Should I let school seperate my twins against their will?

Nicola - posted on 01/30/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

2

4

0

I have 6 year old twin girls and this year school are trying to seperate them. I have brought them bunk beds and they still choose to sleep in the double bed in the soare room. They don't fight and don;t want to be in seperate classrooms. I talked to their previous teacher and she couldnt give me a reason why they should be split other than the teacher in charge of placements believe twins should always be seperated. Has anyone else been in this situation or any advise?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

Wow, I am surprised by how many people say "separate, separate!". I'm not a twin nor do I have any, though I don't think that is the only good criteria for choosing a good opinion. I strongly agree with Nina Turner above,and that allowing the girls to make that choice empowers them to be the drivers of their own lives. Being a twin is a special thing, and I'm sure it comes with an awesome, wonderful bond. Our society is SO enamoured with the notion that we all need to be "independent", and that in order to be independent we must learn it at the earliest possible age (to the tune of expecting babies to soothe themselves and put themselves to sleep). Humans are social creatures and a group mentality is not a hinderance to individuality, to capability and to maturity. Is there really a problem if twins have a close bond? Is it a problem if they are best friends for life? That is a truly wonderful thing, IMO. For sure there is validity in a little nudge here and there for them to do things on their own, but separating them cold turkey at such a young age sounds more detrimental then helpful, despite all the good things that may seem to come out of it. It's great that you're checking to see others' opinions so that you can make a solid and informed decision in order to support your children as they navigate this life. :-) They are lucky to have a thoughful mom who is willing to question and prod a little bit before just following the wind.

Jennifer - posted on 01/30/2010

4

5

0

I have twin girls and am also a Kindergarten teacher. I am struggling with this same thing. I do not know what to do for my girls. Even though they have 2 years until school I have already begun thinking about what I will do. I understand the schools opinion but also know what great connection my girls have. I think that it is great to let them have some independence from each other but it needs to be in their own time. If you do it when they are very unsure it might back fire. Maybe start off together and then seperate in first or second grade. Maybe you can let them have a choice in the matter and each choose their own teacher when you decide to seperate them. Make it be your families decision and do not let the school take that power away from you. You are the one that knows your kids the best.

Sheila - posted on 01/30/2010

33

48

1

well, I don't have twins, just trying to put myself in your position as a mother of twins. I don't think it is a big deal to separate them, they'll have to separate sooner or later anyway, however, they do seem to be opposed to it and they are young, formulating their first opinions of school and the outside world.... You say they don't fight and since I've not read anything to indicate why it would be a problem to let them remain together, I will assume it would not be..

This is how I approached situations with my own kids on topics that I was unsure of. My gut feeling is the school or teacher, etc, that is making this decision is trying to do the best for your children. Acknowledge that to her, so you both realize you're on the same side, by the way. I'm assuming she is concerned they will lack 'social skills' with other children if they have each other to turn to. My experience with children in general, however, tells me the opposite is true. If a child's needs are met as much as possible, including (especially) their emotional needs, as they develop and grow, they will then turn into VERY independent adults with a high level of self esteem. I had a daughter that I will, for lack of a better word, describe as 'needy' as a young child. She had to be constantly touching me, cried to be held each evening. It became what I referred to as her "cuddle time". I admit, it would get very annoying at times. She had to tell me at least 30 times a day that she loved me and needed the reassurance that I loved her too. There were times that I even explained to her that we didn't have to say it so much, but could instead look to the things we do to see it and hear it in our lives. But for the most part, my instincts told me to give her what she craved so strongly and my hope was that, if I did, she would be a happier adult for it. And you know what? That is exactly how it worked out!

So now, though I see no harm in separating your daughters, they obviously are not ready for it. Do I think it will harm them substantially if they are forced? Absolutely not - especially if you are open with them to hear their complaints and concerns, tell them you understand, agree that it sucks but sometimes the world out there is a pain along with the good stuff, and that is why it is so important to be able to come home to loving family and a safe place at home to relax and be together... etc... etc.. basically, they will take the same attitude that you project, so, regardless of how you feel, project with caution. The less traumatic you make it seem, the less they will be traumatized.

That said, I would try to allow them to remain together, though. I also would not hide that fact from the girls. (nice for them to know mom 'gets it' and is willing to do battle for them, just they also need to know how to lose gracefully if that is the outcome).

