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Dominant twin flying, non dominant twin disengaging.

(11 Posts)
Birkdaleboy Tue 03-Nov-15 22:42:47

We have boy/girl twins aged 5 and a half. DD (the more dominant of the two) is flying at school while DS is becoming somewhat disengaged. DS is somewhat behind with his speech and reading and it's likely that the delay is magnified by his sister flying. We are concerned that DS's disengagement is as a result of his sister being a tad overbearing. Does anyone else have this going on?
We have wondered if DS considers that learning is not for him or even whether he feels that because his sister is doing the learning that he doesn't have to. Or it could be that he is bored. It's difficult to tell! He does seem to be very happy at school though.
Anyone have any advice or empathy?

ceeveebee Tue 03-Nov-15 22:51:24

I don't have any advice but am marking my place as I am in a similar situation with our twins - they're nearly 4 and I would say DD is at least 12 months ahead in pretty much all developmental milestones, she walked first, talked first (and never stopped), answers for him, fetches and carries for him, treats him like a little brother and he lets her, it's very difficult and I was hoping to seperate them next year when they start reception. Is that an option for you or is there only one class?

Birkdaleboy Tue 03-Nov-15 23:14:16

Goodness me.....it's like looking in a mirror!! We had the option of putting them in separate classes but DD is lost without her brother there. DS would manage ok (although he also wanted to be in the same class) but DD loses all her self confidence when she doesn't have her brother there. It's almost as if her role is to 'look after' her brother.

ceeveebee Tue 03-Nov-15 23:17:10

Yes they do sound very similar. Hopefully someone wise who's been through this will come along soon and enlighten us!

MrsMolesworth Tue 03-Nov-15 23:19:37

OP, I think that's a good enough reason on its own to put them in the same class. All the other children have to cope with being away from family. If your two are in separate classes they will develop at their own pace without comparison, or any sense that 'she does that bit so I don't have to.'
Our DTs have a similar issue to yours but they have never been in the same class, so the difference between them, although noticeable to them both, has never been one they've had to deal with day to day. It may get harder as they get older. he may lose confidence or get defiant. And she needs to cope without him, just as he needs to step out of role of the one who needs looking after.

Birkdaleboy Tue 03-Nov-15 23:47:59

Mrs Molesworth that's very true but most children merely have to cope with separation from their mum and dad whereas twins in different classes have to cope with the separation from each other too.....arguably a relationship that is closer than the one with their parents.
I'm not entirely sure that merely putting them in separate classes would solve the root problem of disengagement though.

Peebles1 Mon 21-Dec-15 08:19:07

My twin DSs are 20 but were similar in this to yours when younger. Turns out one was dyslexic, but that's a separate issue. At nursery we sent them together but once a week had a separate session. Teacher reported they always played alone at that session. When I picked them up they were jealous about what I'd done with the other in their absence. I was trying to promote individuality but not sure it was worth it! When they were first learning to talk they both said they were called the dominant DT's name! The dominant DT would tell me what the other liked to eat etc. I made a real effort to question that and point out that he needed to answer for himself. They muddled through school and we didn't separate them (small school so no option, but also they adore each other and would've suffered if separated). What happened as time went on was that each benefitted from the other's strengths. The non dominant DT was more sociable and less serious - our other DT made friends through him and developed his fun side. The dominant DT inspired competitiveness in the other DT. He was so determined to keep up educationally that he worked his socks off and his DT kept him focused during revision times etc. It wasn't all plain sailing but they both did really well and are at good Unis. So the moral is that your non dominant DT will find his way, I'm sure.

BoboChic Mon 21-Dec-15 08:27:01

In France twins are put in separate classes at school as soon as possible. This mostly means at age 3. In the rare cases I know where twins have been kept in the same class until 6, developmental progress has been compromised in one or both twins.

daydreamnation Mon 21-Dec-15 08:32:38

I work in early years and the thing that I spotted immediately is that it's your dd who is dominant and the 'high flyer' at school. Girls do generally take off a lot quicker with reading etc when they start school and have a much wider vocab etc.
Have you spoken to school? I too think seperating them is not the answer at this stage, as a previous poster wisely said, they are already having to cope with being away from you!

BoboChic Mon 21-Dec-15 08:38:12

I've never met parents of twins who have regretted separating them at school but I have definitely met parents of twins who have regretted keeping twins together.

MrsGradyOldLady Mon 21-Dec-15 08:48:37

My twins are now 15. In my case it's my son who's in fast track classes for everything and my daughter who has always struggled. My daughter has dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalulia and I found it interesting that someone else above has said the same with get twins. I wonder if it's more prevalent in twins? My 2 were seperate in year 1. I can't honestly say whether or not this made a difference as mine weren't really close anyway. What made a difference to my daughter was speech therapy, yoga and personal tuition in maths and a specialist dyslexia tutor. They did quite a lot of extra curricular activities too which may have helped.

My daughter is doing quite well now. She takes her gcse's next year and is predicted B and C grades. She still has to work a lot harder than her brother and has had to drop a foreign language in order to focus on English but she's happy and confident and she's really pleased with her results. She does find it hard that her brother gets A's with very little effort but unfortunately life's just like that sometimes.

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