Monday 12 November 2012

Splitting twins into separate classes at school

Miss M on the left and Miss E on the right

My twin girls are now five years old and they have gone into year one at school. Prior to this September they have been in every class together and always attended groups/ daycare etc together. Never in a million years did I think splitting them into separate classes might lead to any issues this year.

In fact I thought that them going into separate classes would be a really good thing. Miss M has always been the noisier twin, the confident one. She will chat to anyone and is always the first to call out or put her hand up. Miss E has been a different kettle of fish, she loves to stay close to Mummy, she is quieter and takes her time to assess situations and people before she finds her feet and dives in to be part of whatever is going on.

So quite logically we thought this split into separate classes would be very good for Miss E as she could learn to stand on her own two feet and hopefully it would encourage her to be louder and more confident. We were right, splitting them has been really good for Miss E, people keep commenting about how chatty she is and at her first parents evening her teacher told me 'she loved Miss E, she has a wicked sense of humour'.  I felt so proud, my delicate little poppet was flourishing.

What I realise now is that I simplified things, I stupidly made assumptions.  I assumed that Miss M was big and brave enough that it would not at all be an issue for her that Miss E was no longer by her side but this does not seem to be the case. Year one has been tough so far, at least four mornings out of every five I hear that she does not want to go to school, that she has a tummy ache. Failing that she tells me 'she can't go to school in case she gets a tummy ache'.  I get tears as she walks to school, or at the door, I get cuddles so hard and she won't let go and my confident girl has gone away.  It is a little heart wrenching to say the least.

Parents evening confirmed for me that she is finding this tough, I heard that she hides under tables, she does not want to join in with group work, she goes to the reading area alone and she rejects playmates. All not traits I would associate with Miss M. Luckily she has a teacher I respect and trust, so I know she will be OK but it is that normal thing, that as a parent I want to take this tough time away from her. But I can't can I?  I know it is really important her to go through difficult periods and to learn that not everything in life is perfect and does not revolve around her.

Because Miss M has always been a head-strong girl, a bit of a tough cookie we have had to take a no nonsense approach with her and it has worked but right now it is not what she needs, I think my little blond beauty needs me to be understanding and caring, offering her a listening ear at all times. The way she can come through this time of character growth is by knowing she is loved, supported and accepted. So that is what I will do - cuddle her, chat to her and make sure she has my time and attention.

If any other multiple parents have gone through this same situation and have any wisdom to share with me I'd be really grateful.

Thanks so much, Mich x

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