From the Archives: Multiples and Birth Order

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Parents of twins talk about the role of birth order in their children's dynamic and how others perceive them. From

ABonesieSome parents of multiples proudly discuss their children’s birth order, even engraving their A and B birth status into their names. Others go to great lengths to avoid telling anyone which child was born first. For some the decision is personal, for others it is a cultural norm, and for yet others, there’s no decision to be made because they never really thought about it.

These are some post where The Moms have pondered matters of birth order over the years:

  • The Mystery of Multiples and Birth Order:  talks about our cultural assumptions of the effect of birth order on family dynamics and wonders about varying perspectives from MoMs.
  • Differentiating Between Multiples:  found herself labeling her twin daughters as “big” and “little” and gained some empathy with those outsiders who feel the need to label our children in opposition to one another.
  • Which Came First has grown increasingly bothered by strangers insisting on knowing her twins’ birth order.
  • “Afu ge ge”, “Leila mei mei” doesn’t want to emphasize which of her twins is “older,” but it’s unavoidable in China.
  • Multiples and Age Hierarchy refusal to tell people which of my daughters was born first messes with my Bangladeshi family’s hierarchical view of the world.
  • And the Older One Is … girls surprise me when I can no longer avoid telling them who was born first.
  • Birthday(s) for Two tell one daughter what time she was born, necessitating a discussion with both my daughters. I remind the girls that they’re the same age from conception and that womb eviction doesn’t make J any older than M.
  • Who’s Older?  believes that birth order plays a role in personality development, but not for multiples. What happens when twins are born 87 days apart? Clearly, they’re still twins, but are they the same age?

Do your kids display traits related to birth order? Do you see birth order as applicable to multiples?

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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.

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