Even if your children are in the same class you should make sure you have separate appointments to discuss their progress. It is a good idea to avoid comparing your children with each other – and don’t allow their teachers to do so either. Instead discuss their progress within the context of their year group. Only raise the issue of being a multiple if there is a related concern that you want to discuss. Consider having separate visits or at least different times on the same evening to look at their work.
If there are problems with your children in the classroom, the school will let you know at parent’s evenings. Of course, if these are serious problems you should be told much sooner. Sometimes your children will tell you themselves if something isn’t going well, but it may be that you begin to pick up signs that something is wrong. This could be a change in behaviour, where a previously happy child is suddenly ‘down’ for long periods, unexpectedly disruptive, or even quiet and withdrawn. Other potential signs are experiencing nightmares or wetting the bed.
However, school may not necessarily be the problem: are there any major upheavals or family problems that might be upsetting your child? Devote some quiet time to talk and ask if there is anything they need support with.
If all else fails, ask your other child/children if they know why their sibling is feeling a bit low. Multiples often have a surprising understanding of what is going on in each other’s minds. Beware, of invading your children’s privacy – perhaps they don’t want you to know what is wrong.
It is important for multiples to make friends individually as well as together. If this doesn’t happen naturally, then try to arrange for them to meet their schoolmates on their own. Perhaps one child can invite a friend to visit while the other is doing sport or at another friend’s house.
Encourage your children to talk about their social life at school and find out which of their classmates they spend most of their time with. Talk about playtime, and who they play with. Who sits at their table at lunch or in class? Whose company do they enjoy and share interests with? Invite their best friends round to play. If this isn’t possible, then you could meet at a local park or in the library.