Today the boys begin Safety Town, a pre-kindergarten program designed to teach safety basics like crossing the street, learning one’s address and phone number, calling 911, etc. I harangued the school into telling me the boys’ classroom assignment for kindergarten, and we went by and met their teacher. They liked her, liked their classroom. I’m overjoyed that they’ll be together, and so are they. For kindergarten, in our district, parents can note on the registration form whether they’d like their children placed with or separated from any other child. For multiples, the school makes certain the request is honored.
My boys are very close, and struggled in preschool when they were placed in separate groups, especially in the beginning of the year. By the end of the year they still disliked being separated, but were able to participate and keep from crying. We have all-day kindergarten here, so the full days 5x/week will be a big adjustment from three 2-hour days at preschool. I knew I didn’t want them to tackle that adjustment separately.
But I’m already worrying about first grade. I’d planned on separating them after kindergarten, but then my daughter had such a wonderful first grade teacher that I’d really like all my other children to have him, too. I started researching keeping multiples together after kindergarten, and found some interesting information supporting keeping multiples together until they request to be separated.
This sentence, in particular, caught my attention:
“Many people view the bond between multiples as unhealthy — a dependency, a limitation that excludes outside relationships, a suffocation of individuality, a font of jealousy and rivalry.”
I absolutely find this to be the case. People comment on my boys’ relationship the way they commented on the kids having pacifiers beyond an acceptable age. It’s as though it’s an unhealthy crutch that society will tolerate, to a point, but just barely.
Meanwhile, I’ve spoken with several twins in real life (as opposed to online) who have related how painful the school separation was for them and their co-twin. These people are healthy, normal adults with separate lives now, so I can only assume the school separation happened before they were ready, and eventually they were ready and made that separation, internally, on their own.
Maybe my boys will be ready for separate classrooms in first grade, (and then I’ll just have to feel sorry for the one who doesn’t get the awesome teacher) but if they aren’t, I feel empowered to request they be placed together.
What have your experiences been with separating your kids in daycare or school, or even placing them in separate bedrooms? How has it gone?
Jen is a work-from-home mom of 5-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 7. She also blogs at http://www.diagnosisurine.com/.