Sibling Love : Growing Up wth a Twin Brother
MV: What advice would you give to our readers who discover they are having twins?
KB: My mum had us and three more kids. With twins, just be ready to do everything in twos. Start looking for deals on bulk purchases or doubles. Find out how to breastfeed at the same time, I guess. Contact other parents who have had twins.
MV: What is it like growing up as a twin?
KB:It is both a blessing and a curse. You are constantly being compared to one another. This can put an unnecessary pressure on one or the other. There will always be one of you who excels in different aspects and this can impact your relationship with your twin.
MV: Can you give some examples?
KB: Especially if you are identical twins there is always the challenge for the twin to have her own identity. So they fight against it and want their own identity.
With twins the person who is very strong willed, or has a dominant personality as an infant, may grow up to take a more background role. Sometimes the roles reverse. One who is more docile as a baby; when they get older sometimes this one becomes the more outgoing personality.
MV: How can parents nurture multiples as individuals and as part of a unit?
Parents should allow their kids to have their own identity. It is cute to dress them up the same as babies but once they hit preteen or teenage they should not be compared in any way with their sibling. Whether they are identical or fraternal they have two separate lives, and are separate individuals. It is no different from having another sibling, just that the DNA is very similar.
MV: What is so special about being a twin?
Being a twin you feel a strong connection that people can’t understand. My brother and I think a lot alike – although we aren’t even around each other. You will open my fridge and coincidentally find the same foodstuffs and in the bathroom the same brands for skincare and soap. He puts water in his ice-cream just like I do, yet we never knew that about each other. Both of us shop and buy the exact same stuff. We are both married and don’t spend that much time together but we are really close – on the same wavelength.
Brothers Arm in Arm — Image © Royalty-Free/Corbis