Not to label my twins so others can tell them apart?

(179 Posts)
twinsufficient Thu 04-Oct-12 16:31:11

Dts' nursery teacher has asked me to label them with different coloured stickers as she can't tell them apart. Imho doing this will mean that the teachers will stop trying to tell who is who and rely on the stickers. They are identical but there are differences in face and eye shape etc so not impossible. Should I do as the teacher asks or not?

AThingInYourLife Thu 04-Oct-12 19:02:28

YANBU and I'm surprised how many people think your children should wear labels to school because a teacher thinks identical twins are indistinguishable.

What a horrible, dehumanising suggestion.

I was in primary school with identical twin girls and they never wore labels and certainly I never mixed them up. They were different people who just looked a lot alike.

Sokmonsta Thu 04-Oct-12 19:07:11

Dress them differently. You want the teacher to learn who they are as an individual, yet imply by being asked that they wear stickers that they wear the same clothes. Fine if it's school uniform (although mine has red and blue so would never be a problem), but otherwise in the nursery environment you are only supporting your own need for them to be identified as special and twins. FTR I am mum to 6 month old twins. I regularly get asked which one is which, mine are boy/girl and don't look that similar. But in a pushchair it's not so easy to tell unless they are in obvious boy/girl colours.

AThingInYourLife Thu 04-Oct-12 19:10:47

You don't have to study eye shape, you just have to learn to recognise each one the same way you do with all other people.

Recognising the children in your class and learning their names is part of your job as a teacher.

If you suck at it, make all the children wear name tags until you've figured it out.

Don't single out the twins as being the people who need labels, "the red one and the blue one". That is really shit.

BlueberryHill Thu 04-Oct-12 19:10:50

Soupdragon, it wasn't you, apologies it wasn't a clear post. A lot of posters were making comments about mothers of multiples being precious. I'm a bit sensitive about that at the moment. I get fed up of people grouping two of my children together, they are individuals.

My original post was trying to say that there are differences, yours seemed to be saying that there weren't, sorry if I read it wrongly.

If the teacher is trying to find a way to get to know them initially, that is fine, although there are better ways of doing. If she isn't, then it isn't OK.

AThingInYourLife Thu 04-Oct-12 19:12:38

You don't have to study eye shape, you just have to learn to recognise each one the same way you do with all other people.

Recognising the children in your class and learning their names is part of your job as a teacher.

If you suck at it, make all the children wear name tags until you've figured it out.

Don't single out the twins as being the people who need labels, "the red one and the blue one". That is really shit.

Diamondsareagirls Thu 04-Oct-12 19:30:16

I can see your point of view OP but I don't think the teacher was BU to ask for some help. I like the different colour idea if you don't want to label them. It can be really difficult to remember things like that when teaching a full class. I think labels should be a quick fix for a few days to get the teacher used to a few unique features.

Himalaya Thu 04-Oct-12 19:32:16

I'm not a mother of twins or anything, so feel free to ignore, although of course like most people i knew twins at school etc...

The coloured hair grips/ matching clothes but in different colours thing seems a bit contrived to me.

Generally people recognise others by their face and hairstyle (e.g. from the back). If you don't give them the same hairstyle then they would be hard to mistake (also for other kids) without having to make a point of coded hair clips.

babybythesea Thu 04-Oct-12 19:51:14

Recognising the children in your class and learning their names is part of your job as a teacher

Yes. And it takes time anyway, and you make mistakes. YAnd if two of those children are identical and wearing the same stuff, it's going to take a lot longer and you run the risk of upsetting them and getting it wrong more often - why on earth is it such an issue to have an easy way for the teacher to identify them, certainly to start with.

lljkk Thu 04-Oct-12 20:00:04

YABU, I have a lot of sympathy for the teacher.

I'm closely related to several sets of ID twins & once in a while I mix them up. Even though I would have sworn I could never mix them up, actually I can. They seem so different to me it often surprised me when someone would ask which was which, but now I get it, observing other sets of twins, how hard I find it to tell them apart with only brief moments of contact.

By the end of the school year I would expect a teacher to see the differences easily, but this early on, I'd do everything I could to make their job easier.

kiwigirl42 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:01:53

depends whether you want her to treat them as named individuals or just 'the twins'. your call.

Nagoo Thu 04-Oct-12 20:03:27

blantantly placemarking for when the OP comes back smile

Prarieflower Thu 04-Oct-12 20:06:02

I am a mum of non identicals and aunty to identicals who I still can't tell apart and they're nearly 5. Sorry. They are really identical with the only difference being a freckle on a foot I think(not a great help).

Sorry I'd want labels. I hate my twins being treated as a package and constantly hearing adults saying both names each time would annoy my boys.

My sister had lovely T shirts with applique initials or name on so you could try that.I always dressed 1 boy in brown warm colours and the other in blue colder colours.My sister sometimes does the same with her son that has a B initial having the blue colours.

MummytoKatie Thu 04-Oct-12 20:14:28

Dh has identical twin cousins who are a few years younger than him. As a child his older brother was very smug about the fact that he could tell them apart so dh desperately wanted to be able to but he never managed it consistently.

I guess what I am saying is that there are few motivators stronger than sibling rivalry and dh still couldn't do it so if you don't have an easy way of telling your twins apart then even when the teacher learns it some of the other kids may struggle.