I think, if they are more comfortable together, then they should be allowed to remain together, BUT - they should be talked to about what ever the concerns are that make the staff want to separate them. Are the teachers worried they won't interact with others? Explain this to the girls and be sure they have a plan in place - things they agree they will do ( play separately for a few min. each recess, or make a new friend every 3 days - at least talk to someone new.. something that you and they can agree on. So they realize they have power to control some things and they need to compromise on some things. Also, of course, if they did fight, then they would have to be separated to prevent interruptions for them as well as their classmates.

My belief, with my own kids, is ... if my gut said no, but I was unable to substantiate the feeling with an intelligent reasoning for the 'NO', then we had a talk. I told them I was concerned because.... a), b), c), etc. and that is sometimes hard to let them go, but b/c I didn't want to hold them back based on my fears alone.. then they would be allowed - This time - to attend or what ever it was.. but that if they screwed up and gave my concerns justice, then I would know that they are too young for these responsibilities so far.... blah blah, but you get the point. Usually, they were so thrilled to be trusted and not wanting to break that, they were great at following the rules - which I tried very hard to keep few and reasonable, but also, seldom bendable..again, depending...

If they did screw up, I tried to approach it w/o anger at all.. maybe a bit of sadness, but only for them b/c now they would not be allowed to do that again.. until I could see consistent other signs of responsibilities that would tell me it is time to try again. It was never approached as a 'punishment', but only as - you're just not ready yet. My job is to keep you safe,... and help you to get ready for life... etc, etc... I think you'll get the gist of it, anyway.

Sorry if it got too wordy - there were a few factors to consider, preventing a straight yes or no answer. I hope it made sense to you.

Good luck -

Sheila

Stephanie - posted on 01/30/2010

29

40

0

ABSOLUTELY NOT* my older sister has two sets of twin boys. the first two 7 and the second set 3! when the first two started school they wanted to separate them, the twins didnt want to do things without thier other brother. they tryed this for kindergarten and then for 1st grade they kept them together and the excelled tramendously! now that they are in 3rd grade they want to be in different classes. I think it depends on what you think is best for you girls! you know them best ! i dont know where you live but here in Texas there was a sibling separation bill stating that the school is not allowed to FORCE separation. you might look into that! much luck!

Jennifer - posted on 01/30/2010

145

47

22

i dont have twins but working in daycare centers, i have noticed that they try to seperate them because its better for them apparently, it gives them more independence away from each other making new friends and socializing without each other i would try it for a month or so and see how it works out

33 Comments

View replies by

Paula - posted on 09/18/2013

2

0

0

Our twin 9 year old boys attended grade one separately in a co-ed and the one twin experienced high anxiety and required play therapy, in grade two they were together at our request and we have a lovely year together and now in grade 3 they have been separated with much turmoil. They do not cling to each other having very different personalities and neither do they compete or fight but the school is insisting they be separated in grade 4 as school policy dictates. Our options are to continue with therapy whilst we struggle in separate classes or move schools. The entire experience has been very upsetting for us as a family as the one twin is already coping with being bi-laterally clubfeet.

Paula - posted on 09/18/2013

2

0

0

We live in Cape Town South Africa and are currently asking the primary school our twin boys attend Not to separate them which they are doing as school policy.

[deleted account]

I have three sets of twins in my classes that I teach....one set is kinder and are in the same class...the rest are third and fourth grade. Honestly I have more trouble with the two in the same class together then I do with the others who are seperated on activities that I do. The two in kinder always partner up with each other and one literally cries when she's seperated from her sister. The older ones, who have been split up since 2nd grade, are more adjusted to being seperated and work great independently. They still have that twin bond when they see each other at lunch and they run in the same circle of friends but class wise it seems to work. But this is just a one sided prospected from seeing them an hour once a week since August 2009

Sherri - posted on 05/06/2010

9,593

15

391

Twins should definitely be separated as they tend to rely on each other too much. It gives them a chance to become independent as they can make there own friends and learn how to rely on themselves instead of there twin. Twins have a harder time making friends if they remain together as well as they tend to stick together instead of branching out and making new friends. I am a HUGE advocate for separating them.

