Having twins can be a challenge for parents, but is often an advantage of sort for the twins themselves. Having a twin generally means that there will always be someone around that you can bond with, play with, and relate to. Having a twin usually also means that there will be someone right by your side as you embark upon the great, scary adventure that is school. Unfortunately, some twins do not develop at the same level.
When twins reach school age, it can be a difficult situation if one is ready and the other is not. Twins often form close bonds, so having to separate them can be a traumatic experience for both of them that may add a hurdle to learning and development.
Letting Twins “Catch Up”
In many cases, parents try to let one child “catch up” to the other, so that the twins do not have to remain in separate grade levels or schools for life. This can be helpful at pre-kindergarten stages, when one twin may benefit more from the active social environment and addition tutelage. It is not advisable to hold the advanced or average twin back much longer than one year, however, as it may begin to cause frustration and may unnecessarily delay the more advanced twin.
Speaking Carefully, but Honestly
When it is obvious that the twins will not remain on the same level, for whatever reason, it can be a difficult adjustment. It is not an impossible adjustment, however, and with support and guidance the twins may both thrive. It is important not to judge the twins or to use language that minimizes the accomplishments of the twin that is perceived as “behind.” It is important to be forthright, but tactful when answering questions about why the twins have to be separated and when helping with school work.