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?

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 16:32:02

I would help the teacher, yes. Why wouldn't you?

Yabu. I'm an auntie to identical twins, I have obviously known them their whole lives so I can tell them apart but for anyone new it took time to notice the subtle differences in their looks.

TheMightyMojoceratops Thu 04-Oct-12 16:34:28

Why stickers? Why not different coloured hairbands? Or just don't dress them identically?

MadgeHarvey Thu 04-Oct-12 16:34:32

What's your thinking behind deliberately making the teacher's life just that little bit more difficult?

HecateHarshPants Thu 04-Oct-12 16:35:30

I would. She's got, what? 30 children and is busy teaching. Your twins look very different to you because it's you and them, day in day out, since they were born. If you saw them for a few hours a day, with 30 other children and you were busy trying to teach a class, I am sure it would be harder grin. I think the children would probably feel better to not get mixed up and if a sticker, or different hairstyles or something, helps this happen, then - and it's just my opinion and I am not the parent of twins, so feel free to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about grin - it's not a bad thing.

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 16:35:42

Yes I would help her, why not?

Nursery children aren't the most verbal as a rule so that must make it harder for her to know which one she's talking to while she's getting to know them.

Paiviaso Thu 04-Oct-12 16:36:45

Perhaps it would help her learn the difference more quickly, as she would be able to attribute different physical and personality traits to the right twin off the bat. Then you can stop using the stickers.

catwomanlikesmeatballs Thu 04-Oct-12 16:36:49

yabu, the teacher has better things to do then spend all day every day studying your kids facial features for slight, barely noticeable differences. Other peoples kids just aren't that interesting.

Why wouldn't you?

Gosh I just noticed you put their differences as eye and face shape.. Hard to notice across a classroom no?

picnicbasketcase Thu 04-Oct-12 16:37:53

I went to primary school with identical twins, one always wore pink hair clips / bands and the other wore red. Might be a bit nicer than actually labelling them.

Frontpaw Thu 04-Oct-12 16:37:54

I would find it hard to tell identical twins apart! If it helps - I would have thought it would be nice for them not to get called the wrong name all the time!

HecateHarshPants Thu 04-Oct-12 16:38:21

That's a very very good point ,paiviaso. X is the one who... Y always...


Identical twins seem to run in DHs massive family. I see quite a few sets of them regularly and on occasion I can't tell them apart, so I don't think its unreasonable to for her to ask this especially when she is teaching lots of other children.

Plus they can then have lots of fun by switching labels.

Do you dress them the same, maybe this contributes?

ShushBaby Thu 04-Oct-12 16:38:36

YABU. It's nice that she has made the effort to want to tell them apart and to suggest a solution to you.

UsingAPsuedonym Thu 04-Oct-12 16:39:35

Why on earth wouldn't you? A friend of mine used to dress hers the same but with one in blue versions of things and the other red to help.

kakapo Thu 04-Oct-12 16:39:37

Personally I wouldn't be thrilled with the sticker idea, it sets them apart from the other kids.

But there are good compromises suggested by other people here - hairbands, different clothes/uniform variations etc.

sookiesookie Thu 04-Oct-12 16:39:42

It will also help their class mates.

So you want to deliberately make the teacher's life more difficult, your DDs' life more difficult, and the lives of all the other staff members they come into contact iwth more difficult?! shock

Staff at the nursery will be able to tell them apart more quickly and learn their distinguishing features if you make it very easy at the begining.

Do you dress them the same? Could you always do one of their hair in a particular style different to the other one's?

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Thu 04-Oct-12 16:40:10

I would find it a bit weird to sticker label them, but would certainly play ball with hairclips etc.

My mum often asks parents of identical twins to do this. After a while she can do without, but having it to start with helps her to focus on them as individuals IYSWIM. She isn't constantly thinking 'which one are you' and conflating personality traits, etc.

effingwotsits Thu 04-Oct-12 16:40:22

Yabu. Would you rather she have to ask them which one they are every time she speaks to them?

BlueberryHill Thu 04-Oct-12 16:43:00

Its not about making the teachers life difficult, its about the twins being treated as individuals and lumped together. If they can tell the other children apart, they should make the effort to be able to tell twins apart.

I know that people will say that having stickers means that people will be able to tell them apart, but people are actually quite lazy about bothering to try to tell them about or just lump together as 'the twins' or compare them to eachother. I'm a mother of twins (boy / girl) , my brother has twins, both boys who, athough they looked completely different (different coloured hair, build etc) people still couldn't tell them apart. I would be concerned that the stickers would mean that people don't even try.

Maybe suggest that you will use different coloured stickers for x period of time to help her, but then you won't as they are individuals. Dress them differently and introduce them at the start of the day so that she knows who is who and what they are wearing also.

BonaDea Thu 04-Oct-12 16:43:55

YANBU - although it SEEMS hard at first to tell twins apart, it takes a matter of days if someone really tries. My best friends are twins and when I first met them I had to remember what they were wearing that day to tell them apart. Inside a few days, I wondered how on earth I could have failed to notice the obvious differences.

Unless you children are complete idiots, I would imagine sticker swapping would become a favourite game within minutes... wink

Thumbwitch Thu 04-Oct-12 16:44:21

I can understand the reluctance to label them, but you could at least make sure that they look different, either in clothes (and keep it consistent) or in hair or something. It's better for them as well if the teacher can tell them apart!

I used to go to school with identical twins but they were relatively easy to tell apart as one was a fair bit smaller than the other, due to health reasons. However, a pair of female identical twins in the year above me - well, none of us could tell them apart! They did have defining clothes that they wore though, to make people's lives easier.

vinhotinto Thu 04-Oct-12 16:44:32

We have twins in our our family that are very hard to tell apart, so yes I would do something to help the teacher as it will help her get to know them as individuals. Don't think I would use stickers but some alternative.

TheCraicDealer Thu 04-Oct-12 16:46:25

I am a twin, and think you'd be best doing as they request. You have no idea how annoying it is to go through life with people going, "Which one are you?". Anything that would help people tell the difference is worth a shot. And if you're dressing them the same stop it- it's cute, but it doesn't help people see them as individuals rather than half of a pair. Even uniforms can be tweaked a bit to make them different.

