Would you separate twins in middle of school year?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Trishandthegirls, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Trishandthegirls

    Trishandthegirls Well-Known Member

    Piper and Cricket started kindergarten this year, and Piper is having a hard time. I could really use some advice, but it's a long story... mostly because I just have no clue what is going on. So if you have time... here's my story.

    Piper is doing fine at school - no behavior issues or reason for the teacher to take note, but at home she's expressing unhappiness, is acting out, and this morning she flat out refused to go to school. DH and I are at a loss and really don't know what to do next. She's always been a little bit quirky, the kind of kid who likes to play by herself as much as she likes to play with others, who prefers superheros to princesses. And she's really smart, but doesn't like to perform, so the teacher had no idea she was able to read Level One readers. As a result, Piper was put into the middle reading group whereas Cricket is the in the top. When I asked Piper why she didn't sound out all of her letters during an evaluation they had, she explained that she figured out that the kids who didn't know anything got to go play earlier than the kids who knew more. And she really wanted to go play with the Bey Blades in the back of the room so she pretended not to know some of the letters to be done quicker.

    At home, Piper has started to yell at us (YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COME IN MY ROOM!!!), she wants more help than she did before, is always asking to be carried or for hugs, and when she doesn't get her way she whines and cries. This is so totally not typical that sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or send her to her room. We're being consistent with discipline, but it's so hard because I don't feel like she's trying to be a brat... it's more that she just can't be nice anymore after a full day at school. She's still the same adorable kid much of the time, but she seems "off". When we talk about school sometimes she seems happy but other times she says she's bored, or that she doesn't like having to look at the teacher and pay attention. That's the biggest complaint. That she doesn't like having to do what she's told.

    I briefly talked to her teacher this morning because it was pretty obvious that Piper was unhappy to be there. Her teacher suggested that perhaps she's having problems with her sister; apparently they clashed on the playground yesterday about what game to play. And that may be a part of it, but at home they still get along fine so I don't think that's the main problem. But another issue that it raised to me is that maybe Piper is comparing herself to Cricket and coming up short. Cricket is more social, likes to perform, is a people pleaser, and has this generally sunny disposition. She's in the top reading group, gets along with everyone, and is really doing well this year.

    Several of my friends here have suggested that I ask the school to move one of the girls to a different kindergarten class after winter break. That would give Piper some space, allow her to develop her own friends, and not compare herself to Cricket. And I agree that it might be a good idea - but can you really do that in the middle of the year or would it be too stressful on both of them? And if we do ask the school to move one of them, do we ask that Cricket is moved so that Piper doesn't feel like she's done something wrong? Or Piper so she can start fresh? Or is it just a horrible idea?

    And regardless of moving one of the girls... has anyone else dealt with a child starting school and just not liking it? Any advice? Thank you!
  2. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I did have them switch my boys' classes last year--they worked through it. While I generally wouldn't suggest a mid-year move, if she is already miserable, and isn't doing her best on purpose, it may be a good idea to give her a fresh start in a new class. At that age, kids tend to be pretty flexible and love having new friends. Good luck!
  3. sulik110202

    sulik110202 Well-Known Member

    Can you ask for a conference with their teacher and the principal? Maybe they can offer some guidance on what to do. Good luck with your decision.
    1 person likes this.
  4. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    If I thought it would improve the situation I would do so. I would move piper as she has figure out how to work the situation to get what she wants
  5. 40+mom

    40+mom Well-Known Member


    We had our kids (boy/girl twins) in different classes in kinder and still had some of these issues. The whole kindergarten day just wore out my son -- he would come home exhausted and hungry and had used up all his "good" behaviour at school. So, some of this may be one kid just having a harder time adjusting. And, he is our "quirkier" kid. He often didn't want to go to school (and he is definitely not a teacher-pleaser.) This year -- first grade -- most of those issues have resolved (but he is still not a teacher-pleaser -- it's just not his way.)

    I think you may want to do some more investigating here -- I wouldn't try to get the info out of your daughter. I would see if you can observe some and meet with the teachers and the principal. I would think seriously about splitting them up, mid-year, if you and the teachers (mostly you) believe it is in your child's best interest, whether academically, or emotionally, or just to minimize the inevitable sibling comparisons. However, if you decide to wait until 1st grade to make the split, that's a fine choice, too.

    Mostly, I wanted to say "hang in there" -- I had one kid that really struggled in the kindergarten year and things are so different this year in 1st grade!

    2 people like this.
  6. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    I would if it is really that big of an issue. I would however talk to the one that would be moving to a different class to reassure them that they are not in trouble and they are ok with moving to a new class.

    At our school they do not seperate the learning abilities so that it is super obvious. When they break out some kids will go to speech, others will go to a math help
    I think Kindergarten is all about getting comfortable with a regular school life.

    Even though the girls are in the same class we do not allow them to compare themselves to each other. I think they both know their strengths and weaknesses now and they kinda lean on eachother now for help in their weak points from the other. Now they are in 4th grade and they have not always been so helpful to each other.
  7. annabell

    annabell Well-Known Member

    I had my twins together for K and then separated them for 1st. They had time in the beginning when they were scared to be without the other but got through it. My daughter has shown a lot of the same emotions as yours. Mine has become very concerned with me leaving her with other people, and acted out over very small things. She also plays a lot by herself at school. I talked with her teacher and think her problem is self-confidence. So I have gotten her a tutor to work on her reading after school. She is doing fine in school, but I feel like if she can feel like she is excelling maybe it will help her confidence. I also asked the teacher if there were other girls that they could suggest for me to have play dates set up with. I think if my, Eliza, could find a close friend maybe she will feel more comfortable. Best of luck! :ibiggrin:
  8. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I'm late with this, but I agree with what Meg said. Splitting them up can be an option, but kids also have different levels of difficulty in adjusting to kindergarten and it may not have anything to do with being a twin.

    FWIW, both of mine were blissfully happy in kindergarten, but Amy has had a much rougher time in 1st grade than Sarah. They were together in K and we split them up in 1st, but I don't really think their happiness or lack thereof has had much to do with whether they're together or apart. For whatever reason, their K class was very accepting and friendly, with almost no personality conflicts among the kids. This year Sarah's 1st grade class is like that again as far as I can tell, but Amy is having trouble with there being too many "queen bee" types (of which she is also one).

    My point is just that as Meg said, while comparing herself to Cricket might be part of the problem, it may have more to do with adjusting to school in general. The principal can be a great resource. I would have been scared to approach our principal before this year, but I've been talking to her a lot recently about some other stuff, and realized that she really knows and cares about all the kids and has some great insight about this age group. Plus, she is more able to be objective than the teachers are (sometimes) because she has more perspective.
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