Not only have I decided this year to send my big boys, the twins, to public school, but I have also decided to put them in separate classrooms. It's a hard decision. One that I don't take lightly. But it's also one that I made easily.
They will be going into third grade. And it's time they had some separate experiences.
When I asked them what they thought were the good things about being apart, they said:
1) They will get to make their own friends.
2) Their teacher will know who they are.
3) They won't fight with each other in class.
When I asked about the challenges, Jack said, "Logan won't know where I am."
Which about sums up their concern. Neither of them is worried how Jack will do. They're both worried how Logan will do. He is a classic firstborn. A worrier. A controller. He is constantly doing head counts, making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, and when something is new or changes, he's the one who struggles the most to adjust.
But it's because of his personality that I think separating needs to happen. I want him to see that Jack can take care of himself. I want him to be able to only worry about himself for once. Also, I think it's time they be recognized for who they are individually, not who they are as a pair.
My decision is backed by something I read in One And The Same by Abigail Pogrebin, my twin guide book, as it were. The author interviewed twin expert Joan Friedman (who is an identical twin herself) and she said:
"Twins are completely crippled by the fact that they had this other person with them all the time. So they were always fine socially, comfortable in school; they always got a lot of attention. But they didn't have to work for anything. Without doing much, they were always 'so cute, so special.'
Resilience for children comes out of master of a challenge, or facing a fear. And twins, with their ridiculous star power, lose out on mastering some of life's challenges... Twins need to get the message early that 'You aren't the same. And that the two of you will end up in very different circumstances, just like you would if you were plain siblings.' It's never fair with siblings. It's never equal."
This is not to say separating twins is the right thing for everyone. I trust that other parents know what's best for their twins just like I know my twins and what's best for them.
I am excited for Logan & Jack. I am excited for what the future holds for them, in the classroom and elsewhere, and I'm anxious to see how being treated as individuals impacts them & their confidence.