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Faux Jumeaux

Identical twins jokingly refer to fraternal twins as “second-class twins.” In French, they are called faux jumeaux, which translates as “fake twins.” A video clip about the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg jokes that fraternal twins are illegitimate participants in the festival. Comedic allusions aside, fraternal twins face unique challenges. Their issues primarily arise from their blatant differences, whereas identical twins often suffer because of their similarities. I was recently reminded about the effects of distinct differences by a pair […]

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Are Twins Perfect Secret Keepers?

Twins are often each other’s most intimate confidant. They share secrets, tricks, failures, and successes—no holds barred. They reveal thoughts and behaviors to their sibling without feeling judged or ridiculed. They have a sense of acceptance and understanding, no matter what. Occasionally, however, this stipulation is not honored. I have worked with a few twins who have deliberately chosen to keep significant secrets from their sibling to avoid upsetting the perceived balance of their connection. This hidden agenda emerges when […]

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A Twin Bond or Bondage?

Parents of twins often remark that one twin will snitch on the other—informing mom and dad, reliably or not, about what his twin is up to. For instance, an incident may have occurred on the playground that the other sibling witnessed or participated in. Either way, knowing exactly what occurred and to whom is often challenging for parents. Later on, as twins reach adolescence, they often become either partners in crime or informants on one another. Parents are put in […]

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Caretaking Behaviors Derail Communication

Many twin pairs—especially identical twins—develop hierarchical roles with each other. Parents often report that the kids may switch roles from time to time, while others describe a pattern that remains stable over their children’s lifetime. The roles are often described as follows: one twin is more outgoing, one twin makes friends easily, one twin takes the lead, one twin speaks and makes decisions for the other, or one twin is more assertive than the other. These characteristics frequently reflect the […]

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Twins Working Together—Personality Quirks and Clashes

I have met several twin pairs who truly enjoy working together. They have an innate appreciation for one another’s skills, work ethic, and shared goals. Nonetheless, problems can and do arise when twins have not worked through personality differences that may impede their mutual professional aspirations. In most cases, I believe that the personality differences are longstanding. However, they are accepted passively as just part of the twin package. Yet as twins mature, both desire to be acknowledged and heard. […]

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