Skip to content
Curtin University of Technology
Twins and Multiples

Being independent by doing the same as your twin

Parents and teachers who emphasise the need for individuality in multiples may be concerned if all decide to do the same things, to choose the same friends or hobbies or sports etc. However, young people who (depending on zygosity) are genetically close or are identical and who have spent their lives together, may have very similar interests. Doing the same thing may actually be the best way of expressing their individuality.

Choosing subjects and careers

What happens when it comes to choosing a career or at least the subjects at school or at university that will move you in the planned direction? Helping young adult multiples make such a decision is really a complex act, as it is often so final. Once they go to higher education, they are almost locked into their choice which may have been made on the spur of the moment to emphasise similarities or differences form the other multiples.

The people who really need to know about this are the vocational guidance staff at school, as they can play such a role in helping decide that this is what the young person wants to do and ensuring this has nothing to do with what the other twin or higher multiples is or is not doing. The reality is that these staff may not even know this young person is a twin or higher multiples needs to be considered. When a young adult says "I don't want to be a teacher" is this a simple expression of fact, or rather that they know their twin has chosen this as "their career". School staff in this situation need to be so sure they have all the information about the multiples at hand as they help that young adult work through their choices. It is not easy. One is trying to focus on what this young person is saying to you, while at the same time considering what the other twin or higher multiple told you in private ten minutes ago…