Identical twin blinders

Kids are Different – More Different When They’re Not Identical Twins

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Categories Education, Identical, Individuality, Parenting, Siblings, Talking to Kids

“My kids are totally different,” I tell anyone who will listen.

Identical twins aren’t identical people, after all. They’re siblings who happen to have matching DNA and several months as wombmates.

One of my girls gets anxious more easily than the other. One is loving her Orff ensemble, while the other has us scheduled to attend a sculpture demonstration this weekend. One is all about T-shirts and sweatpants, while the other can spend an hour matching a new top to the perfect skirt.

In celebrating my twin daughters as individuals, I forget, sometimes, how similar they are. Their shared DNA, the shared crucible of our single parent home, and being in the same school and extracurricular programs all contribute to similar interests and abilities.

Girls Scouts: The Reality Check

I’m a Girl Scout leader. Exhausting though it is, I love it. I get to have 9 extra daughters, in addition to a supportive community of other adults who mentor girls from age 5 to 18.

5 Girl Scouts posing. Girl Scout leaders get to experience a massive variation in abilities and interests. The the identical twin kids are different!

Girl Scout meetings, field trips, and cookie sales have made me realize that my daughters are far more alike than different. While my troop runs the gamut in mathematical ability from struggling with subtraction to bored with basic algebra, my daughters are the ones who see math in everything they do. I see all sorts of behavior when the troop is together, but my girls tend to have the narrow repertoire of hard work, silliness, and sulking. My daughters are among the most extroverted in the troop. They’re also the shortest.

One of the moms in my troop is leading the Geocaching badge. I usually plan out badge work myself or help one or two of the girls come up with the plan. I thought it would be nice to share some hard-earned wisdom with the mom on her first badge-leading escapade:

Don’t assume all the girls have the same background knowledge. You may need to cover basics like “the world is a sphere” when explaining latitude and longitude.

Then I remembered that she has two kids of different ages. She deals with different levels of knowledge and ability every single day. She doesn’t need my advice on handling differences in ability. I’m the one who needed that advice, because I’m the one wearing identical twin blinders.

Would I parent differently if I had kids of different ages with a greater variety of talents and interests? I would definitely spend more time marveling at how similar my identical twin daughters really are in contrast.

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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.

11 thoughts on “Kids are Different – More Different When They’re Not Identical Twins”

  1. Sadia, we just came across your article … and couldn’t agree with you more! We understand this SO well, we’ve created a new twin clothing line guided by these beliefs. Twoborn will launch early this Fall, creating clothing for twins that celebrates their connection while expressing each child’s INDIVIDUALITY.

    We believe you’ll find our story interesting. Feel free to go to http://www.TwoBorn. com and scroll down to read about us.

    Moms of multiples stick together!
    Chris recently posted WordPress Resources at SiteGroundMy Profile

  2. Even they are twins but they definitely have their own characteristics and interests as well. Same age or same appearances don’t determine that they are in the same level of knowledge. People who have twins in their family will have to talk and share with them often to understand each of them. Especially, they should be free to choose whatever they want to spend time with. Nice post, Sadia!
    Richard recently posted How To Get Rid Of Algae In PoolMy Profile

  3. Although they are siblings, they are different in characters and lives.
    It is really the interesting . I love to read the new and discovered things from your site. Thank your for your sharing

  4. Maximum of the Twins follow the same Dress code, same educational background. Instead of growing them as to imitate each other in every activity let them have their individual opinions and carriers.

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