Lara2 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:26:34

I teach twins who are identical, their parents always do their hair differently - ponytail for one, pigtails for the other. I've only just begun to tell them apart after a month, but only if I look VERY carefully. The town I live and work in has twice the national average number of twins born. You get used to twins (often 3 or 4 sets in a year group) in school! smile Personally, I think a tattooed name on the back of the neck would be most helpful! wink

aquashiv Thu 04-Oct-12 20:26:37

I understand why you want her to make more of an effort to recognise the differences of your babies .

When mine started nursery I really hoped the person would get to know them.

Though in fairness, I struggle with other identical twins even ones I know esp when I have no idea what the differences are.

Something visual is easier we just did different colours. Made life a lot easier.

We are always impressed by how children know the difference between ours. Even in pictures and at distance and rather condescending with adults who just cant see it.smile.

Another mum of identicals here and I think YABU.

I also strongly disagree with having a 'red one' and a 'blue one'

My girls are very identical. People really find it hard and I can understand that - I know that my two best friends, and their godmothers, try VERY hard to suss them but still they sometimes struggle. They wear name badges sometimes (and will do for preschool and school). I'd much prefer name badges which clearly define them as their name rather than permanently associating one as 'red' or 'blue'. I want my girls to be able to choose their own clothes (within reason) and their favourite colours change every few months...

I also don't feel comfortable in insisting on different haircuts. Each day the girls are offered "clips, ponytail, bunches" and they choose. Sometimes they have different styles, some days the same - I want them to have their individual choice not "you have yours this way and you have yours like so".

It also doesn't sit well with me to refute their inherent 'twin-ness' by exacerbating their differences. Being an identical twin is part of their identity and a very special part too. I take their lead though and it seems to work well for us and them.

Interestingly children seem more able than adults to tell mine apart. Mine are now made slightly more easy as one has developed a tiny little burst blood vessel on one cheek whereas the other hasn't... so the one with the spot is X and the one without is Y but it's minimal!

DeWe Thu 04-Oct-12 20:36:32

My dm had a friend who said exactly the same thing about her twins 30 years ago. The result was the nursery decided if she wouldn't put in the effort to help them, they wouldn't bother to try. They never told the difference between them.

Himalaya Thu 04-Oct-12 20:43:13

Theotherbolyngirl - would having different haircuts refute their "twinness" though? I mean obviously when kids are old enough to chose their own haircuts they will chose what they want anyway, but why would it be "the same" either up to that point or later?

Just wondering? I have two boys (not twins) and I think they have had the same hair cut once (when I bought some clippers grin) at all other times it has been randomly different.

Garcia10 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:56:28

YABU

I'm an identical twin and my sister and I wore badges with our forename initial for the first three years of school. It didn't harm us in anyway and made it a bit easier for our teachers to tell us apart.

I just can't see why you wouldn't do this.

foreverondiet Thu 04-Oct-12 21:15:47

YABVU

DD has twins in her class, she is in year 4 and has always struggled to tell them apart. We went to their house for a playdate and their mum pointed out difference in face shape..... why wouldn't you want to help the teacher and other children?

YUNoSaySomethingNice Thu 04-Oct-12 21:25:19

I can see that identical twins should be allowed to choose what they wear and how they style their hair but I don't get the rationale of cutting their hair in an identical fashion and then expecting people to be able to treat them as individuals. Obviously if the DT want their hair cut identically then there is no harm as long as they understand they are more likely to be treated as the twins rather than as two seperate entities.
In my limited experience identical twins often act as a unit and making them look even more identical than they already doesn't promote their individuality.

twinsufficient Thu 04-Oct-12 21:28:33

Interesting responses. To be clear, I am all for making the teacher's life easier, afterall I am one myself! It's the singling them out as the ones who need labelling - they're humans not items fgs. It does make people lazier if they know which one is which without having to make an effort and I want the teachers to see their personalities as they are very different in that way. They wear school uniform so can't use different clothes to distinguish them, but maybe I could put one in a cardigan and one in a jumper. I take offence at the comment that mothers of multiples are precious - out of anyone we have the least time to be precious.
It is difficult seeing people lumping your children together as one unit especially when you see their individual qualities and want them to shine as their own people. This is why apart from school they never wear identical outfits.

I have identical twin boys. They had name stickers for the first couple of terms in nursery. Problem was resolved in reception as I separated them.

Mine grow more and more alike (age 7) and I've confused them twice today alone blushblushblushblushblushblush

twinsufficient Thu 04-Oct-12 21:50:10

verytellytubby I don't have the option of separating them as classes are decided by which half of the year their birthday falls in. I would definitely have gone down this route otherwise!

babybythesea Thu 04-Oct-12 21:52:54

I do understand twinsufficient but...

"It's the singling them out as the ones who need labelling - they're humans not items fgs....It is difficult seeing people lumping your children together as one unit especially when you see their individual qualities and want them to shine as their own people. This is why apart from school they never wear identical outfits."

Surely, if the teacher is in a rush and not confident yet in which one is which, not labelling (whether with actual labels, or clothing, or hairbands) is the first way of ensuring that they do get lumped together. Doesn't sound like she's being lazy to me, sounds like she's realised she might have a problem and doesn't want to call them the wrong names. (My nieces get upset when I do that to them - I have no idea how your twins react to it.) I don't see it as permanent, I see it as helping her out while she figures out those differences you've had five years to leanr and she's had a couple of weeks (while also working out the looks and personalities of 28 or so other kids!)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now