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Do twins always have to 'come as a pair' - for parties, playdates etc?

(23 Posts)
Legacy Wed 08-Jul-09 16:52:56

A few things recently have made me wonder about this.

A mum I know has twin girls in different classes at the school (Year 1). Mostly they get invited places together as the children share friends, but the Mum was telling me that if only one of them is invited to a party then they don't go, as it causes too much upset.

Also twins in my DS's class. He likes one and plays really well with him. Wants him round for a playdate. The other one is rude and disruptive and teases my younger DS. I'd rather not invite him. Another Mum invited 'nicer' twin to play and was told by their mum 'oh, you'll have to have them both!'

Is it me, or is this all a bit weird? Don't parents of twins try to develop their separate personalities/ friendships etc?

Poledra Wed 08-Jul-09 17:04:10

I think it's wierd, and I'm a twin! Boy + girl twin mind you, so maybe it's easier to separate us then. However, I do think children need to learn that they do not automatically get the same as their sibling, twin or not. My DD2 is desperate to go to the birthday parties her older sister is invited to - I don't insist she is asked. What's the difference really?

And, as a twin, I was keen to develop my own space away from my brother and was well pissed off if well-meaning mothers included him in things so he wouldn't be left out angry

CarGirl Wed 08-Jul-09 17:06:20

I think I've seen both kinds of twin Mum's, one who treats them individually (they are id) and encouraged it, others who saw them as a pair.

stillstanding Wed 08-Jul-09 17:12:44

I don't have a twin but think that if I did and was relatively young I would be desperately upset if she was invited to a party and I wasn't. Having an older sibling isn't the same. This would be an implied rejection.

I guess it is up to the mother of the twins to know where they are at in their development and whether or not they should be coming as a pair at that stage. You can't force the issue.

EccentricaGallumbits Wed 08-Jul-09 17:18:42

DD2 is bestest friends with a twin. is also friends with other twin and they all hang out as a group in and out of school (they are in separate classe).

when they were littler they used to both come over as 'a pair'. now they're 11 they both do their own thing more and we often have one, the other or both around.

the first time we had only DDs best mate on hre own i know i talked to their mum about it and whether they would mind only one coming round. i think the first few times their mum made sure the other twin had a friend around to theirs.

tkband3 Wed 08-Jul-09 17:22:19

I have 4 year old twins. Up till now they have always been invited as a pair, although I do wonder sometimes if this has limited the number of playdates they have had. They do have an older sibling, so are used to not being invited to the same things as DD1, but as stillstanding says, inviting one twin and not the other will be a completely different kettle of fish.

They start in reception in September though and will be in separate classes and I anticipate that as they start to have their own friends they will be invited to different things on different days. I would certainly not insist both of them being invited all the time - I am keen for them to have a sense of individuality. But if/when they are invited to things individually, then I shall make sure I do something special to entertain the one while the other one is at their playdate/party etc.

Greensleeves Wed 08-Jul-09 17:23:34

I think most people would champion the "let them develop their own personalities and have their own friends" ethic - all well and good if they ARE both m aking friends and thriving within their social groups

however it must be bloody awful to be a parent of twins if one is easily popular and the other finds it much tougher.

I have boys close in age who share the same peer group a lot of the time and while I don't "send them both" if one is included in something, I can see how it would be dreadful if one had more social success than the other.

it must be much, much worse with twins. So while I see your point, I can't bring myself to be judgmental of parents trying to do their best for both children in difficult circumstances IYSWIM

PerfectPrefect Wed 08-Jul-09 17:31:28

As a mum of twins having them invited seperately can be a pain. But it is a pain I accept, as they are seperate people.

It is harder for DTDs to accept though. They haven't ever had individual party invites (yet), but have had seperate play dates. IO just try to do something "special" with the twin that has been left out. That is my problem and my repsonsibility IMO, not the responsibility or concern of the inviting parent.

Legacy Wed 08-Jul-09 17:44:14

Hmm - yes, can see it's hard. However I am avoiding inviting the twin who is most friendly with my DS because I really don't want to have to have both.
When DS1 has a friend over I try to invite a friend of DS2's too, then they go off separately with their own friend and I get some mumsnetting work done.

If extra twin has to come it changes the dynamic. I can see how with younger children it might be hard to manage, but the boys I'm talking about are 9.

CarGirl Wed 08-Jul-09 17:56:19

I think what is very difficult is that 3's just don't work as well.

Could you not invite over the other ds's friend so you have 4 in total or is the age gap too big?

piscesmoon Wed 08-Jul-09 17:56:24

I would treat them as individuals-if you only want one, only invite one-if the mother refuses don't have them.Try again later-she might get the message eventually that they don't both have to do the same.

