Similarly to siblings, twins also experience rivalry and engage in competitive behaviours amongst each other. However, the relationship they share makes the nature of such conflicts a little different.
When twins are born, most parents find it effective to attend to the infants’ needs simultaneously. Therefore, they are bathed, changed and fed together. This method works well, both for the parents and the infants. However, as they grow older, twins find themselves constantly in the presence of each other, as they share the same toys and room and are, sometimes, placed in the same class. This situation may cause some conflict as twins seek to gain privacy and individuality
Additionally, twins are seen as being similar not only in their appearance, but also in their talents, abilities and interests by teachers and peers. Therefore, conflict may also arise when they are continuously perceived as a unit, constantly compared to each other and expected to possess the same interests.
One way of reducing conflict, therefore, is to allow the twins to express their individuality. This can be done by allowing them to spend some time apart with their own friends and to pursue different interests and hobbies.
– Alessia is an intern with Willingness. She is currently doing research on parenting and twins.