Twin Takes

Welcome. Many of you know that the subject of being a twin is a very large part of my life. First, I am a twin; second, I am the mother of twins; third, I specialize in twin issues in my psychotherapy practice; and fourth, I am the author of two books on the subject: Emotionally Healthy Twins and The Same But Different.

And there is so much to talk about. According to a January 2012 report by the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of twin births rose 76 percent from 1980 to 2009. In 2009, one out of thirty births was a twin birth.

So if you are a twin or the parents, grandparents, or spouse of a twin, I’m here to provide information and support. I hope you will find helpful advice, emotional validation, and psychological insights you can use to understand and improve your relationship with the twin in your life. Most importantly, I hope you will let me know what you think. Please feel free to post a comment on what I’ve written, share your personal experience of being or knowing a twin, or ask a question. I’d love to hear from you.

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  1. Mandie

    Hi Joan, I am a mother to 16 month old identical boys. My question is they baby talk a lot to each other and to me…what I am not getting many “real” words. How can I get these active boys to talk! Any suggestions?

    • Do not be alarmed. Twins often talk later precisely because of the circumstances you are describing.
      I would attempt to spend as much alone time as you can with each boy so that you can speak directly one-on-one, one at at time. I know this can be challenging but often it is this lack of direct one-on-one communication between adults and twins that slows down language development. Eventually most twins catch up and speak just fine.

  2. Mandie

    My boys play very well with each other but.. sometimes they do fight.. Which ends up with twin B biting his brother pretty hard. I have tried so many different methods to stop it. What ideas do you have that I could help him stop this habit?

    • Biting often escalates when children are frustrated and cannot articulate what they need.
      Since you did not mention their ages, I am unsure about their developmental time line. If you can intervene before the biting occurs and redirect the interaction, that is helpful. Otherwise, try to figure out how you can help the twin who is biting by reflecting in words what is upsetting him – for example, you are so mad that your brother did such and such – articulating what he feels but cannot yet say might help him increase his frustration tolerance – using empathy and boundaries to help him feel less out of control

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