Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Twins


 Share

Recommended Posts

I have had twins and triplets in my pre-school before and not had a problem. The parent of the twins I have now is a problem. We regularly make observations and record them on the childs profile and often when we get time record their achievement in the childs news book If we make a comment in one of their books she automatically asks why the other did not do the activity. My reply to that is that she had no interest in that activity at that time. Our children have free access to all activities presented on that day so they sometimes take a creative activity home. Work that can be folded flat goes home in the childrens folders. On Friday the children made a hat by drawing, cutting and sticking all sorts of paper and collage materials on a band of cardboard. One of the twins made a beautiful very large creation . Their parent turned to the child with no hat and said in a very loud voice "wheres your hat". I thought this was very unkind to both of the children. I repeat the same comment i.e she had no interest in the collage table today.

Her attitude is causing them to think that they are one and the same person as they answer to each others name now. If one of them is unwell they both stay at home.I am really going to have a chat with her on Monday explaining to her that they are individuals in their own right. Any ideas please!!! the parents are nice people apart from this so I don't want to upset them. She is also very concerned that she doing the right things and I feel she is conscious of being an older mum by other comments she has made to me in general conversation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi bubbblejack

 

Not sure I can be of much help... I have twins in my reception class. They are like chalk and cheese. One is a lot brighter than the other. Mum asked me to make sure they came home with the same level of reading books and sight words. I said no and explained why at length. In the end she said she could see it coming. It must be difficult for the parents and even harder for the children, but I think I would have further dented the less abled twins' confidence by giving her work that she is clearly not ready for.

 

mousebat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI Bubble,

I had twins whose mother reacted like this but both the little girls were very confused about themselves and very withdrawn.

They complemented one another, if 1 was nervous and alarmingly so the other wasn't. Just as I thought I had worked out which was which, as they were identical and very difficult to tell apart, re their behavioural characteristics, the nervous one would be bolder and the other more timid.

We did eventually realise that mum seemed to favour 1 rather than the other and this was always consistent.

They caused us much concern throughout their time in school but other problems at home also materialised.

Mum actually wanted them separated and we obliged her but I'm still not sure it was the best thing for the girls.

 

Anyway, I can understand your concerns and each sibling should be encouraged/ enabled to do their own thing, is eeverything else what you might consider to be ok. If mum is older, is she finding it difficult actually coping with 2 children?Are there other issues that make her feel like this about the girls?

I am not suggesting that you don't approach her, that might be just what she needs but do think carefully, as I'm sure you have about all the possible implications.

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a really hard one Bubblejack. You can see where the parents are coming from as they don't one of the twins seeming to be in advance of the other. But they do need to treated as individuals. It is hard enough when you have one child who is brighter than the other or more creative and there is a difference in age. But for twins it must be very difficult. How old are they? Perhaps stressing that they have different strengths will help their mum to understand-in fact stressing that we all have different strengths!! I know that my brother and I are very different, not twins I hasten to add. But he is very arty and creative , I am not so, but I am more academic than him. After all they are siblings!

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see your problem. Sometimes parents compare their children's work outside the nursery door. The child without the painting or a piece to take home is questioned by the parent as to why they did not 'do' this piece of 'work'.

Perhaps the mother of twins is very aware that she wants both children to be treated eqally and in her mind 'doing' exacttly the same things in pre-schoolis being 'treated equally'.

You could approach parent to say that each child is treated as an individual and has the freedom of choice in the activities he/she chooses through the day. This however in no way reflects negatively on the way that you or the other staff perceive or treat them.

 

I have a set of twins in nursery and the parent is very keen that both are treated as individuals. The chidlren used to see themsleves as extensions of each other and have a tantrum if one got praised etc etc. We have weaned them off each other now and they go off and play iwth their own friends and do not look anxiously for each other through the mornng.But this could be done easily because I had mum's support.

Hope it works out for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've currently got twins in the nursery at school (boys) and for September when they move into reception it has been decided between the nursery teacher and the parents that they be split. I'm having one with me in Reception/Year 1 and the other is going into reception.

It was decided that this would give them the best possible chance of becoming individuals. They will see each other, and hopefully with the new way of working at school for September, they will play together too. I think it's a good idea, but I guess it depends on the children. I remember the twins in the year below me at school and they were always together and now as adults they said they hated it, as everyone got them mixed up all the time, and they just wanted to be themselves and not a twin!

