I love having twins! There are so many really cool things about them. And then, occasionally an issue pops up.
Twin issues are, in my opinion, more complicated than just sibling issues. I feel an added pressure/need to make sure that their twinness is neither damamged nor damaging. Twinness has a balance between togetherness and individuality, a special bond between them and a need to be separate from them. Swinging slightly one way or the other as a circumstances requires is normal, but letting things get too out of balance over a period of time can be damaging. It can make parenting a challenge.
Today's challenge: Morning routine.
Our older kids are responsible for getting themselves ready for school; getting up on time, dressing, eating breakfast, packing a lunch and getting to school on time. They are pretty good about it. Letha missed the bus once the first week of school. And the twins, Tadd and Tim, have also been late only once.
It came to our attention yesterday that Tadd is taking on himself all the responsibility of the morning routine for both himself and Tim. For safety reasons I have required that they walk to and from school together. Tadd likes to be early to have time to play on the playground before school, and Tim likes his sleep. So, Tadd has been waking Tim, picking out his clothes, packing his lunch, making Tim's morning coffee and getting their breakfast ready all in an effort to get his brother out the door so that he can have playground time.
On one hand, I applaud Tadd for his problem solving skills. He wants to be early and he has found a way to make it happen. On the other hand, he is totally keeping his brother from taking any responsibility for his own actions, which in the long run can have a crippling effect on Tim. Not to mention that at some point it will cause Tadd to feel resentful of his brother.
I don't want to tell Tadd that he can't help his brother. Helping others is a good quality. But Tim needs to step up to the plate a do his part, be responsible for getting himself ready for school. Being responsible is a good quality. I definitely don't want to pit them against each other and cause resentment between them.
And so, I end this post still brainstorming how to handle it. If you have any wisdom or ideas, feel free to share them, and I will update later what we decide and how it works out.