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To never tell them their birth order?

(567 Posts)
sunshinepoppy Sun 26-Jan-20 15:20:44

I have twin boys who were born by c-section. Over the years I have seen interviews with adult twins where they set great store by their birth order. E.g saying one should know better because they are elder by 5 mins. This type of dynamic seems odd and unhelpful.

For this reason we have decided not to tell the boys their birth order. I am now starting to doubt this decision because I am not sure it is my right to keep the information from them.

They are only 6 months old so we have not told them anything yet.
I would appreciate seeing people’s opinions about this. Especially opinion from someone who has a twin.

sunshinepoppy Sun 26-Jan-20 15:21:42

YABU= Tell them
YANBU = Don’t tell them

iolaus Sun 26-Jan-20 15:22:16

At some point they will see their birth certificates and see for themselves

I see not making a bit deal out of it, but if they ask I wouldn't not tell them

Likethebattle Sun 26-Jan-20 15:22:35

Do their birth certificates have exactly the same time or minutes between them? They’ll know from them and does it matter?

goodgodingovan Sun 26-Jan-20 15:22:54

Do people really think their twin who was born 5 minutes earlier should know better? Or is that only the type of person who is doing a publicised interview in the the first place?
I'd say the average twins just get on with life without thinking about it much, if at all.

Geometricprince Sun 26-Jan-20 15:23:34

I'm not a twin but isn't not telling if they ask making it a bigger deal than it needs to be?

slipperywhensparticus Sun 26-Jan-20 15:24:14

My dad is a twin they would argue who came first my dad says its him and his brother has his middle name my uncle said the opposite hmm I'm pretty sure they know they just dont tell

WeHaveSnowdrops Sun 26-Jan-20 15:24:29

It will be on their birth certs.

00100001 Sun 26-Jan-20 15:24:48


What are you going to say to everyone who asks who is older?

How did you expect your kids to answer that question when a bazillion people ask them during their lives?

Indella Sun 26-Jan-20 15:24:54

I think by trying not to make it a big deal you are actually making it a bigger deal. If they ask tell them but it makes no difference.

Blacksackunderthetreesfreeze Sun 26-Jan-20 15:25:25


All the twins I know seem to set great store by their birth order, but in a positive way. So it’s part of their sense of individuality. My female cousin constantly says “youngest first” to her 2 mins older brother (they are 22!) - a joke but it’s their sense of being different people. Must be more so with two the same sex, especially if identical.

sunshinepoppy Sun 26-Jan-20 15:25:33

I never considered that their birth certificates would have the time on them. I am going to go and have a look at them.

Thecatisboss Sun 26-Jan-20 15:25:48

As a twin (& younger by 30 minutes) it really never counted with me and my sister. Yes we teased one another about it but it never really mattered to us or anyone else.

theunknownknown Sun 26-Jan-20 15:26:12

if they were born in England or Wales their birth certs will have their time of birth on them?!
how can you keep it a secret?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sun 26-Jan-20 15:26:18

Over the years I have seen interviews with adult twins where they set great store by their birth order. E.g saying one should know better because they are elder by 5 mins.

This is what's known as "family banter" or "a family joke". You should try it, it can be quite good fun!

P1nkHeartLovesCake Sun 26-Jan-20 15:26:22

So weird to not tell them.....

You really are over thinking this

lumpy76 Sun 26-Jan-20 15:26:30

I don't have twins but I do have 8 children and they have all expressed interest in details of their birth, who walked first, talked first, what time they were born, who was born earliest in the morning, latest at night, on their due date, late etc etc I feel you probably are being unreasonable and unnecessarily withholding the information if they wish to have it - I think it's highly likely they will ask when they are older. IMO you can not stop sibling rivalry and even if you were to try prevent it over birth order there are plenty of other things they'll find it over!

MitziK Sun 26-Jan-20 15:26:38

Seeing as you aren't trying to deny one of them the Crown as a result of the laws of Primogeniture, I think they'll manage just fine not knowing.

Apolloanddaphne Sun 26-Jan-20 15:26:43

Unless their birth certificate says they were born at the exact same time then they are going to find out eventually. My feeling would be not to mention it until they are old enough to ask and then they are entitled to know this information and you should tell them.

Bangkokbaby Sun 26-Jan-20 15:26:54

My twins know who is 'older' I did wonder about telling them but when they asked me it just seemed natural to tell them.
It's on their birth certificate anyway, so you can't hide it forever!

ActualHornist Sun 26-Jan-20 15:26:59

I think you’re waaaaay overthinking this. No twin is seriously holding it over their younger twin that they have five minutes more life over them. It’s just sibling ribbing.

I do have twins by the way, there’s about 40 mins between them. They know who is older. They don’t care, but I suspect they’ll take the piss the older they get.

(This is like DH telling me ‘back in his day’ when he’s 18 months older than me grin)

littleduckeggblue Sun 26-Jan-20 15:27:05

Eh? Surely they gave a right to know and will ask?
You are over thinking this massively

Chickychoccyegg Sun 26-Jan-20 15:27:10

not telling makes it some weird big deal, i dont think anyone really expects a twin born 5 mins earlier to know better than the other, anyway it'll be on their birth certificates.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sun 26-Jan-20 15:27:49

The bizarre thing is that if you had given birth to them vaginally, they very well could have been born on a different order

WeeSleekitTimerousMoosey Sun 26-Jan-20 15:28:31

I also think you'll make it into a big deal when it isn't.

All the twins I know joke about birth order. None of them seriously thinks being the first makes them superior in any way. My identical twin friends also joke that the left handed one is the evil twin. They don't mean that seriously either.

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