I was surprised to hear this week that our twins were having difficulties in class with a classmate who was once their best friend. The friend is now exhibiting what is known as twin envy among friends, where he wants one of our twins all to himself and is working hard at pushing my other son out of the picture.
5 Tips to Resolve Twin Envy Among Friends
I was sad to hear my boys were having to deal with bullying at such a young age. I was frustrated at the fact another child had set out to break the amazing twin bond our children have. Yet at the same time, I was happy that both our boys felt confident enough to come together and let us know what was happening at school so we could help them.
I decided to ask my fellow mothers of twins and triplets if they have ever experienced a situation like this and to my surprise, this is quite common with multiples in the same classroom. The bond between multiples is strong, and other children can easily become envious of this and act out negatively in an attempt to create their own similar bond with one of your children.
So what do you do in a situation like this? Here are five tips to resolve twin envy among friends, and find a positive solution for everyone.
- Stay calm. When you first hear your children or being bullied and teased at school, your first instinct may be to march in and demand this situation be put to rest immediately. Yes, you want to protect your children, but if you do this without having the full story, you may lose your credibility, and make your child look and feel bad. Instead, double check your facts with your kids before jumping to conclusions, to avoid making you and/or your children look like the cause of the problem.
- Keep a level head. In a situation like this, it's hard not to be emotional. After all, you love your children more than anything and you never want to see them hurt or sad. Try not to let them see you emotional or upset, which may cause more stress for them. Instead, try to keep a level head when talking to them.
- Ask your children if anything has changed recently. Children are very in tune with their friends. Ask your kids if there have been any changes at school recently with their friend, or if they have noticed their friend's behavior change recently. Maybe there has been a change in the other child's home life like a death in the family, separation, or divorce, leading them to act out their feeling in a negative way. If your children have noticed a recent change in their friend's behavior, ask them to express compassion and have patience while their friend works through their difficult time.
- Try to work towards a solution that includes the other child. Sometimes, a friend is envious of the bond twins share because they are searching for the same close relationship. If this is the case, try to encourage your children to go the extra step to include their friend in activities during recess and lunch. It may be difficult for your kids to do at first, especially if one of them was being teased or bullied, but with a little extra attention, their friend may return to being a fun-loving character.
- Speak with the teacher if necessary. If your children continue to be bullied or teased after have made an attempt to resolve the situation, then you should speak with their teacher and make him or her aware of it. It's possible that the teacher may already know, and together you can work towards a solution.