Keeping Twins In the Same Class Should Be a Parent's Decision

Rant 26

twins holding hands
My twins. Sticking together.
With school starting, I'm loving all the photos of my friends' children in their back-to-school poses. And in two weeks, I'll have some pics of my own to add. My twins are entering preschool and they will be in the same class. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Twin parents often face this decision, and many on my local board have pointed out the positives and negatives to keeping them together or splitting them up. Motherlode writer KJ Dell'Antonia has some anxiety about her twins being in the same first grade class since her kids were split up in pre-k. But for my husband and me, we couldn't imagine our twins being separated.

They were in the womb together. Shared a crib right next to our bed for the first 7 months, and continued to share sleeping space until my daughter decided to do aerobics all through the night. So instead of keeping her brother awake, she moved her moves into our Queen size bed, which suddenly felt like a twin. Sometimes when I take just one out with me while the other one stays with my husband, they wonder where their twin is.

When I ask my daughter how old she is, her response is "I'm a twin." We've discussed what the correct answer is -- "2 and a half" -- but she always leads with that part of her identity.

We've been in structured library readings and playspaces together and my kids do most of their playing and socializing apart from each other. They each have their own favorite friends as well. Yet they aren't far from their security blanket, the person who has been there with them from the start. Maybe some see that as a crutch, but when they are old enough to make the decision to not want to be together in a classroom, we will let them make that decision for themselves. Hoping, of course, they agree on whatever that decision is. Twin parents know how challenging it can be when the twosome don't agree ... or when you don't buy two of everything and sharing isn't an option.

I'm hearing, though, that there are some schools who do not give parents the choice. That twins are separated in the classroom no matter the decision of the parent. This decision should belong to the parents; not the schools. I do have a boy and a girl. I've heard that many who have identical twins feel separating them is best. I just believe that a parent knows best if keeping their twins together or splitting them up in a classroom is the right call. And it should be a call we make ourselves.

What do you think? Should twins be in the same classroom?


Image via Michele Zipp

back to school, twins & multiples

26 Comments

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fleur... fleurdelys3110

Every parent knows their child best, so I agree it should be a parent's decision. However, I think the school should automatically separate them unless the parent says otherwise. Once the parent says they should be in the same class, the school should respect that wish.

.LoVe... .LoVeMyBuG.

I don't have twins but have always been fascinated by them. While I don't think schools should be forced to keep twins together or anything I don't know why they would make it a big deal out of it either if a parent requested their children to be together. I would be upset if I got told that my kids had to be in separate classrooms if I had asked in a reasonable time frame to keep them together. I could understand if the kids caused problems being together in the classroom but if they are just being kids and cooperating than I don't see the problem. 

Christina Brisco

I know that have twins girls that I tried them together and one was was the mouth for both of them and the other basicly let her do the work for her. It was the best decision for us that they were seperated it gave the twin that was one the that was in the background and did not use your opions to letting her. And making in a different in her grades. But it is up to each parent on what they do.

nonmember avatar nora

I am a twin and my mom felt the same way about keeping us together. Even when my sister had to repeat a grade, my mom put us in another school so we are at least in the same grade level. Towards Junior High and High school, we were in our own classes. That was actually cool for us. After 13 years old, we loved having our "own" friends finally...but that just naturally happens anyway. We are individuals after all. Again, It's totally up to the parents :)

Caera Caera

It should absolutely NOT be the parents' decision about whether or not to split up twins. Parents know their kids AT HOME, not at school. Children act differently in the classroom. If a teacher feels it would be more beneficial to split twins up, then that's what should happen.

twins... twinsplus2more

Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade - it should be the parents' decision.  After that it should be a joint decision between the parents and the school.  If the twins are not making INDEPENDENT friends and are only socializing with themselves, looking to each other for answers for every question, etc.  Then they need to be seperated.  


Being twins should not define their personalities or define who they are.  They are children that happen to have shared womb space - especially those that are fraternal twins.  Parents should not call them "the twins", this helps perpetuate this identity issue.  


And I am saying all this as the mother of almost 23 yr old fraternal twin boys that we have from the start called "the boys" and not "the twins".  They have their own friends, their own identity, their own lives, and just happen to be twins also.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

It should be a joint decision and it should not just be based on the fact that they're each others security blankets. Some twins will do fine in the same class while others will have an issue. If they have different educational needs for example then separating may be better, if one child is leaving the classroom for extra help in reading or speech on a regular basis for example. It's also better if they are close to the point of excluding everyone else, refusing to do group projects if they can't be together for example. My friend has twins and they were together for K but the school suggested separating them for 1st grade. She wasn't keen to start with but once the school explained the reasoning and she thought it through she realized it was better for them to be separated. The fact that it's easier for the teachers is just a perk; they're not identical twins but they are very hard to tell apart.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Also, keeping them together just for the sake of keeping them together can be damaging. I had twins in my class growing up, one was a slightly below average student and the other had some type of special needs. I have no idea what his diagnosis was but it affected his facial features and he was probably about 2-3 grade levels behind his peers. When he was held back the school held his twin back too. The neurotypical twin probably did need to be held back one grade but he was kept back twice to keep him with his brother which was too much and it wasn't good for him. He was the biggest in the class, hit puberty early, and wound up dropping out in tenth grade because he was old enough to leave. Last I heard he was all about the petty crime. If the school had let him advance while holding his brother back he'd have had a greater chance in life IMO.

jenni... jenniferlee_12

I was in the same class as my twin sister until we finally asked to be seperated in 6th grade. It sucked in our opinion because people always grouped us as one.

zandh... zandhmom2

My twin sister and I never had a class together all throughout our entire school years and I'm glad.  We were (and still am) each others best friends but sometimes it really hard to always be "the twins".  For our 16 birthday, we begged our Mom to make two cakes (1st time ever) and we were both thrilled to see only our own names on our cake.  We will always be "the twins" but we are two separate people and enjoy be treated as such.

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