The Same But Different by Joan A Friedman – Reviews by parents of twins
In this book, Dr Joan A Friedman explains her theory that parents, friends and society in general treat twins differently from siblings that are different ages. She calls this The Twin Mystique – it’s an assumption that many twin parents make – that twins are inseparable. How many times have you spoken about the fact that your twins will always have their best friend with them or that they’ll always be there to look after each other. Well what happens when one twin wants a new best friend or wishes to move away from other. The book is full of snippets from real-life interviews with twins who relied on each other throughout their childhood – leading to an incredibly strong dependency on each other into adulthood. And the issues that dependency has created.
For a Mum of young twins, this book opened my eyes to real twin related issues that I have not yet encountered or even considered but can now foresee how the relationship of my twins could map out if they are not strongly encourage to be individuals.
Dr Joan A Friedman, for example, explains that often one twin will take on a ‘Caretaker’ role over the less dominant or less sociable twin. This can lead to difficult repercussions later in life when the Caretaker twin wants to move away, marry or make new friends. That twin can suffer from incredible feelings of guilt if she doesn’t include her less dominant twin in her plans.
Dr Joan A Friedman is a twin herself, a mother of twins and a psychotherapist specialising in twin issues. She’s met with and interviewed adult twins of all ages. The book contains direct transcripts from some of her twin patients – giving the reader a direct insight into the issues some twins face in adulthood.
The Same but Different is aimed at helping adult twins who struggle to live independently of each other but it is also well worth a read if you are a parent of young twins and want to avoid your twins having separation issues. Review by Designed For Twins, March 2013
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