Last week I wrote about some interesting but general characteristics of fraternal twin boys. Didn’t get a chance to read it? I’ll give you a quick recap: They’re boisterous and assertive. As toddlers, they’re often aggressive. And without a doubt, young fraternal twin boys are exhausting! This week, however, I turn the tables and focus on their same-sex counterparts, fraternal twin girls. These characteristics are also based on research but in no way are set in stone—you may find that your girls fit them to a tee while others of you won’t be able to relate. At. All. Nonetheless, it’s fun to see what science has to say about our twins. So here we go—Fraternal Twin Girls: 5 Things Parents Need to Know.
Fraternal twin girls excel in speech, even—at times—surpassing their singleton counterparts.
We all know that at an early age, girls excel verbally when compared to boys. Studies have shown that they tell longer, more imaginative stories than male twins. But did you know that fraternal twin girls often have better articulation than even singleton females of the same age?
Fraternal twin girls are very sociable.
Yes, these girls are true social butterflies. But what’s even more fascinating, however, is that when they share a classroom, their peers perceive them as more popular than their singleton, female classmates. Furthermore, fraternal twin girls seem to be aware of their twin status and use it to their social advantage, culling together a large group of friends. In other words, this is an affable group of girls. They know how to work it!
Although many are close, fraternal twin girls yearn to be seen as individuals more than the other twin subgroup.
Research has shown that when this group reaches the school years, they often prefer to play alone than with their cotwin. Not only do they tend to build separate friendships more often than any other twin subgroup except boy-girl twins but they also feel less accepted by their cotwins’ friends. Yet, it’s important to add that these same girls also report being emotionally available to their cotwins.
So how is this knowledge helpful?
Fraternal twin girls seem to be the most independent. Don’t fight it; encourage their self-sufficient spirit! This doesn’t mean they don’t like each other. To the contrary, many fraternal twin girls are very close. They just don’t have the need to be with each other 24/7. As a parent, never insist that one twin take the other with her on a play date, or worse, to a birthday party where only one was invited.
When compared to other twin subgroups, fraternal twin girls describe themselves as the most different from each other.
From their private thoughts and preferred choice of activities to their own personal style of dress—hair included—these girls think they are the most different from each other when compared to all other subgroups of twins (identical girls, identical boys, fraternal boys, and boy-girl twins). They simply don’t believe it’s important to be alike. Furthermore, they don’t always like to share their possessions with their cotwins. Yet these girls don’t look at these traits as negative; it’s simply a self-observation of their relationship as a whole. It’s just who they are.
How is this knowledge helpful?
Respect their privacy. Don’t insist that they share everything. If you can offer each her own room, go for it. If you don’t have the space, find subtle but effective ways to give each a sense of solitude. When parents respect the wishes of each individual twin, the inter-twin relationship is free of constraints and will blossom.
Puberty can be a tumultuous time for fraternal twin girls.
Although identical twin girls often reach menses within days of each other (although it’s not uncommon for the span to reach six months), fraternal twin girls are different. With only approximately 50 percent of their DNA shared, these girls, as you know, are merely siblings born on the same day. Therefore, they can hit puberty years apart! Translation: Hang on for a bumpy ride!
How is this knowledge helpful?
Spending lots of individual time with each girl during early puberty can go a long way to counteracting any animosity that one twin may feel for the other. (“Why does she get to wear a bra first?” or “How come the boys like her so much?”) Allow each daughter some alone time where she can vent her frustration. Acknowledge her feelings and offer loving reassurance.
As teenage girls are particularly aware of their personal appearances, don’t compare their looks to one another, and certainly intervene when a relative or friend feels the need. (It seems like no-brainer, I know, but it’s worth repeating!) Furthermore, expect conflict. Fighting! Bickering! All kids fight, and twins are no exception. Dealing with the drama is all part of parenting teens. But set reasonable limits.