Parenting Twins: Personalities & Behaviors

The mother of boy-and-girl twins and author of Twinspiration: Real-Life Advice from Pregnancy through the First Year, answers questions about her twins' personalities and behaviors.

Twin Intelligence and Favoritism

Q. Is one twin smarter than the other?

Laughing Boys and Girls Laying on Floor

A. Of all the questions we're asked, this is the only one that really does provoke me. Largely because it is asked in the twins' presence! Sadly, many adults seem to think that if a child cannot speak, they cannot understand. My method of subtly "enlightening" the asker (without resorting to overt condemnation) is to physically bring the twins into the conversation. Lovingly rubbing both heads, I tend to respond, "I'll bet if you ask Darren, he'll say he is. No doubt Sarah thinks she is. Personally, I think they are both very smart."

The questions behind the question: "Twins aren't completely alike, are they?" and "How will you deal with the varied skills between them?"

Q. Do you find yourself "favoring" one over the other?

A. Again, this is a rather horrifying question to be asked in your twins' presence. Usually I have used these occasions to clearly delineate that there are certainly behaviors I favor, but both twins are loved equally.

As a mom, sometimes you may need to remind yourself that when you feel particularly frustrated with one twin for behavioral reasons, it is not that you favor his/her sibling. When you are exasperated and exhausted, remember to separate the act from the actor. Don't guilt yourself into believing you "favor" one of your twins.

The questions behind the question: "Maternally, is it worse to compare twins than other siblings?" Some "comparison" is inevitable; but so is a mother's love for her children; whether born within minutes, months, or years of each other.

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