Thursday, 28 June 2012

It's a twin thing: Comparison

One of the things we try not to do is compare our children. Each one has their strengths and weaknesses and these are acknowledged, but we try not to reference the other kids.

I must admit that I find this aspect of parenting pretty hard. I can't help myself. I compare. I may not articulate my thoughts, but I definitely think them.

The fact that the children are at different ages and stages makes it a bit easier not to make direct comparisons. For example, I honestly can't remember what level of reading Nugget was up to at this stage in his Kindy year. Like Doo Dah he cottoned on easily, but who is doing better? I wouldn't know. It is not important to me. And I am too disorganised to find old school reports or Little Athletics results to check. I am not interested enough.

But it is exceptionally hard when it comes to the twins not to compare them. Most of their early milestones were attained within days of each other. But it was hard not to notice, for example, that one wasn't yet crawling, when the other was swanning past us.

Recently I had Dew Drop's speech and language assessed. Dew Drop's communication skills are behind the Minx's. Honestly, I didn't know if she was advanced and he was fine, or he was delayed and she was fine, so I thought I would ease my mind to seek a Speech Pathologist's opinion.

Turns out he is absolutely fine. More than fine.

If I had have just looked at him (in isolation), I would have known that. If I hadn't compared him to his sister, I would have been able to see for myself that he is speaking and listening really well for a three and a half year old.

I wonder why I feel the need to compare the twins? Is it just that they have an age-matched peer operating next to them that makes comparison so easy? Or is it just me?


nisabell said...

I have twins- 5 now and I try not to compare but it really isn't easy and when things like school reports come at exactly the same time or you just helped one with their home reader and straight away help the other with theirs well... It also doesn't help when people constantly ask, which is the confident one one or comment oh so he is the creative one- argh why can't they both be? You are not alone.

Photographer Mum said...

I compare without meaning to. I think it's because I remember a lot of Miss 5's milestones and have something to go against with the boys. I don't see it as a negative thing though. I use it more for a measure of where they are at. Gives me something to go against.

Lisa H said...

I don't have twins, but my boys are only 18 month apart. One was born on the first day of Winter, and the other on the second day of Summer. The only comparison I ever made was to recognise how different they are, starting with their birth dates!

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

I don't have twins but still compare, my four are all so different I know it's like comparing apples and oranges but still do it. I try and focus on the strengths in each of them.
I do find as a speechie though that I tend to over analyse everything and create problems in my head where there usually isn't one, I think because I'm so used to working with kids with difficulties I sometimes forget what's average?

Diminishing Lucy said...

Oh sweets. When I open up a blog post of yours and see your kids grinning at me, it makes me articulate about them so well, I feel like I know them.

Anyway, no twins here, as you know, but very close in age. At a small school with the same teachers. So, like you, in my head, the comparisons are far too easy to make.

I occasionally verbalise them and get "the look" from lovely husband, which halts me.

I was ALWAYS compared as a kid. Shit me entirely. I was #4 out of 5and a lot less accademically inclinded than my elder siblings and it was commented upon a LOT.

Was it your Mum that says "you do what YOU do"?

Wise words!


katepickle said...

I think it's hard not to compare kids and I also think that comparing is kind of how we parents figure out if all is ok. Sometimes the info gets a bit skewed (especially with twins because differences can seem so obvious and therefore 'bigger') but I think in general it's a bit like a parenting barometer... if used with caution and moderation, not all bad.

Quill and Ink Handmade said...

That photo is just lovely, MM :)

I try not to compare, but it's tricky, isn't it? My two are only 14 months apart, and at the moment, really look like twins - there's absolutely nothing between them. I do think that having an older brother really helped Lou do things a whole lot faster; she was super eager to walk and talk and investigate and follow Judah wherever he went. But there are heaps of things that Judah is just naturally better at - like ball skills, music, reading and writing.
I know that they're on par for the things that they should be doing and learning, which makes it easier to realise that everything else will fall into place - in their own time.

Happy Tuesday!

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