[and breathe]

BlueberryHill Thu 04-Oct-12 16:47:03

* oops should be a NOT lumped together.

CailinDana Thu 04-Oct-12 16:50:12

I'm great with faces but when I was a teacher, twins always scuppered me, I think because they're in with so many other children. I mean, teachers mix up children who barely even look alike, simply because there are so many of them (teachers out there, own up to saying "Jane, Kate, Mary, Oh god what's your name again sorry!") so two identical children are bound to be confusing. One poor pair of twins used to just say their name as soon as you looked at them because they were so used to being mixed up.

Help out a little, be nice. A little identifying mark isn't difficult and will help your twins to feel individual in a sea of bodies.

cansu Thu 04-Oct-12 16:52:50

They won't be treated as individuals if the teacher doesn't know which one is which! There are lots of sensible suggestions on here as to how to make it easier for the teacher. Making it easier will speed up the process and will make sure they are recognised as individuals. The teacher has lots to learn about all the children and the amount of time available to study your ds features is very very limited.

whizmum Thu 04-Oct-12 16:54:37

YNBU not to label your kids. Quite unnecessary. I agreed with the rising fives playgroup leader to put one of my identical twins in a pony tail to help her. She had not problems by the end of the week. Just blind panic.

I would only agree to labelling if it applied to the rest of the class too.

CailinDana Thu 04-Oct-12 16:54:38

How is the teacher supposed to tell them apart in PE, when they're not necessarily facing her? Not being able to call a child is very annoying, especially if they're doing something a bit dangerous or naughty.

TheCraicDealer Thu 04-Oct-12 16:56:01

"I would only agree to labelling if it applied to the rest of the class too."

Did the rest of the class share a womb?

lisaro Thu 04-Oct-12 16:57:37

My mother never did it with my twin siblings, but most people can now (50 yrs later) tell Gwen and Peter apart. grin

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 04-Oct-12 16:58:19

Yes, do as they ask. Otherwise they are likely to just not call your children by their names as much as they should, because if they don't start the day knowing which is which then they have no chance of learning.

cansu Thu 04-Oct-12 17:01:29

Fgs putting a coloured sticker or a different hair tie or whatever is not some dreadful singling out of a child. Your children won't feel upset because of it. I am amazed at how touchy people are about this. By all means say no Op but dont be surprised if the teacher then avoids using your child's name in case they get it wrong! I would really much rather feel confident that the teacher is getting to know my children properly and can tell me reliably what their strengths and weaknesses are.

TobyLerone Thu 04-Oct-12 17:02:32

YABU. Mothers of multiples can sometimes be so precious.

OldGreyWiffleTest Thu 04-Oct-12 17:02:49

Stop being precious, OP. Just help the school out. Unless you want them to both be called 'JaneMary' - in which case one or the other will answer.

Why would you not want to help people out - they haven't been looking at their faces for years like you have.

PedanticPanda Thu 04-Oct-12 17:05:21

What if your twins decide to be a bit mischievous and swap the name tags around now and then to keep their teacher on her toes? grin

CailinDana Thu 04-Oct-12 17:05:32

A cansu says, if you don't label them then the teacher will just avoid using their names and they're more likely to get left out of things. I found myself unintentionally not talking to twins because of how their faces fell when I used the wrong name sad I did try to get it right, honest!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 04-Oct-12 17:06:57

Sometimes even when people can see the differences, it hard to remember which one is the one with that particular feature. You know that one has the bigger eyes, but you don't know which it is. Or you can tell the differences when they are standing right next to each other, but it's harder when they aren't together.

Please remember that the nursery teacher is doing what she thinks is best in her experience, she's not going out of her way to piss you off.

ChippyMinton Thu 04-Oct-12 17:09:34

Give them a difference - jumper/cardigan, hairstyle etc - and give the poor teacher a break.

You don't have to let on to the twins that you are doing it though, in case they swap, and also it's nice for them to know that the adults can recognise them individually - they don't need to know why.

The twins in dd1's class have always worn different coloured bobbles for the staff to tell them apart.

YABU to think the teaching staff can tell them apart as easily as you, you've had years to get to know them smile

EvilTwins Thu 04-Oct-12 17:12:47

YABU. I have ID twins. For a start I NEVER dressed then identically (why would anyone? They're individuals) but even family and friends muddle them. When they were in nursery, they had labels at first (on their backs- so that they wouldn't fiddle with them) and the staff soon learned who was who. When they started school, they had identical uniform but different shoes. One of them has been known as Daisy Two Straps ever since. I had no issues in making it easier for all concerned.

We know a lot of twins. I've known one set since they were tiny (6 now) and I STILL have problems telling them apart. Another twin mum I know had cool t-shirts with her girls' names on them and they used to wear them when they went somewhere new (ie gym club) for the first time.

Why make it harder?

zzzzz Thu 04-Oct-12 17:14:57

I have twins and I stagger hair cuts so they look more different.

One of my boys once climbed up in my lap and said if he was called his brothers name he would become his brother and burst into tears.

How do your boys feel about being called the wrong name?

Rosa Thu 04-Oct-12 17:22:37

Yabu, you gave birth to them and lived with them 24/7. I know identical twins that have been with my dd since nursery,. At a distance I still cannot tell them apart. Close up one has a small mole on her chin, other than that I wouldn't have a dd was in school with them for 4 years she still calls out both names.......its hard so I would help them out.

lisaro Thu 04-Oct-12 17:24:21

Evil I love t'Daisy two straps'. That's how nick names should come about.

NopofacehaveI Thu 04-Oct-12 17:26:52

The ones in dds class wear different coloured bobbles and clips.

rooted Thu 04-Oct-12 17:30:30

I have twin girls who are not identical but look very similar, leaders at play groups etc often struggle to work out who is who. I currently dress them in a similar style but different colours and will say to play group that x is in red and y in purple. I would rather they were called by their names and want to help the teachers to do this. At school I think I will go down a different hair band/clip colour route to help settle them in. I think if you help the teacher out at the start hopefully she will eventually be able to tell who is who without help. I don't think I would want a label but maybe have something consistently different.

