Twins not both invited to b-day parties.

Sara - posted on 07/03/2011 ( 36 moms have responded )

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My twins are 7 and 1/2. They've been invited to birthday parties before but always both of them. Or if just one was invited it didn't work out because of our plans, so we've never had to deal with this issue before. Today Zoey is going to her first birthday party without her sister. Ayelleah is struggling with this. She doesn't understand why she can't go. I feel awkward asking the mom (who knows they're twins) if Ayelleah can go, so I didn't.

How do other moms of twins handle this? Do you ask if the twin can go? Or do you just let the one go and try to explain it. I've explained that since they're in different classes with different friends they're not always both going to get invited. I assured her that her time would come when she would be invited and Zoey wouldn't. But that doesn't ease the problem today.

I figured that I would take her to the mall and let her pick out some candy and have a good time.

What do you guys think?

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Andrea - posted on 07/08/2011

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I would also add that when my kids are old enough and have the conscious need and request a separate birthday party (when they have different friends), I will happily have 2 different parties. We will decide who will have it first or on the right day and who will have it on another weekend, and they will alternate each year so they both can be first. We already sing the birthday song twice, once for each child and each year we alternate who gets the song first. I use the "who came out first and second" to assign number 1 and 2, or even and odd years and they like this. They already understand that they have to take turns to be fair and they can see we try our best to accommodate individuality. It goes both ways. You wouldn't want to invite kids that both don't know, unless you have a party in your own house. Here very few people have parties at home (we are one of the few), so it is easy to be separated in an outside location.

[deleted account]

My daughters are not at that stage yet but I TOTALLY agree with how you handled this one. Giving Ayelleah something special was definitely a good move. I have thought about what I would do and I would let my daughter pick something special to do that day instead as well. I also think it was good you didn't try to talk to the mother. As hard as it is for both girls (and mom of course!) it is actually a good sign that the word does not see them and treat them like they are "joined at the hip". They are individuals and this is one tough reminder of that. I just hope when it is my turn I have someone to remind me of this because I know it won't be easy!

Andrea - posted on 07/08/2011

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I don't think they need to be invited together when they are in separate classes and have separate friends. It's just a logical consequence of being separated in school. It's as if we wanted people to invite our children who are in different classes in the same school and people know they have a sibling. Well no. They just happen to have the same birth day, other than that they are individuals. I think you said the right thing to her and explained well, it is her prerogative to be upset but she won't be when it is her turn to go to a party and her sister isn't invited. Instead of buying her candy, take her to a special place like an indoor gym for kids or organize a play date or a party for her at the same time the birthday party is going on, and call that some fun name and make it so she won't have a reason to miss the birthday party. She will love to have her own friends over and it is a great opportunity for individual time where she can get what she wants without having to share with her sister. Have someone home to help so you can go pick up the other girl.



I am a twin and we had different friends. We didn't even like each other's friends but we were older. I also worked with an identical twin. When I met her sister on the street it was a weird feeling that she didn't know me. It felt like she should have. So no, just because people know they are twins, they don't need to be treated the same because they might not even know the kids at the party. And a birthday party isn't a baby sitting service to expect people to watch your kids so you can have a break.

Serree - posted on 07/08/2011

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Just make it a special mommy and daughter day, and make it as fun as possible.

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Judy - posted on 09/27/2012

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I think it is perfectly fine in preschool and early years to call the mom and inform them of the twin situation. I have only had to do that 1 time because the parent wasn't aware of my daughter's twin sister. The Mom appeciated my call and actually had lots of questions that she had been thinking about. I made a friend! Through the elementary years it never happened again. I am glad now that I set the standard with their friends and my girls, because now my girls are 12 and and it is harder. I completely disagree with everyone who thinks it is ok to not invite a twin to a pre-teen party. Most people don't think about the impact that has on a girl, let alone one with another girl in her house/bedroom. My girls don't have classes together and don't sit together at lunch, but they both sit at a huge table with the same 20 girls. Twice half of the girls were invited to a party and one of my twins was not. This put her in a situation of having to answer to everyone "why were you not invited when your twin sister was?" It also put one twin at odds with the other (rather than defending her). Facing teen age years is hard enough to have to answer such a question. Friends come and go through life, but your sister will always be your sister. Don't EVER put families in the position of having to choose between a friend and a sister (let alone a twin). In time, everyone will figure out that temporary friends/parties are not as important as family. (PS We usually have plans as a family whenever one girls is invited and the other is not). --Save the independent time with individual friends for special outings, projects and sports, where their real interests are different. Of course they are individuals and will always have lives of their own--let's just HELP them through the tough social situations!!!!!!!!

