Encouraging twins with different abilities

My nine-year-old twins are on a travel baseball team. Our coach will be splitting the team into two and has indicated that one of the boys will be moved to the top group. How might this affect them?

Question:

It is difficult to predict how this scenario will manifest itself in your children. There is a potential for rivalry, but it really depends on the relationship that your youngsters have with each other. It is also dependent on how you handle the situation with them.

Participation in these kinds of programs can be challenging for parents and children alike. When the competition heats up, the learning aspect of the sport can be overshadowed by the desire to win. Parents have to be prepared to deal with their child's emotions, as well as their own in this situation.

Your particular scenario is further complicated by the fact that you have two children on the same team, which doesn't happen often in competitive sports where children are grouped by age.

Before the boys are reassigned to different groups, sit down with each of them and discuss the impending change. Let them know that it is probable that they will be in different groups. Watch closely how they react, and proceed from there. Perhaps they already realize that this is going to happen. Then again, it could be quite a surprise, especially to the child who will not be in the "top group." Remind them that they are both part of a team and that each of them needs to do his part to help. Explain to them that the coach is doing what he thinks is best for the team as a whole.

Parents usually have a special way of encouraging their children and making them feel better even when they are down. You have the capability to ease the children through this transition as smoothly as possible because you know them both so well and because you want to see them happy and successful in their lives.

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