PerfectPrefect Wed 08-Jul-09 18:03:36

Legacy - I think you may have mis-interpretted what i was saying (partly my fault as I was rushing to get tea).

What I was trying to say is that I do not expect other parents to invite them both. It is hard for them to be invited seperately - but I regard that as my problem to deal with - not yours.

And yes - a couple of the parents that do have them both together say the dynamics of 3 is very hard as one invariably gets left out. Their solution is to either have them over seperately or invite a third friend so that there is 4 - but I think this can be hard on them.

The other solution is to talk to teh ohter mother and explain that DS would like to invite one twin. Ask if she has any playdates lined up for the other so that both twins go off to their seperate playdates at the same time IYSWIM. Thhis sounds unlikely given that you suggest that the second twin isn't very popular.

My DTDs are 8 BTW.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 08-Jul-09 18:05:02

Message withdrawn

duckyfuzz Wed 08-Jul-09 18:22:21

my twins are 5 and the school is single class entry, everyone invites the whole class or all the girls/boys to all the parties so far. If one of them was invited without the other, they would be upset, but would get over it I guess. I think at that age it is a difficult thing to deal with, but I certainly wouldn't deprive one of a party (although I'd be sad for the not invited one!) Like TKB I think mine get invited on fewer playdates because of coming as a 'set' - albeit a better behaved set than some of the friends they've asked round

throckenholt Wed 08-Jul-09 18:26:45

I always tell people that my two don't have to come as a pair - it is bound to happen at some point. So far (they are 6.5) they are always invited together (often with their 7 year old brother too !). Occasionally for various reasons only one goes.

Legacy Wed 08-Jul-09 20:40:30

CarGirl - no, I couldn't just have the twins + my 2 DSs - not least because my younger DS very actively dislikes the '2nd' twin as he has teased him and broken his models in the past.

The problem with the twins' mother is that she sees playdates as 'childcare' not as a social event! The 2nd twin is definitely more socially immature, and relies on his brother for friendships. However I feel sorry for the twin who probably isn't being invited places because his brother has to come too?

BiscuitStuffer Thu 09-Jul-09 14:52:53

I think it's perfectly ok to say that you can only manage one friend round at a time (although I am sure you can manage more!) as it gets too chaotic otherwise and you just aren't up for it.

It does sound like twin 2 is desperate for attention by his behaviour but it really isn't your job to help him, especially if he upsets DS2 - your kids come first and that's the bottom line. It sounds like twin 2 needs to go on some playdates on his own really.

BiscuitStuffer Thu 09-Jul-09 14:53:49

Or you could be honest and say there's a personality clash between twin 2 and DS2 so you don't want to push it as it is DS2's home etc.

blahdiblahblah Thu 09-Jul-09 14:59:05

I know a set of 7 yo old twins - both boys but not identical - who have completely different aptitudes, go to different schools and have seperate birthday parties. They are treated as siblings rather than "twins"

ScummyMummy Thu 09-Jul-09 15:04:11

My twins have always been invited together, for some reason, even though I really don't think either they or I would have minded separate invitations, especially for playdates. They are quite different socially too- one tends to be choosy about who he will play with- can take or leave most people but is loyal to the select few he really likes and the other is a total social butterfly who seems quite popular with lots of kids. I definitely would have found it hard if one was invited to lots of parties and the other wasn't though, as greensleeves says, especially when they were little (they're 10 now).

scrummymum Thu 09-Jul-09 21:42:58

I have had my 5 yo DD's friends today after school for a playdate. She is friends with both of the twins but is more friendly with one of them. I would feel awful inviting only one of them so had them both. I also invited another friend so there were 4 of them in the end.

I don't know if their mum wants them to come as a set or be more independant of each other but I wouldn't like to be the one to cause the upset.

retiredgoth2 Thu 09-Jul-09 21:54:57 identical twin urchins are now 8.

They have been in different classes for the last two years, and as a consequence have slightly different friendship groups, though with some overlap. a result they sometimes get asked to play/parties individually, and sometimes as a pair. There is occasionally a small amount of whining if one is invited and the other is not. But hey, I can cope with that.

I frequently have their chums here at Goth Towers after school, it is rarely a problem and usually my urchins behave much better than they would chum-less.

abermum Thu 09-Jul-09 21:55:23

our twins are seperate people- they are not referered to by anyone as 'the twins' they attend separate schools and a teaching assistant the other day was "gobsmacked" to find that ds was a twin- they need to find their independance and i really hate it when people think they come as a pair.

But i can understand in a situation where the dt's are only children and are always together then it could be a problem. Our twins are more like siblings- we are a large family so it does make it easier i think.

Horses for courses, it all depends on how you have dealt with the twin thing, and how the children react.

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