Sorry I can't help on the actual problem, just thought I'd give my 2p to the whole twin thing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nichola I think this is very good idea. I have never had parents of multiple birth children who didn't want to promote individuality.

It came to a head the other day when one of the twins were invited to another childs home and she asked for the other ones invite!!!!. I tried to explain to her that it was really good that they are making different friends and it gives her time to do something special with the other twin but no she will not listen. Everything they have clothes,slipper bags,folders are exactly the same . The parent of our triplets used to dress them in different colours to help us recognise them .

What bothers me is that I know of 3 sets of older spinster twins and whilst I am sure they are happy I am just thinking about what they have missed in life and I can't help thinking if it is nature or nurture that has made them choose this way of life. Oh well I'll see what gripe she has tomorrow. It wasn't a problem to her when they first came as they stuck together like glue but now they have found a new freedom without their sister in pre-school. The only problem we have is that they still both answer to each name.

I'm not too bothered what she says to me because I can justify myself to her but she often gets really cross with the twin that has not produced anything or cannot do as well as her sister in something. If I pre-cut 26 bits of work for the child to fix together in the same way she would be so pleased but that would be too awful for words.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Linda I forgot to add the twins are 3.6. years and I have them untill July 2005 so it will be interesting to see how they develop. They are very similiar in ability its just that they are in different key worker groups so they are often observed on different days. and they are developing their own individuality,playing with different friends doing different activities and without realising the parent doesn't seem to like it. With the best will in the world I think she feels one of them is missing out instead of gaining.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have taught twins and close siblings and sympathise with your situation. Good idea to discuss this with the mum as this problem may escalate as the children get older. Perhaps you could invite the mum to observe the children herself so she can see how different they are at play. Maybe sit together and talk her through the observation. It might help? good luck. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi Sarah & welcome

Thanks for making your first post, I think that could be a very good idea, to get her involved in some way.

 

I'm abit concerned that these girls still answer to one another's names. Shouldn't they have made this distinction by now? Certainly seems to be indicative of the situation? Even makes me wonder if mum actually knows the difference herself?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could never invite the mum to stay in the group to observe because she is very dictatorial with the twins. She always insists on staying while they self-register,hang their coats up and change into plimsolls on rainy days. I don't mind parents doing this I can have a quick chat with them. Some of them just watch to see their child is doing all these things and they help when necessary some drop them off say goodbye and go. I am easy I don't mind what a parent does.I do object when a parent comes in and starts shouting at their child and getting really cross with them for no reason at all which unfortunately what this parent does. The twins get upset she gets crosser. I just wonder if she feels in control when she is making so much noise and when her children are doing different things with different friends she feels out of control of the situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI Bubble. me again!

This sounds so much like the mother of the twins I had, and there were really serious issues there.

I'm not suggesting that and I certianly hope that this mother does not have those problems but I cetianly think she is crying out for attention and possibly help behaving like this.

Does she have other children? Its hard work having little ones and twins must be especially hard. sounds like she's in a rut that she needs help to get out of. by treating them as 1 she is perhaps trying to reduce the workload and keep her own head above water? Some positive parenting might help rather than shouting but it can be difficult to break the chain even if you realise the problem!

 

I hope you can tackle this to get successful outcomes for all but I somehow think this mum is going to need alot of time, help and attention.

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my goodness what a job I have Susan. I think she may have been having support before because when she came for an induction visit she bought a nursery nurse with her. Their dad sometimes brings them or collects them and he is exactly the same as the mum. They always are very co-operative when we are collecting things for pre-school or need extra help during a session.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you speak to her?

I don't know what support lines are open to you in preschools or how you can find out if the family are known to others.

We had to involve Social Services in the end.

 

This family were also known to the twins agency who contacted me as their teacher, as follow up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bubble,

This sounds like a really tricky situation but for the girls sake someone needs to talk to the mother and get her to recognise them as individuals. :o I think this is a very 'old fashioned' idea of twins - dressing them the same etc. Nowadays most parents are keen for their children to develop their own personalities/identities. Sounds like you might have your work cut out convincing the mother though........good luck! :)

 

And Sarah - welcome to the site! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't add any help at all here, but I've got 3 sets of twins starting in my YR class in September, & this thread has brought up some issues for me to bear in mind that I wouldn't have thought of before, so thanks all

 

Dianne

 

PS None of them are identical, thank goodness, as I'm always a bit poor at telling identical twins apart, and that's not going to help their separate identities, is it?!?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I have 2 sets of non-identical twins starting in September (Rec) and after a visit to one nursery, they have told me that one set of twins (boy & girl) do not socialise with any other children and only talk to each other etc. I obviously want to encourage their individuality and promote friendships with other children but I am not sure of the best approach? I usually try to group the children fairly early on (only for some activities) - should I start them off in seperate groups? I can't make my mind up, but I will be doing loads of PSE activities etc The children are coming from 14 different nurseries and some have not been to nursery, so they will all need to get to know each other and make friends etc. Any advice?