SoupDragon Thu 04-Oct-12 17:31:13

If they can tell the other children apart, they should make the effort to be able to tell twins apart.

LOL - they can tell the other children apart because they all look completely different!

INE, it is usually easy to learn which twin is which when you see them together. Less easy to work it out if you only have one of them in front of you. unless you are a parent or with them for a significant amount of time. The teacher will learn.

Out of interest, could you tell them apart easily when you first had them?

TobyLerone Thu 04-Oct-12 17:32:09

I'm a bit face blind. I'm convinced that I wouldn't be able to tell my own twins apart.

twintwo Thu 04-Oct-12 17:34:10

I have identical twin boys one wore red at nursery and the other wore blue. Teacher would have had a awfull time telling them apart otherwise. Different story now they are in reception in identical uniforms though! Teacher says she can only tell them apart by their (different) shoes!

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 04-Oct-12 17:34:39

YABU give each one a label or certain colours to wear. You are just making it harder on your kids and their teacher.

Off topic but great name OP.

Chopstheduck Thu 04-Oct-12 17:37:46

I have non id twins but one has always had longer hair. When I cut it, people struggled to tell them apart, and the boy with the new haircut HATED being mistaken for his twin. He refused to have it cut short again for a few years after that.

we've just cut it short again, and although they have grown up a lot and are easily distinguishable face on, now I can't tell them apart from behind and it is a nightmare at times!

I shouted three times at him a few days ago, to get in from the road before I realised I was shouting the wrong name which is why he was completely ignoring me! It does make life difficult. I would draw the line at stickers, but just do different shoes or hair, or something. For both the twins' sake, and the teachers.

Chopstheduck Thu 04-Oct-12 17:38:27

Oh i hadn't noticed the name! very clever grin

BoffinMum Thu 04-Oct-12 17:42:43

I have ID twin cousins and I have never been able to tell them apart.

I think a sticker is a good idea, because the teacher is actually trying to treat them as singletons and not just one half of a set of twins. It will make it a lot easier for her to learn which it which in a busy classroom.

purpleroses Thu 04-Oct-12 17:44:25

I know a couple of sets of identical twins, who I can now tell apart smile

But what helped me to do so was taking note at the start of each day I spent with them of who was wearing what, so from that time onwards I knew that X was the one in the red jumper, or whatever. Then I found that as I looked at them (knowing for certain who I was looking at because I'd taken note of the clothing) I could start to pick out differences in their faces, the way they moved, etc, and eventually could tell whatever they were wearing.

So what I'm saying is that you may actually make it easier for the teachers (and the other kids) to learn to tell them apart if you do something to let them know who's who. Different clothing would be fine, rather than stickers, but best if it's something the same each day (eg one of them always has the blue shoes, the other has red)

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 17:45:45

DaisyTwoStraps is a brilliant nickname. As is the OP's.

AnOldieButNotSoGoody Thu 04-Oct-12 17:48:26

I've heard this quite a few times from mothers of twins.

I don't get it.

Why make life harder for other people who are with your children a large chunk of time.

GreyGardens Thu 04-Oct-12 17:48:28

I can only tell my identical twin nieces apart since they dyed their hair (they are 21), so yabu. DD has a set of identical twins in her class and I hate myself for doing it, but I end up calling them 'the girls' to their faces as I can never work out which is which. So give the teacher a break smile.

YouOldSlag Thu 04-Oct-12 17:49:29

identical twins both wearing school uniform and you're annoyed with the teacher for struggling? YABU OP.

You seem almost affronted that the teacher doesn't get the slight difference in face shape/eye shape. YABu and precious. Teachers want to do their job and treat your children as individuals, why on earth won't you help them? a hairband, a hairstyle, a cardigan instead of a jumper, it won't be hard!

littlebrownmouse Thu 04-Oct-12 17:52:21

All our reception kids wear name badges for the first term so that the staff and children in the rest of the school get to know them. They are proper laminated badges with their name and a picture on. It also helps with the twin thing.

BlueberryHill Thu 04-Oct-12 17:53:00

Soup Dragon speaking as a precious twin mother and auntie, there are always differences, some people cannot be bothered to try to tell them apart. One twin is blonde the other brunette, some people still couldn't work it out.

ItalianForSnow Thu 04-Oct-12 17:53:54

Also, just when you think you have it straight in your head which one has a slightly slimmer face, the holidays arrive and they come back to nursery and their faces have matured a little more and the distinguishing feature has evaporated.

I hated not knowing which twin was which when we had them at preschool. It felt so rude checking all the time. Photo observations were also hellish to figure out. Some children managed to tell them apart others didn't. So it's not just the staff you would be helping.

YUNoSaySomethingNice Thu 04-Oct-12 17:59:10

I would give them different haircuts. My friend had identical girls and even though I knew them really well and babysat them they were very hard to tell apart. If i could see them face on i could tell the difference but otherwise it was vey difficult. She eventually started to have their hair cut in different styles. It was less 'cute' but much easier for everyone to tell them apart. If you want to promote them being thought of as two individuals rather than 'the twins' you will have to make it easy for everyone to identify them.

If you purposely try and keep them looking as identical as possible you shouldn't be surprised if people can't tell them apart. confused i don't think it is the least bit unreasonable for the teacher to ask for an easy way to tell them apart but it is up to you and your DT how to do it.

bumperella Thu 04-Oct-12 18:19:41

I used to teach overseas and once had identical twins in a class- they were 4-y-o. They were easy to see and treat as individuals because their parents purposely cut their hair differently and dressed them differently, so no initial confusion, even if they weren't facing me.
I don't think dressing them diffferently or using stickers or whatever will make people lazy about learning how to distinguish them. They'll soon learn the entertainmnet value of swapping clothes/ribbons/stickers and teachers (And classmates) will soon learn to avoid that trap.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 04-Oct-12 18:22:56


My dd is best friends with identical twins. DD can tell them apart, me not so much. And they are here for their tea most evenings! I'm better if they're both there as their face shape is slightly different but if only one is infront of me I have no hope.

