Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Playdate Ettiquette for Twins!

Gouache on Paper

Our most recent Twin Conundrum:: The Playdate Minefield
Oh, the emotional pain, the potentially traumatic situation of the playdate invitation, the one where one twin is invited but the other isn't.
It has just happened to one of the twin families at school. The mother of twin 8 year old boys was talking about it at after-school soccer practice as she had experienced it for the first time yesterday. She said that she didn't handle it well initially; she had started with anger - "how mean to invite one and not the other".  She then moved to sadness - "I had a cry". And then she asked us what we thought. 
I gently suggested that maybe here was a perfect opportunity to develop her twins' individuality, that the family treat this playdate situation as if the children were of separate ages, in which case they most certainly would have different friends and therefore different playdates. I also suggested that this was also a good opportunity to do something special with the uninvited twin while the playdate was underway, an activity that was just for him and not his brother.
One of the other mummies piped up: "But what about the invited twin? Wouldn't he feel as if he were missing out on his mother's attention, then?"
I don't think so - there will be other times when the roles are swapped and then it will be his turn to have his mother's attention. And if there are other siblings to be considered as well, there are other options for that, too.
Twin mummy looked at me rather strangely, and then she remembered that I have twins too.
Now, I haven't yet encountered this situation, but it is definitely on its way, and I have already thought about how we might approach it with my twin girls.
We are currently experiencing the joys of sorting out who likes which after-school activity; yes, it would be great if both twins liked the same dance class, but with one liking the traditional approach and the other preferring a more, er, holistic style, there is no way we can get around their need to attend different classes at different times. Or two concerts to prepare for at the end of the year. Joy.
I know, I know, it seems a no brainer, but when the twins and I are used to them doing everything together, suddenly having to do something separately is a bit of an event and needs to be managed as sensitively as we can.
Playdate etiquette for twins. Look, it isn't a happy situation, nor is it likely to pass without someone's feelings being hurt, but at least that hurt can be reduced with careful management. Every child is different. Even twins. Of course!
Do you have any other ideas for managing twin playdate situations? I'd love to know.
Or any other interesting info about playdates you would like to share?
Take care!
Sam xx


  1. My pair are still a bit little for unaccompanied playdates, but they are and always have been such individuals (I struggle to even think of them as twins) that I can imagine this situation will be a common one for us in years ahead, and I will welcome it! At preschool they have their own friends and each is respectful-ish of each other's connections. I imagine by the time they're eight they'll each have their own little networks and of course they'll be invited to things on their own. I hope so, anyway. xx

  2. It hasn't happened much, but when it has we haven't made a big deal of it. It is starting to happen more now they are in different classes and one of mine went to a party on the weekend without the other and weirdly the other didn't make a fuss. I agree with you I think it is a great way for twins to develop their individuality, they are not the same person. Have you read 'One and the Same"? I re-read it recently, I'd suggest it to the other Mum, it gave me a lot to think about with raising twins.

  3. Thanks for the feedback, ladies. I appreciate it, especially the book idea. I'll be looking into that for sure! xx