Nicola - posted on 05/06/2010

2

4

0

Wow, guys thanks for all your feedback. We decided to back down and let the School seperate them. It is great to see the the grils have made their own friends so socially I can see the bonuses but they have both fallen well behind in their school work. They fight at home now witch we never had before and having different lots of homework to complete ( as well as my son's) is a bummer as it's very time consuming. My gut is still telling me they should have had 1 more year together as they just wernt quite ready for it but we will stick it out.
Thanks again for all your comments it was great to read your suggestions

User - posted on 01/31/2010

91

0

2

I am a twin and no one should ever tell you what to do with your children! It is your decision. you know your twins best! i am and always have been extremely close with my twin sister. We sound just like yours. We stayed together until grade K and then they separated us. My sister had a terrible time separating from me at school. Cried everyday. We are extremely close and did everything together and still do. Being a twin is a much different relationship that no one can really understand than if you are a twin yourself. It is such a deep emotional connection. KEEP THEM TOGETHER, eventually they will find their own paths in life in their own way and at their time. you will know when they need to be separated.

Nicole - posted on 01/30/2010

51

7

5

Speaking from personal experience: I am a twin, and starting at kidnergarden, my sister and I had separate classrooms and teachers. We have other siblings as well. When we reached middle school, we had several classes together, as well as in high school. It was VERY confusing for the teachers to tell us apart. And our friends for that matter. But because of the grade school separation, we did independently make our own friends, and learn to socialize with other kids that were not our sibling(s). I don't remember caring one way or the other after a few days of it. I was of course a bit afraid in the beginning, but also because it was my first time in school.

Sheila - posted on 01/30/2010

33

48

1

Hey Nicola, I see you have a lot of conflicting (and good) arguments on here for both sides. It could be a daunting decision. I hope you make the one that best suites you and your girls. But what ever you decide, it would be cool if you let us know of your decision and then, for a while anyway, post an update once in awhile. I'm curious to know - if they are separated, how they've adjusted. Thanks! :)

Sheila - posted on 01/30/2010

33

48

1

Great Answer Jennifer Liversage!!! This is exactly what my instincts tell me and they are usually right when it comes to children. Also, ladies, no one knows your child like you do. TRUST yourself and your bond with your child. You really do know what's best. The only time I ever really wanted to kick myself over an issue with my kids, is when I second-guessed myself and went against my own instincts and went along with some other adult's view - once, even one that had no children!! UGH!!!! What was I thinking there?!

Heather - posted on 01/30/2010

8

1

0

i think it is a very good idea...it will teach them not always to depend on each other and it will give them a chance to be their own person....sometimes they get so used to be together that later in life they will have anxiety problems with separation...they will have to do it sometime and soon is better than later!

Leah Ann - posted on 01/30/2010

3

15

0

I think it's a good idea for them to be separated. Reason: Because they will eventually have to be separated from each other. They will have separate lives, so if they start now, it will be easier in the future. Just my opinion, hope it helps :o)

Nicki - posted on 01/30/2010

4

16

0

i was a twin when i was younger and we were together and seperated and u know being seperated is actually really good because it gives each child a sense of independence with friends and it also gives them a break from eachother because when ur together all the time its way more fighting.. if that helps

Nikkole - posted on 01/30/2010

393

18

11

i think you should bc they need to find out who they are beside being a twin. good luck

Robin - posted on 01/30/2010

11

6

0

my boys are very close and they also slept in the same bed, but in school I had them seperated but they shared lunch time together, were assigned the same seat on the bus and were able to do other activities in school togeather. it gave them some time away from each other but they still had the contact they needed. the school was very good with them. and asked if I wanted them seperated or not. they are now going to be 13 and they still need each other but they are able to be themselves.

Stephanie - posted on 01/30/2010

29

40

0

maybe you should just try kinder together then separte them in 1st grade. that way they can get used to the idea and then the next year they will know what to expect so they will be ok without eachother!

Emilie - posted on 01/30/2010

916

35

143

I have a twin sister, me and her were always in separate classes. The school said that we had to be since we are identical and the teachers will have a hard time telling us apart.

Nina - posted on 01/30/2010

7

12

1

I haven't had this experience but I can give an opinion. If the girls aren't ready to be separated, and it should be up to them, not te school, then they should be allowed to be in the same class. Eventually they will want to be independent but it should be in their own time.

Susan - posted on 01/30/2010

3

9

0

My twins got separated in first grade, it's a boy and a girl, but it did help them, they depended too much on each other and were able to learn to socialize more with other kids. I had another one 18 months later so it helped them with him also. Well, the twins are now freshman at two different colleges (only about 45 minutes from each other), the other one is a senior in high school (his college will only be about an hour from the furthest one) and even though they were separated, the 3 of them always had the same group of friends, so it gave them some break from each other, even though it was only in their classes since they have always been and still are best friends.

