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The twins are getting at the age where they have separate friends. This year they are in separate classes at school. They had always been placed in the same class and had the same friends. My husband's mother pointed out that they need to start having their own identities and should be split up a little to develop them. So we requested this year for them not to be in the same class. They have some friends in common, but now they also have developed some new friendships. Justine has a new friend and when she is over they don't want to hang out with Jenae. I'm not sure how to handle this as they share a bedroom. Usually I just ask Jenae if she wants to come play a game with me or cook with me or something and it works. Today she didn't want to so I told Justine its our home and they can both be in any room in the home. I can tell Jenae is hurt by this. How do you handle when your kids close in age or same age don't want to play together?
I'm sure it's a little different with twins, but my dsc are all close in age to their cousins, and when they ll get together there are definite groups that want to play together constantly and groups that don't. When it's kids in the same age groups, our main rule has been that you may not shut other kids out of any rooms (which it sounds like is already a rule in your home too) and we've always encouraged them to play together (if it's older kids being chased around by a toddler, we sympathize a little more and redirect thw toddler ). Sometimes that means orchestrating a group activity that they'll all want to participate in. Do they like crafts? Baking? The tween aged girls around here love to bake. My sil organized a scavenger hunt that went really well too. We've tried board games too, but that's been less successful (someone doesn't like that game, or someone else doesn't like losing and quits 10 minutes in - that sort of thing) but it could work for other kids. It doesn't have to be for the entire time that friends are over, but I wonder if even a little bit of group activity time would help the twin without a friend over feel less lonely.
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I would maybe have a talk about excluding people but at the same time acknowledge they are developing different interests and tastes. Your first twin might not be interested in having her sister play when her friend is over because maybe she isn't interested in doing an activity she doesn't care for for the sake of fairness. I'd play play dates strategically.
I'm with Ember Rose. I'd most likely try to plan play dates so that either one girl is at a friend house when the other has a friend over, or, if you're sanity can handle it so that they each have a friend over at the same time. My mom did this with my brother and I as we got older. Of course it doesn't always work, and in that case, I think you're doing well by not allowing your girls to shut each other out of the room and trying to encourage your daughter without a friend over to interact with you.
You mention the issue specifically with one of your daughters and her friend. Does your other daughter have friends over on her own at all? Do you think her feelings could be stronger because she feels like she doesn't have a friend as close as Justine and her friend?
I have come to discover that if you have an odd number of kids, someone always gets left out. Most video games are for 2 people so someone is left out and so the kid sitting on the sidelines bugs the two playing until it is his/her turn to play and then the cycle repeats.
I have noticed that our kids like to be in pairs. If it is Sean and Robert they do guy things together, if it is Dani and Robert they do little kid type things. Dani and Sean get along well too but the age range is so big between them it is difficult to find activities that they can do together. If you have all three in the same room, they fight.