Twins and relational style

One of the areas that i work is as a consultant for TAMBA which is the charity for twins and multiple births. In this role i offer advice and guidance over the phone to parents usually who re experiencing worries or concerns about their children who are multiples. This week i spoke to a lady who is the mother of 5-year-old boy/girl twins where the boy seems to be struggling to socialise at school and having angry outbursts. The teacher has told the mother that her child hs low self esteem and is clearly very unhappy. the mother did not agree with this assessment, despite this her instant reaction was to assume she had missed something with her son. She wondered with the teacher what contribution her son being a twin made to the situation, to which the teacher assured her that being a twin had absolutely nothing to do with the issue.
The key ares we considered were:
* the absolute relevance of her son being a twin
* her knowing her son better than anyone
* her sons relational style
* understanding the process involved in raising a child’s sense of worth
* helping a child to work out the ‘rules’ and how to manage when other children do not follow these rules.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of teachers who appear not to understand very much about children’s developmental processes or even actually like children very much. Of all professions teacher seem able to render perfectly capable adults, self doubting, uncertain, apparently incapable in a few seconds of being critical of their child. Teacher training needs to incorporate learning how to talk to parents.
I was also quite shocked to hear that a teacher could say that how a twin child socialises has nothing to do with him being a twin. How can it not? This teacher clearly does not understand that the blue print for a twins relational style is the relationship that he/she has with the co twin. So for this little boy his sister being easy-going and generally co-operative with him even when he behaved badly was his experience of relating. So when he was at school and the other children did not respond in a similar way to his sister, he did not know how to deal with that. this was an issue of social skills input not one of low self-esteem and overall unhappiness.
It saddens me that there are so many people in positions of power and authority that use their position to undermine the confidence of other parents particularly in the absence of any real knowledge or understanding.

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