Separating the Twins in PreSchool

by Courtney El-Ghoul

Okay, first off I can’t believe summer is over!?! As we are getting into the swing of the new school year – I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the route we have chosen for the twins. Quite often when talking to other parents the question about separating twins in school comes up. As a family, we did decide it was best to put the girls in separate classrooms – so this is what I am going to talk with you about today. I will go into how we came to that decision, and why I am so happy we chose this route.

Why We Chose Separate Classrooms for The Twins Preschool

As a first time parent, and them being twins I feel like I am constantly second-guessing decisions. I don’t want to compare them, I want them to be their own people, I mean the list goes on. I beat myself up a lot about if I am doing the right thing. Even with activities, I know for example Ava just goes along with ballet, she likes it, but she isn’t super into it like Nahla is. However, I just don’t have the time/help to be able to physically take them to different classes. 9 times out of 10 they are just doing the same activity whether they are into it or not. I mean just comes with the territory of being a twin.. at least this is what I’m telling myself.

Ava looks thrilled;)

SO, let’s get into it… pre-school. To split, or not to split.  Last year was their first year of pre-k and I really wasn’t sure what to do about keeping them together or separating them. For the reasons I mentioned above, and also I just wasn’t sure how they would handle not being together. But, after a ton of research and lamenting it seemed like this would be a great opportunity for them to express themselves on an individual level. Ava has always been my more dominant child, she is loud, a leader, and just such a free spirit. Nahla is more reserved, she is so quiet. I mean, really just night and day personalities. I had noticed with play dates and other activities that Nahla would sometimes just seem to be following whatever Ava did, and her friends were always “Ava’s” friends. I knew there needed to be a better way.

Our school was open to whatever we preferred so we went with separate classrooms. I will be honest, the first couple of weeks were rough! Guess who for??? Ava! Who would have thought?! Not us. Nahla was totally fine. She was confident, developing friendships, and was really coming out of her shell. Ava, on the other hand, was so anxious! Her teachers were telling us that was asking to go to the bathroom every five minutes. It got to the point that I had to take her to the doctor to make sure she didn’t have a UTI. It was all over the separation. We discovered later that was just hoping to run into Nahla on those bathroom breaks. Around week three the teachers starting to say that maybe we should put them back together. But, we felt like we needed to stick it out a little longer. I am so glad we did. By the fourth week, it was like a light bulb went off, and Ava was fine. She stopped asking about the bathroom, didn’t have any outbursts and started loving school. Fast forward, the whole school year was awesome! I feel like they grew up so much and really started to learn to be themselves. I think as a twin it must be hard to constantly feel like you are comparing yourself and being competitive with your best friend. But once they were in school, in separate classrooms, it was like they didn’t have to do that anymore. They got to have their own teachers and their own friends, and it seemed like the first thing that made them feel really special – that wasn’t us. Don’t get me wrong, the twin bond they have is so sweet, and I love that they have grown up doing everything together. I am just so happy that splitting them up at school worked out so well. For some, it might not work, but for us… it’s the best decision we’ve made. 

2 peas in a pod literally

For Khalil and I, it was also so much better at home as well.  Last year they were only half-day but they really missed each other, and they got along so much better when they got home from school. I am curious to see how this year goes now that they are starting full-day! Honestly, even though the first few weeks were brutal… I am so glad we powered through it. 

XO Courtney

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