If you don't do it then you can't blame the teacher if she never has a scooby which one is which.

poorbuthappy Thu 04-Oct-12 18:28:12

I can't tell my girls apart and I've known them all their lives.
When they are both on a photo I can work it out.
When it's separate photos I struggle along with everyone else.

katieelh Thu 04-Oct-12 18:29:21

I've got identical twins too so I feel you pain. I wouldn't want to label them as the staff should make the effort but I would compromise and say one will always wear blue and the other red, that way the staff can tell at a glance who is who until they learn the subtle difference. Mine are now at school but seperate classes so its not a problem.

JustSpiro Thu 04-Oct-12 18:34:18

YABVU - your children are not the only one's in the classroom. It is unfair to expect a teacher to waste minutes at a time scrutinising your children for minute differences when they, quite frankly, have more important things to be doing with their time and you can make life so much easier for everyone by doing one simple thing.

Assuming they don't wear uniform, what about putting them in different colours rather than actually 'labelling' them. We have very identical twins where I work - one always wears blue and one always wears green - problem solved and no-one is being 'labelled'.

EverybodysCryEyed Thu 04-Oct-12 18:34:37

The first week of dd's nursery I had I stay wih her. A mum left her two year old identical twins with identical outfits. The staff were having a terrible time!

I don't understand why you would make it harder than it needs to be!

babybythesea Thu 04-Oct-12 18:42:56

I don't quite get the 'I want them to be individuals so i don't want to mark them out as different from each other' argument. Seems a bit backwards. Surely if you want them to be recognised as individuals, helping the teacher to work out which is which is the way forward.
My best friend is a twin. I think she looks very different from her sister. And then sometimes I get it wrong. (So do her children, sometimes, climbing on their Auntie and saying 'Mum...').
My nieces are also twins. For ages, one had glasses the other didn't. It was great - you could use it as a marker while you figured out the other differences. Now neither wear glasses and I can tell them apart if you give me a few seconds but quickly, or on Skype with a slightly distorted picture(they live in New Zealand so we don't see them often!) it can be really hard. They hate thinking I haven't recognised them so I go to extraordinary lengths in a conversation to get them to drop hints.
The teacher hasn't known them long. She's asked for help precisely to avoid lumping them together, so she can pick them out as individuals. They are far more likely to be lumped together if they look basically the same. The teacher is clearly trying, but she has another 28 kids to deal with. She will learn, but you seem to be expecting her to achieve in a day or two, a few hours per day, what you have had several years to do. Plus, she's got another 28 kids and a job to do.

SoupDragon Thu 04-Oct-12 18:55:34

Blueberryhill where did I call you precious? And I know there are differences thanks. That's why I said that it's easier to tell which is which when you have them both in front of you.

I could tell the ID twins in my year at Primary school apart easily as I got to know them well. I have no idea which is which out of the twins in DDs year.

Himalaya Thu 04-Oct-12 19:00:16

Could you cut one's hair with a fringe and the other without. Or one short one long? I don't think you can expect teachers to study eye-shape to tell who is who.

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

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


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


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!)

I guess I wasn't talking so much about particular cuts (although my girls' hair has taken so long to grow I'm very limited at the moment in differentiating them that way!) but in how they CHOOSE to wear it: so as with many young girls they have very defined preferences for hair style. One currently wants bunches and clips most days and one normally wants hers down with clips. But on any given day they may both have bunches, or both have their hair down and I'm not going to argue with them. Firstly because they are nearly three and I have bigger battles to fight. But primarily because if they want their hair a particular way on one day which is different from their 'norm' aren't they as entitled to that as a singleton would be? You wouldn't insist a singleton girl always had bunches because 'that's how it's done'.

And I don't believe labelling the child makes them in to some sort of item either. I think it aids people's ability to treat them as individuals because the poor person isn't having to study physical features so intently at the expense of getting to know a personality or living in fear of making a mistake and therefore lumps them together in to 'the twins' as a catch-all.

Like it or not a lot of twin parents and attitudes towards 'setting identities' have made childcare professionals, teachers, and plain old joe bloggs scared of getting it wrong. And through fear they then do 'get it wrong'. Identical twins aren't some weird species who will lose their identity by wearing a badge, or a name label. Children, and in my experience, twins, are pretty good at leading the way on what is best for their own identity and relationship and certainly start to let people know what they are or aren't happy with. In the case of my identical twin girls they currently very much are a unit made of two individuals. In the case of my twin DN's they are very much individuals fighting against their twin unit. Different kids, different relationship, different way for the parents and others in their lives to handle it. Equally valid and neither wrong.

justmyview Thu 04-Oct-12 22:00:30

My Dad reached aged 21 before he could tell the difference between his father and uncle (twins). I think you should help the teacher

I like the idea of name badges, rather than telling the children they must have certain haircuts / clothes. You seem to assume that the children would object to name badges. Maybe they would like it, if they feel special to have a twin?

mrsminerva Thu 04-Oct-12 22:04:49

I am a mother of twins too, albeit fraternal ones. I think YABU and precious about the whole thing TBH. Could you not give them different haircuts or something to help those 'less gifted in divination' a chance to tell one from t'other? You will have enough fights in the years to come about the way they are treated so I wouldn't waste your energy on a non-issue like this.

Also OP - I don't know about you, but to me my identical twins look completely different. They have done since they were born. However, trying to describe the differences to others to help them proves to be hard to quantify. The differences are so minimale.g. X's eyes are slightly more 'wide', it's obvious to me that my ability to tell them apart (and that of DS and DH who know them closely) is not going to be able to be shared by many others and I feel it would be unreasonable of me to expect that of someone like a teacher coming in to the childrens' life at a later stage - if your twins are still very naturually identical. Do you have any photos where you look back and go "ummm, errr, I think it's X" but can't say with 100% certainty? Or can only be sure because of the clothes they are wearing? I think that's the closest I can liken it to in how hard it is for others to tell my girls apart and so to me it seems natural to do something which helps others.

echt Thu 04-Oct-12 22:08:03

This is no help at all, but I once taught identical twins who had the same first name, too. grin

Different hair? Different length of hair?

