Encouraging twins with different interests

I have six-year-old identical twin boys. One is eager to learn the alphabet, colors and shapes, while the other only cares about playing ball, riding bikes and other physical activity. They never seem to be enjoying the same activities at the same time. Any suggestions?

Question:

Often children very close in age will do the opposite of what their sibling is doing. It's as if they take the area where there will be least competition and the most chance for individuality. If you think about it, this is a normal and healthy way for a child to establish a clear sense of identity.

Perhaps your sons are doing the opposite of each other precisely because it is that -- the opposite. If this is the case, you probably should try to support all of their activities. What are they each doing that they are good at? Running or jumping or throwing a ball? Give each credit for it. Both children need to feel worthwhile.

Meanwhile, you might try to involve them in games which involve fine motor coordination. Try playing board games such as Colorama and Cootie, which require manual dexterity as well as hand-eye coordination. The boys can have fun together while you strengthen their abilities.

I assume your sons are in the same class at school. If you continue to see a great polarization in the boys' interests as the year progresses, you should probably think about putting them in different classes this coming school year. This way it will be easier for them to work on all areas of their development, without looking over their shoulders to see what the other one is doing.

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