Health Benefits of Twinship

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Categories Identical, Parenting Twins, Relationships

My husband made one of his incredibly astute observations the other day, as we were looking at pictures of younger versions of our daughters. Specifically, we were looking at this one.

Cheek-to-cheek, these sisters are oozing joy, laughter and closeness.

“They’re healthier for being twins,” said my husband, as if stating a basic truth.

I had no idea what he was talking about. If we’d had a singleton, there would have been far less chance chance of the health challenges that come with prematurity. I asked him to elucidate.

“Well, they’re happy. They make each other happy, and happiness has more to do with health than most people give it credit for.”

I had no argument with that statement. As someone with chronic depression, I know full well how our minds can affect our physical health.

He wasn’t done, though.

“We can’t keep up with them and the rest of our lives. If we didn’t have to worry about the house, and cooking, and errands, we could keep up with their energy, but we do have the house to clean and life to manage. They can keep up with each other, though. They don’t have to slow down just because we have to slow down. Because they have each other, they can just keep going.”

J and M are perfectly matched in energy and creativity. They keep up with each other in so may ways that my husband and I don’t. J listens to the seemingly endless flood of details that pour out of M. M can run, jump and climb for as long as J wants to, especially now that they each have a lofted bed in their room. There’s no temptation to plunk them in front of the television when I can invite them to create a new imaginary world in their room.

I know that for many twins, maybe most, the adage that they’ll always have someone to play with is far from true. With ours, though, it is right on the money. My husband is right–M and J are healthier for having one another, in body and mind.

In what surprising ways have your multiples impacted each other?

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Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

4 thoughts on “Health Benefits of Twinship”

  1. Back in February, one of our boys was diagnosed with Autism. In our consultation after testing with the developmental pediatrician he told us something. He said the very best thing in the world for our son was having a twin brother who wasn’t on the spectrum. I didn’t fully grasp how right he was at the time.

    In the last few months I have come to know exactly what he means. Our son on the spectrum is with his non-spectrum brother 24 hours a day. He sees developmentally appropriate play and interactions all day every day. You can replace that with any amount of therapy.

    But it isn’t one sided. Our other son has a fairly severe speech delay bordering on apraxia. Our son on the spectrum has a speech delay but it is different with him. He is the language model for our non-spectrum child.

    They help each other more by just being brothers than anything else I can offer. I am so very glad they have one another!

  2. I think my boys are healthier for having each other. They share a special bond that is mysterious, that I don’t fully understand, which is special and unique to them for always. It was evident to me when I brought them to their first day at a new daycare. I was all worried that they might be anxious leaving me, but they jumped right in without a backward glance. They had each other! This allowed them more security in a new environment. They are way more adept socially than many singleton peers their age. I see this as a great benefit!

  3. Love this! My husband and I have a similar theory- that our boys will be “tougher” and “smarter” as a result of being twins- as they have had eachother to wrestle with both mentally nad physically since day 1!

  4. My fraternal twin daughters are now 18 months old and never been cuter together! I wished when they were infants that they would be like the ones I heard about who would hold hands and always wanting to be touching each other, but that wasn’t the case with my girls… but now that they are older, they really do play with each other and have empathy! I am amazed to see one looking at the crying one with such concern, willing to apologize, and try to comfort and even cheer up the other! It is amazing! One thing is for sure with twins, they are emotionally healthier!

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