AdoraBell Thu 04-Oct-12 22:09:35

I've just asked my own twins, recently turned 11, how they would feel if I had labled them. One would have left home, the other would have killed me. They suggest different hair bands/styles, earrings, outfits.


which again just goes to show different twins different relationships different attitudes different children... what works for one set of twins isn't necessarily right for another.

who knows maybe I should start saving now for the therapy they will need as a result of me having got them name badges (which they love and ask for by the way!)

Viviennemary Thu 04-Oct-12 22:13:13

Couldn't they wear different coloured hair ribbons or different coloured socks or something like that if you object to labels. I'm sure teaching is hard enough without not being able to tell who is who in a pair of identical twins. Or suggest every child in the class wears a name badge and then they won't feel the only ones with labels.

EllenParsons Thu 04-Oct-12 22:14:23

I'm an identical twin and I do see where you're coming from OP. I think labels seem really awful, and I would never make my children wear identifying stickers if I had twins. I would have hated that myself. Something like one in a jumper and one in a cardigan, or having different hairstyles etc is better but then I do also agree with the poster who is worried about that taking the kids choice away if they have to be the one with bunches and the one with the clips and can't change their mind about trivial things like a hair style like anyone else could. My sister and I used to be colour coded with red or blue shoes a lot of the time as kids and my sister had to have shorter hair, which she told me she actually hated! It is difficult to know how to help the teacher tell them apart and I dont think you are being precious. Some teachers really just don't make the effort though. One I had in primary school never ever called me by name and always called me "twinny"!

exoticfruits Thu 04-Oct-12 22:21:19

If you dress them differently it wouldn't be a problem just tell them first thing each day which is which.

EverybodysCryEyed Thu 04-Oct-12 22:23:00

Im interested to know - are the other children able to tell the difference?

I think kids see the world differently and wonder if they find this kind of thing easier

Coralanne Thu 04-Oct-12 22:29:05

A close friend has identical twins. (They look like Annie).

When they were pre-schoolers one always wore red shoes and the other blue shoes,

To this day when I see them, the colours red and blue always pop into my head.

Maybe a small wristband would suffice until the teacher is more comfortable in telling them apart.

mrsminerva Thu 04-Oct-12 22:29:26

Twinny, Ellen? Thats really bad from a teacher. Now that I would get in a strop about. Did anyone ever ask you which was the evil twin out of you and your sister? You'd be amazed what sort of questions people come out with as a parent of twins. Classic being to parent of boy/girl twins, are they identical?!!! I mean WTF!!!?

dottyspotty2 Thu 04-Oct-12 22:29:38

Is this school nursery as when mine went they wore name badges anyway they still do.YANBU though.

EverybodysCryEyed - in my experience children are much much better at telling them apart! I have a theory - they aren't worried about getting it wrong and so just go with the gut feeling and so can pick up the subleties more easily because they don't even attempt to study dfferences!

Coralanne Thu 04-Oct-12 22:31:02

Ellen , you aren't my friend's daughter are you? grin

SoMuchToBits Thu 04-Oct-12 22:38:51

As a twin myself, first of all can I say I think you have done the right thing in putting them in different clothes when they are not at school. The uniform is obviously a constraint, but if they are happy to wear different hair accessories/hairstyles/shoes/cardigan or jumper, then I would go with that.

I wouldn't assume though that because you can tell the difference between your children by looking at them everyone else can. I help out at my ds's old primary school (he has now moved to secondary) and know a couple of sets of identical twins there. As a twin, I know how annoying it is if people don't know who you are, so I have tried very hard to tell the difference between them, but they are so similar I really struggle, especially if I don't see them together but in isolation.

I do think it's unnacceptable though for people just not to bother even trying to learn the differences between them. When we were teenagers my sis and I had completely different hairstyles and people still got us mixed up! And being called "Twinny"! A neighbour's daughter used to do that and it made me so angry - she just didn't see us as individuals at all.

EverybodysCryEyed Thu 04-Oct-12 22:39:04

The other Boleyn girl - thanks. Very interesting!

amillionyears Thu 04-Oct-12 22:40:52

Definitely label them in some way.I have twins.I used not to be able to tell them apart when they were some distance away,with their backs to me.
You need the teachers to be able to call "oy Mark or whoever,dont do ......,
not say "oh,uh,uh,....." and waste valuable moments if they are about to do something dangerous.Or get into trouble in the school playground or whatever.
Also,from a educational point of view,no way do you want their school reports to be the same,because the teachers cannot tell them apart. You want to know their personal educational strengths and weaknesses properly surely?
In short,you want them treated sperately,and this will happen a whole lot better if they are differentiated at school.

BeauNeidel Thu 04-Oct-12 22:44:41

I have identical boys, they don't look ID at the moment as one has an interesting, self-inflicted short haircut and the other longer.

I would label them, especially as it's the beginning of the term. Undoubtedly she will know who they are just as they move up to a different teacher! grin

BTW, I can tell the difference between my boys, but am hopeless with others. It is much harder when they are not your own.

Coralanne Thu 04-Oct-12 22:46:12

When friend's DD's were 6 my DD was 3.

Twins were named Jillian and Melissa. My DD (at 3 Years old) used to call them both Jillissa. blush.

Don't know how she came up with this as she was always encouraged to try to tell them apart.

The twins in my primary class, Lisbeth and Kristin were called Krisbet. Better than Lisbin I suppose....

cocolepew Thu 04-Oct-12 22:52:40

How would wearing different coloured hair bobbles help? The teacher would need to be told who is wearing what colour and remember it, or am I missing something? <perplexed>

I am a mother of identical twins and a teacher. When they went to nursery i would always dress them differently to help people tell them apart. I also have taught lots of twins, one set in particular were very difficult to tell apart, and to this day I still struggle. Something as simple as badges would have made my life so much easier. If a teacher asked me to do something similar I would oblige.
I can see where you are coming from, but be practical.