Lisa - posted on 08/05/2011

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Hi Sara ... my twin boys are now 19 yrs old. There were many times when one was invited to a birthday party and not the other. Because both my boys had such different personalities they made different friends as they got older. They were in Kindergarten together and then seperated until grade 5 due to class sizes. They went to the same High School for Grade 8 and then I had to send one to a different High School because they were so adament about being individuals. Don't be upset because one was invited and the other was ... it is all a part of life. Yes, it is difficult for the other to understand, but you did the right thing by spending one on one with the other. As they get older many things will change and each child will need to understand why those changes are happening. No matter what, your girls will always be BEST friends, no matter how different they may be with one another or how many invites one gets, etc. They will ALWAYS be there for one another. Great Job on how you handled the situation ... you hit the bullseye!!!!

Anna - posted on 08/03/2011

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i think it is wrong not to let one go because the other was not invited. They are individuals and have different friends. as stated by others make a special time of and do somthing the un-invited twin likes to do, or even invite a friend over.

I know in some peoples minds the twinness is important but if it was any other sibling would you be asking or doing this??

Molly - posted on 07/29/2011

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I have twins 8 next month and they should not always both be invited . yes they are twins but they are also individuals and should be making friends and experiencing life without the other sometimes. When one twin goes I always take that opportunity to have 1:1 time with the other

Sara - posted on 07/28/2011

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Anyone who knows me and my kids knows my kids are COMPLETELY different. We definitely encourage this. My issue was simply because as they go to SUCH a small school both girls are friends with the girl who just invited Zoey. So she didn't understand. We did work through it. We went to the mall with my other girls and just made it a fun time. But I didn't tell her it was because Zoey got invited and she didn't. I treat them completely as individuals because they are. I think I took a little advice from a couple different people and it worked out great. I hope it gets easier and I think it will with the way we handled it. :)

Thanks all.

Tracey - posted on 07/28/2011

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As a parent of 16 identical twins who have been seperated since JK I must say although they are twins they are still very individual and need to be treated as individuals there bond is like no other and seperating them in school allowed them to branch out and not depend on one and other for everything it allowed my more shy twin too be more out going and not luve in his brother's shadow they hang out all the time and have friends they share and friends they don't and that is ok and yes one twin has gone to a party and the other hasn't and they survived and have each other's backs come thiick or thin so I guess it is just a matter of opinion

[deleted account]

Forgot to mention, my boys are 6 and they have been in the same class in preschool-K. We are now going into public school, and they will not be in the same class also. It is a shame that schools force twins to be separated. It should be the parents choice, unless they are not learning in that specific environment.

Christiana - posted on 07/15/2011

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My boys are also in different classes and do get invited separtely to parties. The hard part is when one is invited when the kids is in his brothers classes, and not the other. But when one goes to a party we have made it a day out for the other doing things that he loves.

[deleted account]

You really need to use this as a teaching experience. They are twins, but they are two different people. It is unhealthy for them to think all we be equal in life. And, I don't think it is necessary for Ayelleah to get candy or other treats just because she was not invited. This is not how life works. And they will need to learn that. The earlier the better. Treating twins as individuals is the best gift we can give them as parents. I noticed you posted this last week. What did you decide?

Angela - posted on 07/10/2011

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I had to think this through before it even happened, one of my twins is mentally challanged. So I figured that he would be the one not being invited. We've actually had it happen both ways. I sit down and explain that the invite was from that child's friend, and it's okay to not go to that party. We tend to not make a big deal about it, and even though the parents have offered to have both, I strongly suggest that they don't because I feel it's a good learning experience for both. They're two different kids and not everybody is going to be friends with B just because they're sister/brother to A. As for going to get candy? Make it something that doesn't have to do with food. Have a special movie or 'girl' time, something that you know only she likes. Good luck.

