Would you hold one twin back in a grade?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by whosermomma, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. whosermomma

    whosermomma Well-Known Member

    How would you handle if one of your twins were falling behind the other and the teacher wanted to hold him/her back and not the other? I know they are individuals and learn at his/her own pace, but would that affect them in any way to see their sibling in a grade above? Has anyone experienced this?
  2. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My only experience with this is with my dad and his twin sister. My dad was held back a grade. I honestly would have a very hard time holding back one twin. It's hard enough when they get invited to separate bday parties to explain. I'm not sure how you explain different grades in a way that would make the one being held back not feel bad.

    As for my dad and his sister, quite honestly, they don't really speak much anymore. Dad was held back because of a multitude of health problems including eye surgeries and open-heart surgery at age 13. It was the days before EI and grandma would spend an hour or 2 every night trying to help dad with his speech. My aunt was resentful of the extra attention and help that dad needed and my dad was resentful that their parents felt guilty about helping him. My grandparents guilt caused them, when the kids were older, to cater everything to my aunt since they felt like she had been excluded. The biggest explosion happened when they were 16 and grandpa taught my dad how to drive first and my aunt wanted to be first since she was a grade ahead.

    So, from my perspective of watching the dynamics play out, I would have a hard time holding one back. But I would do it if deep-down I knew that my child would struggle if sent forward. And I understand why my grandparents made that choice with my dad, but I think they did a lousy job of handling it from the parenting at home aspect.

  3. Not personally, but I did grow up with bg twins where one was a grade ahead and at the top of her class, her brother was average in the grade below (appropriate grade for their age). I was very close friends with both of them, and honestly it didn't hurt their relationship one bit. The girl never lorded it over her brother though, so if you think there might be teasing between them that may affect your decision. I would do it with my twins if necessary, if it is what is needed for them educationally and there aren't other viable options (like tutoring maybe), better to be a grade below and making it than always struggling just to keep up with their original class. We've really emphasized our boys' individuality, if we'd really emphasized their "twin-ness" I might think twice, or at least be aware that the transition could be a lot harder.

    Hope that helps.
  4. twinbears

    twinbears Well-Known Member

    Dayna we had this happen to us.
    Dylan was held back in first grade. I tried everything not to have him held back all I could think was how will he feel. BUT he repeated 1st grade. Did AWESOME is now in second grade and he is doing great.
    Before he was held back he would get frustrated and think Gabe is the smart one not me. I hated hearing that. He has not said it for ages. He is not sad one bit that Gabe is in a higher grade. In fact they know when they all go off to college Dyl has one extra year with me :ibiggrin:
  5. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    I have an experience similiar to Marissa's. My BIL and SIL are twins. BIL was held back a grade. I wouldn't say I wouldn't do it, but it would be a last resort. It changed their lives forever. It's almost like they stopped being twins from that year on. BIL because the little brother. The youngest in the family. It fits the typical role of baby of the family in everyway. They don't have a bad relationship like Marissa's father and aunt, but it changed their relationship and the family dynamic forever. I would exhaust all the other possiblities (private tutoring, changing schools, homeschooling, etc.) before doing that.
  6. 3Xblessed

    3Xblessed Well-Known Member

    I haven't had that experience, but I have thought about it. My twins have a nephew who is 6 weeks older. When it came time to enter kindergarten I put my kids in because 1) I thought they were ready and 2) I would have had no problem with them repeating. They are the youngest in their class. My SIL was told that it would be best to hold my nephew back. She put him in because she thought it would be weird to have them in different grades. It was the worst thing she could have done. She was told to hold him back in K - she didn't, she was told to hold him back in 1st - she didn't and now he is struggling in 2nd.

    I feel bad because we are in part to blame for his lack of success. I would most likely hold back a struggling twin but it would be really hard. I would probably put them into different schools so that they can each have an individuality and not be judged by others (everyone at their school knows they are twins). We are lucky because if I needed to I could do this.

    The other option is to see if there is a way to get the struggling twin up to speed with afterschool tutoring....
  7. twinbears

    twinbears Well-Known Member

    The tutoring sounds great but just keep in mind how do you explain while one kid is off having fun the other has to constantly be doing work. I am not saying it isn't worth it becasue it is BUT how much work has to be done.
    MY boys are as closer if not closer now then they were before this happend so nothing has changed at all.
  8. 3Xblessed

    3Xblessed Well-Known Member

    I don't know how you explain it other than that everyone has a different learning style. You could also have the one who is not being tutored read (if they like that) or do some other educational thing. Also you could hopefully make the tutoring fun. My son is behind a little in math and we just got the math sequence game (it rocks....flash cards with a game wining goal at the end). He doesn't even realize he is doing extra work. When we do work with him he finds it special to have one on one time with someone...something my 3 rarely get (which is my bad...).

    I do want to send the original poster massive hugs because I can't imagine how agonizing this must be. One of my friends at work (old guy) told me that parenting never gets easier and never ends...to quote a movie he said "in parenting you never get to spike the ball".
  9. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    This is a tough one. If I were in that situation, I would give the one that is struggling some extra help, and wait and see how the rest of the year goes. There is a lot of time before the end of this year, and even a few months can be a big difference in ability.

    As for how to explain it? Believe me, the kids already are very much aware that one is struggling while the other is doing fine. I would talk to them about how everyone has different things that they are good at (be sure to mention something that the one that is struggling at is better than the other one) and that sometimes people need more help than others. Approach it like you would a sport or music practice. If you want to get better at something, you need to practice, and that is what they have to do.

    Good luck!
  10. Utopia122

    Utopia122 Well-Known Member

    If I were in the same situation I would exhaust all resources available before holding back. I would try tutoring and any other resource to see if the extra help were available. We held my son back, and although not a twin and a good decision, it was very hard on him socially. He was very embarrased by the fact that he was not advancing onto the next grade with his friends and it just took him a long time to understand that we were not doing it to punish him. I know that not all students react in the same way, but it is a very hard decision to make and one that would be an absolute last resort.
  11. whosermomma

    whosermomma Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys! :)

    Stephanie, I had no idea one of your guys were held back!

    But I am glad to know that I'm not the only one who might have a hard time just holding one twin back. Again, I know they are individuals, but dang...twins are much more complicated than just one! I never had to think about this until now and I never really knew how hard it would be. I am hoping Elijah does catch up. Sarah is flying right by, and no matter how many times I've talked to her about rubbing stuff in, she still does it.

    So I bought out Hastings with their learning books and games and there is an awesome website, www.starfall.com, that has helped a lot.

    I'm just really hoping and praying he catches up quick! I wish I was at home more to work on it all day, but I'm sure his attention span and my patience wouldn't survive. :lol:
  12. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    Somewhat similar, but my aunts are twins and one skipped a grade and the other stayed at her grade level. It was tough on the one that did not skip, but this was also the 50's when they didn't really consider children's feeling and the social ramifications of things like this. I would also exhaust all other avenues before holding one back. Good luck!
  13. busymomof3

    busymomof3 Well-Known Member

    I do not really know what I would do but my aunt held back both twins even though her one DD did really well. She tried the tutoring etc but one was just no where near advancing a grade. Since she wasn't ready to split them up she held both back. The one that did pass was totally excited to repeat the grade where as the one who needed to be held back was mad. They seemed to get through it just fine in the end and now they are both doing really well in school.They were held back in grade one. My aunt could have fought to send them both to second grade but she thought it would be easier to let her DD catch up now than struggle and have to be held back in later years.
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