Why twins break away from each other

Joan Friedman, PhD Psychologist & Twin Expert, explains why twins often want to break away from each other when the reach adolescence, and how parents should handle it
Raising Twins | Why Twins Often Break Away From Each Other
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Why twins break away from each other

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Parents of middle school and adolescent age twins often do not understand why one twin wants to break away from the other. They describe behavior like: One twin becomes a Goth, one loses weight, one gains weight, one decides to hang around with a fast crowd, the other one loses interest in their studies. One decides, "I just don't like being a twin anymore." Parents are so confused because they've lived so much of their life with twinship being such a prized possession and all of a sudden the twins begin to explain it like it's and imprisonment or a bondage. Parents are confused about how to handle this and what they do, often times, is try to talk the compliant twin into persuading the more rebellious twin to stop this behavior. This strategy, of course, will not work. What will work is parents have to understand that this is a developmental phase, when their children are looking for and searching for a non-twin identity. It's part of a developmental push towards individuation.

Joan Friedman, PhD Psychologist & Twin Expert, explains why twins often want to break away from each other when the reach adolescence, and how parents should handle it

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Joan Friedman, PhD

Psychologist & Twin Expert

Dr. Joan A. Friedman is a prominent and well-respected twin expert who shares her passionate views and insights about twins and their emotional needs with twins and their families throughout the world. The fact that she is an identical twin and the mother of five, including fraternal twin sons, makes her ideally suited to this task. Her commitment to twin research and her treatment of twins of all ages demonstrate the breadth and depth of her skills and experience. She conducts ongoing groups for parents of twins and provides consultation on twin related matters such as school placements, developmental discrepancies, and behavioral issues.

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