When I found out I was pregnant with twins, a million questions and thoughts flooded my mind. I asked people who had twins, people who were twins, and searched the internet for answers. One thing I could not find a definite yes or no answer to was whether or not to tell the girls from the beginning that they were twins.
Some of you may have read from previous posts that both of my in-laws are twins. My mother-in-law is an identical twin. She has told me on numerous occassions that while growing up she felt like she was “half of a whole person”. My mother-in-law and her twin sister were seen as a pair until they graduated high school and started individual lives. Knowing this made me wonder if my girls should be told they are twins from the beginning.
What Did We Decide?
My husband and I decided not tell them from the beginning. We chose to let them grow as individuals and slowly introduce the twin term. Over the past three years we chose to dress them differently with the rare occasion of matching. We do not buy matching toys and have their room even different for each child. (You can see their Big Girl Room) We try to do as much as possible to support their needs as individuals.
We did not introduce the term “twin” until after they were three. This wasn’t by choice but rather time to explain why people used that term around them. Now I want to clarify something. We have never hidden that they were twins from them. We did not want their whole life to be as a pair so we did not refer to them as twins. When talking about the other child, we used the word sister. They heard people ask if they were twins and we would answer yes. So the fact that they are twins was never hidden from them.
Why at 3?
My husband and I had not discussed when we would explain that they were twins to them. There was no plan to tell them. I guess we just figured we would tell them if it came up. Well it came up earlier this school year.
One evening we were sitting on the couch talking about what they learned in pre-k that day. Brooke told us “Me and Bailey are twins”. They had learned about families at school (Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Grandma, Grandpa, etc…). They told their class that they were sisters and their teacher corrected them. She told their class that they were twins. Now the girls had heard this term before so it was not a shock to them.
My husband and I took this time to tell them that they were twins. We explained that they were together in my tummy and that they have always been together. We also explained that they are twin sisters. We wanted them to know that although they are twins they are still sisters, which is what they had always known.
I think waiting to tell them was the right choice for our family. They were very excited about being twins. It made being twins special for them. They were still sisters but also twins. I admit that people can know from the beginning that they are twins and still be special but we wanted to wait. We chose to let them be sisters before twins. For my girls this made the twin part special and made them feel like an individual not just a half of a pair.