During my talks at the New Zealand Multiple Birth Association conference, prominent themes recurred. Interestingly, many moms had identical twins, so issues regarding individuation were very important. One concern was that teachers and coaches are often unable or unwilling to learn how to differentiate one twin from the other. We discussed how insulting this laissez-faire mentality is to twins who are yearning to be recognized and how it could lead to poor decision making. Often, one twin will not be celebrated for his or her accomplishments or successes because it is not known who achieved what. This lack of recognition becomes even more problematic when team sports are involved. Do both twins have to be chosen, even if one is more capable than the other? Is it double or nothing in such a scenario? Parents of twins need to make sure that the adults interacting with their children learn some identifying characteristics so that each one can be recognized and treated accordingly.
This is the lesson that twins, their families, and significant others must learn and abide: life is not fair and twins are not equal.