parents of twins now have the freedom to ponder such decisions.
ElizabethHare17868 ElizabethHare17868 5 years
I am a twin and teachers found it much better to have my brother and I in the same classroom because my brother behaved better when I was around! The teachers found out big time what it was like to have him in another class when we were forced into all girls and all boys classes for Grade Eight! That was the last time we were separated at school, except for differences in class preferences!
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