The New York Times article Two People One Identity, featured identical twins Nate and Kirk Muller who have made themselves lucrative media novas, by capitalizing on their sameness, twiness, parallel plaidness and being, as Gawker called them, the “twinliest twins alive”.
Twins Kristina and Karissa Shannon were the playboy identical favorites aging fetish of Hugh Hefner. But the Olsen, twins, of Full House fame- and most twins- do not want to merge their personas and make slip -strike shift under their other twins’ identity. They want their own individual personalities. This is warbled in Olsen twins “ Identical Twin “lyrics- ” I am not a zerox or a clone.
Every parent is tasked with guiding their children as they grown into individuals. Where parents of twins face an extra challenge is in helping their children become individuals in spite of — and in support of — their status as a multiple. Despite parents’ best efforts to treat their twins as individuals, to avoid comparisons and labeling, it’s a constant fight to fend off society’s views. Twins face a barrage of stereotypes and are constantly confronted with comparisons because of their twinship. Their friends, neighbors, teachers and even well-meaning family members will attempt to label and categorize them. (She’s the good twin, the smart twin, the pretty twin… If one likes baseball, the other one must also… He’s outgoing, so his twin must be shy.)
Where singleton siblings often feel the sting of sibling rivalry, the effects are offset by birth order and by the passing of time. They have years (or in some cases many months) to achieve the milestones set by older siblings. For twins, the milestones are expected to be simultaneous.
Therefore, it’s very important for parents of twins to overcome the stereotypes, labeling and comparisons by offering continual guidance and encouragement to their children, supporting them as they develop as individuals within the context of their relationship as twins.
My daughter Kali, co-author of Mom Loves You Best, had twins Liam and Dylan last April and is trying to raise them as individuals. Since the birth of twins has increased 76 % since 1980 this is something a whapping 1 out of every 30 parents today needs to consider. Do they want their twins to be a zerox or each an original copy ?