Susan - posted on 07/10/2011

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I have 14 year old twins and 7 year old twins and I can tell you, it doesn't get easier. When my oldest set were younger...I thought it was so rude of people not to invite them both. However, people that don't have twins really just don't understand....they just see the other twin as a sibling.

Andrea - posted on 07/09/2011

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We would have done the same as Denise at 4 y.o. We always asked anyway if we could stay at the party to help out because my kids were too much for anyone else. If they had been invited alone and the other could not go, we would have declined with regrets and not go. It really depends on how old they are. Once they are school age though, they are ready to go to parties. They learn in school what's fair or not.

It doesn't mean we are ignoring the special bond. Rather it means that twins are always locked up together whether they like it or not because they are the same age. They go to the same activities and they almost never have any time for themselves. Unless we make sure they do. Even adults would not want to be in the same room with their partners 24/7. Moms go to the gym or the hairdresser or shopping, dads go see a movie with their friends or work in an office or whatever. Twins don't have a choice.

When they have the same interest, like my kids play piano, they both picked their own teachers. It keeps us busier but not more than if we had 2 kids at different ages. A toddler would go to different activities than a school year old child who plays soccer for example. There are ways to give them individual time. Doing this once in the blue moon doesn't mean we force treat them as siblings into separate interests, even though they are siblings. We encourage it in the chance that they actually would find the experience rewarding.
They have plenty of opportunities to be a team outside of these odd special times.

Denise - posted on 07/09/2011

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My twins are just 4 and this has happened since they are in different classes at school. Some parents don't even know they are twins because they just invite everyone in the class if they know them or not. I always ask the parent if the other can join (unless it is single gender, my twins are boy & girl). Some may think this is rude but my children are too young to be left at a party, I need to be there. If my husband is working there is no one to watch the left out twin. All parents have said yes so far, it was not a problem. If a parent told me it was not ok, then we would not go, with no hard feelings. Twins are different than having siblings of different ages. Non-twin moms don't always know that, but I've found most are willing to accommodate.

Cheryl - posted on 07/09/2011

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"looking out for one another, being a team and enjoying the uniqueness of their blessing" That's the good stuff, and we do try to encourage that. But fostering independence is not denying the bond, I see it as developing life skills.

"what if they do like the same things and the same friends ... why is that so bad?... " In our case, that was so bad because one based what she wanted solely on what the other one had - whether that was toys, friends or attention - as a result she spent her days crying about wanting what the other had. Not even thinking for herself whether or not she actually wanted it! It was extremely unhealthy twin-dependence. That was when *we* chose to put them in separate classes - the difference was immediate and profound. They are entering 5th grade now and have not been in the same class since pre-K. But that was our choice as parents, and I also have a pet peeve with the schools enforcing separation. It should be the parents' decision.

Nete - posted on 07/08/2011

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I think Andrea has a key in : ''old enough and have the conscious need and request''.... just be careful the one left behind don't feel like he- she is the ''one kid singled out on the playground not asked to join the fun'' I think you solved it great, by taking her to the mall and getting a one on one day out of it!!.. but I do disagree denying the existence of the bond between twins and down playing them as just siblings ...but I guess it depends on what they are tough in their everyday experiences... I have a huge pet peeve with the schools enforcing separation so maybe I better hold my tongue :o) ... being different and individual interest should come natural in my opinion but I guess w b-g twins maybe it just does .... point being I think it has gone over kill to push different interest ..what if they do like the same things and the same friends ... why is that so bad?... looking out for one another, being a team and enjoying the uniqueness of their blessing is the focus in our house and you know,.. seeing them walking down the stairs holding hands, helping each other, or bring each other blankets etc. etc. completely unprompted ....is just so much better than fighting ...

Andrea - posted on 07/08/2011

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My girls r 6 and I specifically requested that they be seperated for this very reason. We ran into this alot during the school year this year and I just planned a special activity for me and the other one to do together, Perfect oppurtunity for some one on one time!!! They werent sure at first but in the end it worked out really really good. Its tough being the mom of twins but these situations make it harder but in the long run they will develope independence and there own social activities that dont always have to include the "other."

