Blog

Twin Competition: Friend or Foe?

I have always been intrigued by the stories that I hear from twins about being competitive. Many twins appreciate sharing in the successes of their sibling. Many twin athletes who compete in the same sport, for example, say that they would rather see one of them win than both lose. The motivating companionship of the experience makes the competition invigorating and exciting rather than mean-spirited and malicious. Twins who play competitive sports have a healthy outlet for competitive feelings. In […]

more

Two Many Cooks in the Kitchen

In my work with parents of twins, I have heard many stories—both positive and negative—about their experiences with grandparents. Having recently become a first-time grandparent to a singleton, I can now relate to the dilemmas with more perspective. The most difficult scenarios seemed to involve grandparents who did not live close by. Especially during the harrowing months after the babies were born, the parents needed physical help, emotional support, and buoyant optimism to help them through the exhaustive transition. For […]

more

Two Peas in a Pod: An Imprecise Science

Do you recall the childhood experience of growing a bean seed inside a plastic cup stuffed with moist cotton? I was recently reminded of this when a mom of identical five-year-old twin daughters shared her story. She described how her girls rushed into the kitchen, each carrying her respective bean seed container. One of them was upset that her bean showed no growth while her sister’s seed was sprouting a healthy green root. The mom patiently explained that some plants […]

more

The Big Five

The “big five” in the world of psychology refers to five personality traits that describe how people interact with the world. (If you happen to be on a safari in Africa, the “big five” refers to the animals that you hope to spot during your safari drives—lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros.) The personality traits are as follows: Openness Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Neuroticism Dr. Meg Jay discusses these dynamics and what they mean in her book The Defining Decade: Why Your […]

more

Loving a Twin: An Emotional Roller Coaster

I received an email from a distraught young woman describing how her boyfriend of five years struggles with divided loyalties between her and his identical twin brother. The young woman says that her boyfriend’s twin frequently requires rescuing due to chronic problems with drug use and unemployment. Her boyfriend’s family has always been insistent that he take care of his less fortunate twin. The family resents their son being in a committed relationship because it derails his commitment to his […]

more