RainbowSpiral Thu 04-Oct-12 22:57:18

When my friend realised that the reports written about her identical twin boys in the SECOND year of primary were clearly the wrong way around, she decided it was time for action. She's a hairdresser and gave one of them a short haircut and the other ended up with longer floppy hair. They've kept these hairstyles all through primary. Once people could tell them apart (they are very identical facially) a whole host of changes happened with friendships and education and she finally realised her assumptions that children and teachers could tell them apart in their school uniforms were incorrect.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 04-Oct-12 23:01:22

I taught two pairs of very, very identical twins. One set wore different colour polo shirts. The other pair were more tricky but one of them had a freckle on his chin and the other didn't. It didn't mean I could tell them apart unless they were facing me though smile

Perhaps do the sticker thing until she has got to know them better? With the polo shirt twins, I found quite soon that their personalities were so different I could tell them apart from their facial expressions.

Coralanne Thu 04-Oct-12 23:02:19

At my surgery we have twins (15 months old). They are identical until you see their eyes. One has bright blue eyes, the other Hazel.

Twins names are Skye and Allison.

Sounds a bit convulated, but I remember who is who by knowing that the one with blue eyes doesn't have the same name as the sky. grin

Mum is quite impressed that I nevr make a mistake with their names.

santaisNOTathreat Thu 04-Oct-12 23:06:32

i have known my son's friends who are twins for 4 years, i still can not tell them apart.

it now cost me 10p every time i get it wrong, i will learn. < wonders if 7 year olds can scam>

TheSmallClanger Thu 04-Oct-12 23:10:03

I sometimes struggle to tell the non-identical twins in my family apart. I think they had little name badges when they first started school, until everyone worked out the tell-tale differences.

There were boy twins in my class at infants, and they always wore different coloured t-shirts.

YUNoSaySomethingNice Thu 04-Oct-12 23:11:06

Are your DD's allowed to wear earrings, bangles or a necklace to school. It would be a subtle way of identifying them and they could chose the piece of jewellery. I know this might be a rubbish idea as many schools dont allow jewellery.

Stud earrings would be the best choice.

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Thu 04-Oct-12 23:12:46

As I twin mum I don't think YABU. I wouldn't want to stick labels on my two either.

I did dress them differently when they were at playgroup. One used to wear blue. Unfortunately as they've got older they decide what they want to wear and confuse the family by both wearing blue or ds3 wearing blue and not ds4 who was designated the blue!

I don't think it bothers them when people call them the wrong name, I do it all the time! And I say "You, which one are you?" quite often. And if I talk to one the other assumes I'm talking to them but with the wrong name and I get told off!

DS5's teacher keeps calling him by DS4's name as she taught him, so it's not just a twin thing, DS5 is 3 years younger!

bevelino Thu 04-Oct-12 23:14:59

I have identical triplets and it would have made life very difficult for the school if I had not distinguished them in some way. As other posters have said why not make it easier for the teacher, isn't life hard enough?
Wearing different coloured hairbands or different clothes would help.

sashh Thu 04-Oct-12 23:17:51


The teacher is trying to make sure your children are treated as individuals, they will forever be 'the twins' so this is good.

I don't agree with the labels though, just a different colour hair band, socks or even outfit.

BonzoDooDah Thu 04-Oct-12 23:23:48

Can I ask you people with identical twins how you told them apart as babies? And if you ever mixed them up then how would you know?
I know these are probably Knobby questions but I've just always wanted to know.

Aspiemum2 Thu 04-Oct-12 23:25:55

Yikes! Why so serious?? No mental or emotional scars will befall your twins just by making it more obvious which ones which. I've lost count of the number of times I'm asked "which is which". In fact, in the photos we had done when they were born it is super difficult to tell them apart. And mine are frat b/g twins!
Make everyone's life easier and do as the teacher asks, it's really not a big deal.

purplehouse Thu 04-Oct-12 23:29:40

You must help the teacher out in some way although I agree that labelling them with their names is not the way to go. I haven't picked up if they are girls or boys, but if girls, something to do with their hair might work. Eg if uniform is blue and grey put blue hair band for one and grey for the other. I will warn you - I have twin siblings. Let's call them Sarah and Susan. At school, many people called them both SarahSusan. One ignorant family member did as well ! Do you want similar for yours? Help the staff even if not with name labels. I can obviously tell my siblings apart but I still struggle with other id twins. To me, my siblings look totally different but to other people, they look identical.

Also presuming they are 3, it must be quite irritating for them individually to feel that the teacher doesn't know their name but knows all the other kids. So help !

Gooshka Thu 04-Oct-12 23:30:35

I suggest that you spend just one week volunteering in a school and then decide yourself whether YABU wink

SomersetONeil Thu 04-Oct-12 23:40:17

Surely it's just a stepping stone in the getting-to-know-them period, that will become redundant over time. A means to an ends that makes everyone's life easier?

SomersetONeil Thu 04-Oct-12 23:40:51

Gooshka - I think the OP said she is a teacher.

krystianah Thu 04-Oct-12 23:42:22

Yeah, YABU, sorry.

I have b/g twins (now 11) and am friends - via a twin group - with loads of twin families, including identicals. Some of them are more identical-er than others, if you know what I mean, and with the best will, you can't tell them apart (unless they're together).

IMO you should take responsiblility for how your school views your twins. Don't be lazy. If the teachers can't tell the difference, I would say it's your fault, not theirs. Make them look different, however you can.

You don't state what sex your twins are, do you? I think developing a singleton identity is especially important if your twins are girls. Look at the literature. X

krystianah Thu 04-Oct-12 23:48:26

bevelino, by the way, big respect to you! Gasp! Identical triplets.

musicalendorphins Fri 05-Oct-12 04:03:34

Stickers, no. Coloured hair clips, or bands, or cutting their hair in different styles yes.

Chopstheduck Fri 05-Oct-12 06:22:18

I think it is crazy that the classes are determined by birthday and you don't have the option to separate them. Mine were together for reception and then separated from year 1, as per school policy. Each year the classes alter in any case, so it wasn't a case of one child having to leave all their friends.

It did them so much good, helped them grow as individuals. Also their reception teacher had noticed 'home type behaviour' at school - basically squabbling and scuffles, being siblings they would more readily take a chunk out of one another whereas with other classmates they might be more refrained.