Sara - posted on 07/08/2011

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Thanks for all the helpful comments. I ended up taking her to the mall, which she loves, and just hanging out with her. She had a good time and seemed ok in the end with missing the party. I'm all for them being separate people. And thought it was a good learning experience for all of us. I think part of the reason it was harder was because the school the girls go to is VERY small. So realistically all the kids in the grades play with each other regardless of classes. In pre-school to 8th grade our school only has about 300 students.

I'm glad they are in separate classes, they are VERY different people. We've just never had to deal with one and not the other before. I think with your guys help I made a good choice and we will be able to move on from here in a great way.

@Andrea, GREAT idea. I've never thought to do that with the girls. I think we'll be making some new traditions in regards to their birthday parties!

Thank you all so much for your help.

Cheryl - posted on 07/08/2011

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I always invited S's classmates to S's party and H's classmates to H's party - even though it was the same party - so the parents wouldn't have to buy 2 gifts. I wondered what would happen when one got invited to a party and the other didn't, but all the parents knew us and bought 2 presents anyway and invited both (or neither) to their parties. The issue hit us hard though when it came to sleepovers. S would try to invite herself to H's sleepovers, and vice versa. I am firmly against this though, they are different people with different friends and they need to respect each other.

Lyndsey - posted on 07/08/2011

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Twins are just two siblings that are born on the same day if you have agreed for them to be separated in school then you are doing the best to help their individuality and they can always look out for each other on the play ground as for the party invite when my son was 8 we asked him who HE wanted to come to his party as by now they will have made friendships and know who they like and get along with and who their sibling was wether it was a twin was neither here or there as it is his party and partys are expensive enough with out adding siblings in to the equation they have to learn at some point that they will not be together 24/7 for the rest of they're lives they could be in separate sets at school and choose different subjects at college let alone jobs. but i do agree with treating the other child whilst the party is going on then she wont feel left out.
i have twin boys and have 6 freinds with twins at varying ages and for those that think they should be together at all time make things very akward for themselves and can mean that the children end up missing out.

Heather - posted on 07/08/2011

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I'm sorry, but if your twins are in separate classes it is not rude to invite one twin and not the other. Most public schools insist that if you are going to pass out invitations as school that you invite the entire class. Neither of your children might be close with this child, and your second daughter might not even know her. This is just part of putting them in separate classes. When you want them to be individuals, part of that is having individual friends who all have individual birthday parties. I would check to see what kind of a party it is before you make any big decisions. Sometimes people have parties for the whole family and you are expected to stay (which would involve bringing any other children you have regardless of age).

Tally - posted on 07/08/2011

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Amazing how some people can make life just a little more difficult. Hmmm wow! If she knows they are twins she should've invited both. We love are kids but we all know we need a break; so doesn't make much sense to be free of one & have the other. An 'up' side to all of this is that this is your chance to start treating them as individuals (if u haven't started already). This shows them that they don't have to do everything together just because they're twins. Personally, if it were me, I would not ask the parent if my other child could come.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nadiyah - posted on 07/08/2011

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I didn't like my twins separated because I taught them to look out for one another. I explained my position to the principal of their school and now they are allowed not to have separate classes. So far I have not had be in that position. I also think it is rude and insesitive not to invite both twins. I probably would not allow either to go until they are comfortable with doing things separately.

Nete - posted on 07/08/2011

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Not inviting both twins is rude ...however this is just the manifestation of the school system forcing separation of twins over their heads. I'm sure in the parent who did the inviting's view,...is just thinking ...''well I can't invite every sibling of our child friends'' ...so same rule for you twins as for everyone else.... however ''pretending'' your twins are just siblings and enforcing separation by school and by classes ...do not make it so. Being twins should be celebrated not separated .... sorry Ayelleah has to pay up for the systems ignorance .... I would keep both twins home

Karissa - posted on 07/03/2011

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Oh how awkward! You poor thing!
I would go with your gut instinct you know your kids best and what you have already said sounds great. Then you need to grab her attention and play playdough or something fun she doesnt usually get to play with you. and then she will feel like she isnt missing out

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