Tina - posted on 01/30/2010

10

55

0

Being a twin myself I think it was a good idea. When I was in the 1st grade my sister & I were seperated into 2 classrooms. I'm sure at the time we didn't like it because we were so interested in playing with eachother but when I spoke with my mom later and asked her why the did it I found out it was because we weren't getting any schoolwork accomplished while we were there. It may suck but remember they will have the chance to gain a broader friend basis and they will also be able to find their own identies without being in the shadow of eachother. Plus they will have so much fun talking about what they did in each classroom.

Tiffany - posted on 01/30/2010

435

41

10

I think it's extremely important to separate twins. Twins tend to rely on each other for everything, understandably. Separating them in school helps them to each learn their own independence and to make their own friends and discover their own personalities. It's not healthy if they can't function without each other. Plus, they'll have lots of stories to tell each other when they come home. It may be hard at first for them, but they will eventually adjust. =)

Dana - posted on 01/30/2010

12

24

0

I also work in a child care center and I would say the same thing.. Yes, they're twins but at the same time they're two different people and that's awesome that they get along so well but they do need to learn to make friends for themselves. You want you girls to be independent and be able to make it. and it starts here at this age.

[deleted account]

I AM A TWIN so i might be able to help with this. My twin and I had the same issue when we were going into grade 2. The school wanted to separate us and we did not want this. My mother decided to have us in different classes. It was VERY good for us. Before that we didnt really feel the need to socialize with other kids, because we had eachother. We were forced to make different friends in our different classes, and eventually found out we each had unique talents.
It was not easy for the first month or so, but after we were both happy to be independent.
whatever you choose, do it because of what you think is right.

[deleted account]

Our elementary school automatically seperates siblings. My 3rd graders have been in seperate classes since K and we love it. It is the only time they get to have a break from each other.



Your twins don't fight? Seriously? My girls are definitely best, best friends, but they fight ALL the time too.



Sorry, got sidetracked. ;) I personally feel that seperation is a good thing, but then my girls never objected to the seperation. It took a bit of getting used to at first, but they quickly learned to love it.



Good luck!

Jackie - posted on 01/30/2010

623

44

93

I am a twin and I can tell you its best to seperate them in school as young as possible. My sister and I weren't seperated until grade 3 due to a lack of classes. My sister actually failed grade 3 and we both had a hard time adjusting to not having each other. Twins depend on each other more then you will ever even begin to understand. And for their education is best they not be in the same room.

Jeni - posted on 01/30/2010

22

2

3

I work in a school system and our principal is in charge of placement. We had a set of twins a few years ago in preschool who were separated one year, then together a year, and then separated for K & 1st grades...from experience it worked better for them to be separated/ Even though they got along great and wanted to be together, it really fostered their independence and helped the grow together at the same time because they could exchange stories afterwards. Their friendship repetoire also grew and the kids benefitted from different learning styles. It never hurts to try it =)

Nikki - posted on 01/30/2010

37

13

2

this is a difficult subject as to persuade them to try now cud b better r worse fr them... even tho i do not hav twins coming from a position where i was very clingy as a child to my mother as i was n only child until almost 8years old i did not feel able t seperate my self from my mother , i literally hid behind her and only seperated my self at the age of 15. even if u dont seperate them now they will develoe their own identties it will jus tek longer... like i sed seperating them against heir will cud b mre detrimental to them now then jus leavng them to it, obviusly they are eachothers security, losing (or feeling like they are loosing that may make things worse) .. but its really up to u n ur girls n what the three of u feel comfortable with.. if i n they wer extremelu unhppy i would not allow it.

Terri - posted on 01/30/2010

287

0

13

Hi Nicola. My mum was a primary school teacher and she often had twins separated. I think she said the reasoning behind this is because they are so reliant on each other, it impacts on their ability to form friendships with other children. This is because they have such a special bond with each other. It is not done to hurt the children but rather encourage them to make relationships outside of their bond. It might seem cruel to begin with but through all the twin relationships my mum has come across, she said it only takes a while for them to settle down and it allows them to develop their own distinct personalities. My friend has twin girls and they separated them and they have so come out of their shells since doing it.



Your girls will of course not want to be, because school is a big step and they would rather do it together because it would feel safer but they can always see each other at recess and lunch. And I think they really will benefit from it in the long run. Good luck :)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms