Friday, March 11, 2011

Compensations and Comparisons

I read many "twin" pregnancy and childhood books when I first found out I was having twins.  All the books warned about comparing your twins.  Evidently twins are compared to each other more often than other siblings because they are both at the same developmental age. 

I think, though, that parents often compare their children even when they're different ages.  "Joey isn't talking as early as Sammy did." "Why can't Mary sleep through the night? Suzie did." I mean, obviously, these are exaggerations, but am I wrong?  Since my experience is only with twins, I wonder if and how other parents compare their kids.  Thoughts?


Rather than comparisons, lately from teachers, I've been hearing that T1 is compensating for being in a household with T2.  Even though T1 and T2 are in separate classes, all the second graders do activities together, so all their teachers know both kids.  They've told me that T1 often says he knows how to do something, or knows all about something when he really doesn't.  Someone will start to explain something to him, and he'll say, "Yeah, yeah, I've got it.  I know that...."  They think this is is way of defending himself against T2 who always knows the answer to most things without thinking about it.  When she does think carefully, she can decipher some pretty complicated stuff.  He's been trying to keep up with her his whole life.  The teachers speculate on this, and therefore, judge and/or compare him with T2. 

Now this is more significant that ever because 2nd grade conferences are next week.  How well a student performs at the end of second grade is a pretty good indicator for what he or she can do in third grade.  I wonder, are our conferences going to be good snapshots of how our children are doing, individually, in school, or will there be some comparing or compensating?


Making It Work Mom said...

I absolutely think we always compare our children- even if they are differen ages. Sometimes it might possibly be even worse (I don't have twins so I can't compare :)). I think sometimes we have on our rose colored glasses when we think back on how our older child was achieving at that age. Sometimes we don't remember how hard it was - which is probably good in the long run! But make comparisons not always fair.
Hopefully as your twins get older T1 will start to recognize those things we is great at and not hold himself up to T2 and compare.

Bridget Rainey said...

I compare mine, both sets. It is impossible not to do it! I think singleton parents do the same thing.

Don't stress too much about it, they have lots of time to figure out their place in school/family/the world.

I'm in my (late-eek!) 30's and just figuring it out:)