By year one, one of their teachers was new and didn't even realise dt1 was a twin until a couple of months in! I think you really should ask the school about reviewing that policy.

Chopstheduck Fri 05-Oct-12 06:23:29

blimey, I didn't know identical triplets were possible!

Born2bemild Fri 05-Oct-12 06:49:26

It depends which is more important to you. Your dc being treated as individuals, getting names correct, getting help to correct child. Or making sure your teacher is "making an effort", and not labelling your children.

exoticfruits Fri 05-Oct-12 07:00:45

I would help the teacher. You need time to observe them - something that a teacher doesn't get. I was in primary school with identical twins and I could tell them apart, even whenI just saw one, but that was because when we were sitting listening to something like a story I had plenty of time to just look. As a teacher it is far more difficult because you never get 10 minutes to nothing but look. I would get them in separate classes if possible and dress them differently when not in school uniform.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 05-Oct-12 07:11:01

Bonzo, a friend of mine has identical twin babies. She puts a different coloured dot of nail varnish on their big toe.

lljkk Fri 05-Oct-12 07:44:30

Jumper & a cardigan sounds good. Let the twins choose what their consistent (at school, for now) dress difference will be, too. It will help their peers recognise them and help them develop independent relationships, too.

I lump my non-twin children together at times, why wouldn't I lump twins together if I wanted to? I label DC or a subset of them as a unit all the time, "the boys" "the older ones" "the younger ones" "the runners" etc. The labels do no harm, it helps me support them, it's normal.

My ID twin relatives were born in eras when it was normal to give twins very similar names & to dress them up in ID clothes much of the time just because it looked cute. I refute the idea this harmed them long term; they've turned out quite confident in their own identities. Some parallels in interests, some distinct differences. Occasional class & girlfriend swapping, but that's part of the fun (they tell me). I have no end of stories about funny incidents where one was taken for other (not by teachers, mind).

throckenholt Fri 05-Oct-12 08:39:52

Mine are id too - when they were at playgroup no-one knew which was which reliably to start with (the kids included). They always wore different clothes. They wouldn't answer to their own name at roll call, but each would look at the other one when the names were called. The staff would watch them, figure out which was which and then remember for that session which clothes each was wearing. Seemed to work most of the time.

As they got to know them they could reliably tell them apart when they were together, not so reliably when they were on their own. We did sometimes get comments about x which I swear were actually about y, but it never seemed worth making an issue of it.

ZonkedOut Fri 05-Oct-12 09:30:50

Chops, there is even a set of identical quads, there was a documentary about them.

My sister is friends with a mother of I'd triplet girls. They always used to wear different coloured clothes, so each had their own colour. Though I suspect that there is the danger of people looking at the colour rather than learning the more subtle differences.

lljkk Fri 05-Oct-12 11:22:02

I went to school with ID trips (well, they were quads at birth but one didn't survive). They were always in separate classes or there would have been endless confusion, I suppose over the years I kind of got to tell them apart a leetle.

Not deliberate but two of DSs have same forenames, eek!

Glittertwins Fri 05-Oct-12 11:29:14

Even non identical twins look pretty much identical when wearing school uniform. Help the teachers by using different hairstyles, hair accessories or even different polo shirts or shoes. Giving the them different clothes will also help them form their own identities too. My pair are boy/girl to a tad easier to distinguish though.

MrsBovary Fri 05-Oct-12 11:40:49

I wouldn't label them. I don't think you are being unreasonable, OP.

People can tell my identical twins apart very quickly once they get to know them, they sound different too and have very different personalities. Nobody has ever asked if we would label them.

My own twins insist on dressing the same, even down to colour of hair bows. I expect they'll grow out of that. I had an incident where the hairdresser cut one the twins' hair slightly different, and it had to be rectified as they were so upset.

oohlaalaa Fri 05-Oct-12 11:54:01

My cousins are identical twins, six months younger than me, and I don't remember there ever being an issue telling them apart, even when they were very young and wore the same clothes and hairstyles.

I wouldn't label them either, just nicely point out that the differences. She'll soon learn..

Frontpaw Fri 05-Oct-12 12:02:39

Lots of the girls in DSs year look the same to me! Long blonde hair, blue eyes... I never get names right anyway, so I call them all 'Dear' or 'Sweetie'.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 05-Oct-12 12:08:37

As an identical twin myself, I remember the school years, particularly when I got to High School, when we were addressed as Twin, rather than anyone bothering to learn which of us was which.
And we did do everything to try and look different.
I think you should try and let them look as individual as you can, not so much for the teacher's sake, but for their own.

twinsufficient Fri 05-Oct-12 22:21:23

LadyBeagleEyes I hate it when people refer to them as the twins as they don't know which is which. I have decided to dress the twin whose name begins with C in a cardigan from now on so it should be easier for the teacher - c for cardigan.

amillionyears Fri 05-Oct-12 22:26:43

op,yes,if you dress them differently at school,then it will be a little less likely that they will be refered to as the twins.
Win win.

steppemum Fri 05-Oct-12 22:38:48

I have 2 sets of identical twins who regularly come to our sunday school. One parent dresses them identically and expects me to know the difference. The other parent dresses them differently, and often puts a sticker on their back with their name on it.

I actually have no need of the sticker, but I do need to catch her at the beginning and ask her which twin is wearing what. Once I know then I can identify them properly. I am beginning to learn who is who (not helped that they have no English and I only see them once a month for an hour, but I am learning their personality differences slowly)
I get really frustrated with the other parent. The boys are VERY identical. I have yet to work out who is who, and because I am not looking at x and thinking that is x. I am never going to get it. I look at him, and it could be x or y, so any identifying features don't become associated with the right name. It is awful to call across to x and not be able to say their name. I always end up saying 'x and y, come and have a drink and biscuit' So they remain bunched together as twins

throckenholt Sat 06-Oct-12 15:20:32

Have you ever thought of asking them ? If they won't tell you their own name they may well tell you who the other one is. So say to them "Is that Tom ?" and they will either agree, or laugh at your silly mistake, or tell you. Either way you can then work out which is which.