 

Sorry I can't help you Bubble, it sounds like a nightmare. It is very difficult when a parent does not follow your professional advice, there is only so much you can do and at least if you do what you believe is right at school, you are giving the children the best possible chance that you can. Hope it works out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have three sets of twins starting this September and two of them are identical and all have speech problems ! It sounds like there are a lot of them around this year and they will be challenging ! Quite agree about the separate identity ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bubble, if you dont feel able to have mom in the nursery could you take photos and build up a profile of the twins at play? This might show her their preferences and help her to see why they dont take home the same pieces of work. Or a daily diary of the activities the twins have taken part in, with some detail of the learning taking place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shelley, I think you need to let these children settle in their own way and talk to the parents. You will need their support for anything drastic that you undertake. Once all the children are settled you will have more idea of what your approach needs to be. Sometimes children present very differently at preschool/ nursery than they do in school. Don't cross the bridge before you need to!

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shelley I always put children of multiple births in seperate keyworker groups from the start and it has always worked .O.K. for us. We sit in our seperate groups for about 5 minutes at the start of the morning then at the end of the morning with their own keyworker. It is a plan/do/review approach. It gradually weans the siblings away from each other gradually.

Rea thanks for your advice but I already have done this but the mum was NOT impressed that they were actually planning with different children. I asked each twins keyworker to track them at child/adult initiated activities,record it alongside each stepping stone /learning goal. I always take photos of the children at play and display them the following week but this mum does not see her child "on the wall" she asks why.

Each child has a chance to have a special day so after the twins joined I asked her to bring their special things from home. The special child is helper of the day but unfortunately she sent both their things on the same day!!!!

I have tried to explain that we want to promote their individuality so I have asked her to bring the special things on different days.

She tells me that they must have the same friends so it will make it easier for her and she wants this to continue so if this her choce I feel I must listen to it. She says she is very busy doing her household chores each day and has no time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your ideas. I am only just finishing my NQT year, so I am inexperienced with situations like this. I think I will watch the children for a few days and then group them for A.I. activities to help all children make friends and socialise. It all feels very strange at the moment, I had forgotten how young they are when they start in September!!

 

Bubble, your situation sounds awful, although I don't have twins in my class at the moment, I have had similar difficulties with a parent this year, I have felt like I am banging my head against a brick wall, there is only so much you can advise and suggest, but at the end of the day, if you haven't got their support, there is little you can do outside of your normal routine. xD The parent I have seems to be suggesting that her daughter's behaviour will suddenly change when she moves into Year 1, blaming me for lack of stimulation...she's in for a nasty shock. At the end of the day, we all strive to do more than our best for the children - but we are not miracle workers!! :o

 

Good luck! Are they moving to a different class in September?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We asked the parent to bring favourite things for each child and you never guess what she bought both of their favourite things today when I asked her not too. I tried to explain that we want to make each child "special" on that day. She said they are both special. I had to tell that her all the children are special but the idea of having a special day is to make them extra special. She is hard work. Both the children decided which one was to have their special day today and it went well. I have the twins for another year!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

She is some ways and now understands that it is normal for them to have different preferences but she is at breaking point because one of them is going through a challenging phase with behaviour but the other child is so good. One of my helpers spent a long time with the parent this morning giving her ideas and I have just spoke with her on the phone to give her a few ideas and advised her to see the health visitor.The twin is fine at pre-school but when she first came she burst into tears and then sulked if she couldn't get all her own way.

I don't know what the situation is in Scotland but in my area the health visitors do not see a child after they are 2years old unless they have concerns about them so if parents have a problem they tend not to seek their advice.

I' m organising a new parent rota next week so the parent will then see how we deal with challenging behaviour.I don't often have a problem controlling children as I have learnt over the years to predict and deflect bad behaviour by childrens body language. When I had my Ofsted inspection 2 years ago the Inspector wrote in her report "This setting only has well behaved children". I didn't like thtcomment because it could make a parent feel that their child wasn,t good enough to attend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)