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Some days my fraternal twin boys compete with each other about everything from whose bowl of ice cream is bigger to who’s taller. Concerned that a debate about her daughters’ weight was destructive to their self-esteem and relationship, the Northridge, Calif.
Marian Borden, author of The Baffled Parent’s Guide to Sibling Rivalry agrees with Firment’s direct approach. Deflecting the conversation is a good strategy, says Borden, but talking with your kids helps, too. Although Heather Anderson’s six-month-old identical twin boys, Andrew and David, are too young for such a conversation, her other three children, Jonny (9), Josh (5), and Rose (2), are not.
If Anderson does ask a friend to stop comparing her twins, she does so in direct earshot of her children. Sometimes, Faber explains, parents use a favorable comparison such as, “You’re such a good reader, even better than your twin brother,” as a way of giving one child a needed boost. On the other hand, a parent may use an unfavorable comparison out of frustration in wanting to goad one child into behaving better. A better approach, Faber points out, is to describe what you like (“You’re reading so well!”) or what you expect (“I know you’re in a rush, but you need to clean your room before you go outside.”) without making any references to a cotwin.
For years, 15-year-old fraternal twin Shaye Kwiecinski of Stony Point, New Jersey, struggled in school due to a learning disability brought on by her premature birth. Now Kwiecinski makes a point of periodically pulling each girl aside separately to privately praise her for a job well done. Yet being part of a family also means showing support and encouragement for one another, doesn’t it?

Another trick is to de-emphasize birth order, says Meri Wallace, director of the Heights Center for Adult and Child Development in Brooklyn, New York and author of Birth Order Blues: How Parents Can Help their Children Meet the Challenges of their Birth Order.
Wallace suggests mixing things—don’t introduce them or even sign a family card according to who showed up first.
When a child feels secure with your love and attention, competition between twins quickly becomes a tie game. Many twins and triplets are naturally drawn to the same sports (just look at identical twins and Olympic gymnasts, Paul and Morgan Hamm or tennis doubles partners, Bob and Mike Bryan). Keep an ongoing dialogue with your kids emphasizing that there’s always room for two, and it’s not just who can jump higher or run faster. Recovery: Ava, pictured with her mother Ashley when she was an even smaller child, was unable to make eye contact or respond to light and sounds. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
It’s no wonder since throughout their lives friends and family have compared them to each other (even though they’re nothing alike in personality or appearance). She frequently talks to them about the constant comparisons that people make about her twins from their size to their personalities, and explains how hurtful that can be. Yet the child quickly realizes that it’s at the expense of his cotwin, and to continue getting praise he has a vested interest in reading better than him.
A comment like, “Why can’t you keep your room neat like your twin sister?” is also damaging as the messier twin then sees herself as inadequate. And if one of your multiples is prone to getting her feelings easily hurt, try to keep your praises of her sibling as private, one-on-one moments.

When one child is crying and the other offers hugs, for instance, Clayton encourages the consoler with lots of positive reinforcement. During meal times, for instance, ask each of your twins what the other did during the day that was appreciated or special, or hold a “three cheers” ceremony for anyone who did something inspirational that day. From setting the dinner table to singing Happy Birthday, deliberately change the order each time. And while many siblings competing in the same activity often motive each other, some become bitter rivals.
And although comparing twins may seem innocent or even insightful, it’s the leading cause of rivalry as they ultimately turn their comparisons to each other. When her twins left the room, however, she politely laid down the law explaining the subject was off limits.
It may take a little practice but soon your twins will learn to look more at the positive attributes in each other rather than just the negative. So how can you tell when your twins have crossed over the line from supporter to adversary? She was eating, but it was like force feeding, like she didn't know how to take the bottle.'Right before it was decided officially that Ava's condition was a genetic disorder, the then-baby suddenly 'woke up'.

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