I think it is often easy to tell id twins apart when they are together - one is invariably taller or a bit fatter, or have a rounder face, or slightly wavy hair. It is when they apart that the problems really kick in because you have nothing to compare the little differences to.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 06-Oct-12 15:43:57

That's true throckenholt.
My sister and I live 60 miles apart but when I go to town people always say hello M, but when we're together the differences are obvious.
And we're really really old.

Frontpaw Sat 06-Oct-12 16:10:46

I was always confused with one of my sisters. People would assume we were twins and quite often - even up to our 20s - someone would say to one of us 'why didn't you say hello rto me when I say you on X street on Tursday?'. It used to drive us nuts.

The girls in our family were always referred to as 'The Girls'. We hated that. I always wanted to be a twin though.

My friend's a twin and her sisters children, up to the age of 6 or 7 would walk into a room, say 'Muuuuuum! Mum? Oh, Aunty X' quite often, or just wander over, peer at either twin, then wander off again.

Think you have the right solution in your last post OP - dress them a little differently, don't label them with a real, literal label!

My 7 year old's best friend has 13 year old ID twin brothers - their own 8 year old sister still sometimes doesn't know which is which, especially if they are not together (if you ask her she usually calls out the name of one and waits to see who looks over), and I can't tell them apart - but they choose to look the same - they both have long hair in ponytails, you'd have thought one would have cut it by now... and they tend to wear similar trousers and T shirts that look as if they have taken one each from the same 2 back, so they don't dress as mirror images but in such a similar style there is no way of saying "Ah that's M, he usually wears surfer type stuff" or "That's S, he's the wannabe Goth one" or anything like that grin Its their choice at 13 I guess though, for whatever reason...

MikeOxard Sat 06-Oct-12 16:59:19

I would help her out and put stickers on them. On the other hand, as a twin, I would swap stickers frequently for a laugh. grin

redwhiteandblueeyedsusan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:25:09

why not supply her with a photo of them and a label of what to look for to tell them apart. she can then check this discreetly until she has it worked out herself.

lovessummer Sat 06-Oct-12 18:55:44

I have id twins who've just started reception. I wanted them to label them to make it as easy as possible (as they have to wear a uniform and are boys so not much I can do with hair), but they said they didnt want us to 'make it easy' for them and want to learn to tell who's who. (good luck with that though as very few other people have managed!). I admire their attitude but think they could have made their lives so much easier for themselves! Id twins do stand out regardless of whether they are labelled or not. And I have been frustrated when people have avoided calling them anything because they have worried about getting their name wrong. I hate to think the teacher might avoid choosing them when they put their hand up because she/he isn't sure who it is!

candr Sat 06-Oct-12 20:56:56

No, she should learn them as individuals. I am a twin and would have hated to have a sticker on. I have also taught a number of sets of twins and within a few days have always known them apart as they are differnt people just as any other child in a new class.

bubby64 Sat 06-Oct-12 21:19:12

I am the mum of ID boys, and, now they are older, they want different haircuts, wear different clothes (unless in school uniform) etc, when they were younger, it was their choice to dress the same, they even always chose the same shoes (it was a nightmare getting those!)The teachers knew one had a very small mole on his chin, but that was the only real difference then. I did have little metal pin badges with the initial letter of their name on for the first couple of terms, and also when a new teacher arrived and was due to be their form teacher, just to help them out, but their own didtinct personalities soon shone through, and the teachers soon learned who was who. By the way, their were just 19 kids in their Primary school class last year, and amoung them, there were 4 sets of twins!

UltraBOF Sat 06-Oct-12 23:23:55

Of course the teachers should learn to see them as individuals. The point being that in the early days, some obvious distinguishing feature (ok, stickers are crass, but something) helps them do precisely that.

rodgette Thu 11-Oct-12 22:37:11

I encourage my twins to explore differences, hair bands, clothes, shoe colour etc. My identical twins are 6. Mine wear a cardigan and a jumper respectively, mine hate people calling them by the wrong

rodgette Thu 11-Oct-12 22:38:31

Mine also swap said cardigans, shoes, head bands, names, lol. but that's part of what makes them so funny...........

LilyRosa Thu 11-Oct-12 23:19:47

YANBU as an expectant mother of twins i've already started to lay the way for them to be reffered to as babies/children not as 'the twins' in the hope that they start with individual identities.

There were also 2 sets of identical twins in my year at school and after a few days it was obvious who was who.

I would be furious if this was the teachers solution to telling my children apart.

Glittertwins Fri 12-Oct-12 08:07:47

We also never refer to the as "the twins" either although it hacks us off both a treat when the outlaws do it.

I think you should put different hair bands or something to tell them apart. The twins in my daughters class (yr2) are already playing little tricks on the teachers and pretending to be each other...It will stop these kinds of mix ups!

YABU sorry.

MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 08:33:10

I would not want to put stickers on them if I were you, I think you are right, it sets them apart from the other children. Instead, I would use the hair clips idea or allow them to dress differently if there is not a uniform. I have taught lots of sets of twins and I find it very difficult to tell them apart so I understand where the teacher is coming from, but as you get to know them it becomes easier. Before that, I always have to apologise and ask them which one they are. As regards to teachers seeing them as individuals, it is often advisable to have them in different classes so that they get a chance to express themselves as an individual. Many of the twins I teach often request separate classes by the time they come to us at 10.

LadyFlumpalot Fri 12-Oct-12 08:44:47

I went to school with identical twin girls, in year 11 Twin A bleached her brown hair and got contacts. It was then very easy to tell them apart...

Until the start of year 12 when Twin B had also bleached her hair and started wearing contacts.

I wasn't one of their close friends, but I always found it easy to tell them apart. Twin A just looked softer somehow. Maybe her blonde hair wasn't as harsh as her sisters or something.

OP, I also think different bobbles, or shoes or something innocuous would be good. They are not being labelled as such then.

Gunznroses Fri 12-Oct-12 09:00:43

Does anyone remember The twins in the film "Master of the game" ? Sorry a bit off topic i know.

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 12-Oct-12 09:54:43

A friend who is an id twin recently put an old school photo of her and her sister on facebook. A long discussion ensued as to who was who with neither sister agreeing!

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