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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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The Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta JMMMiy M, 1174 THIjLITHMIIKU HMALD H The quest for individuality between twins can be more than just a little sibling rivalry.lt could be a lot of trouble if parents and peers tend to group them together as a pair. More than just look-alikes, twins are distinct people, each with their own temperaments and personalities which need to be encouraged by those around them. Similar hobbies Emily and Louise Burke Dress alike Jamie and Barry Coghlin Identical twins, so similar yet so different By JUDE CAMPBELL Herald Staff Writer It has been said that each of us has a twin, a similar likeness, somewhere in this world. Whether we search out that person, or prefer to exist safe with the knowledge that we are. unique individuals, makes little difference. Identical twins however, can at any moment see another of themselves. Can question their individuality, can wonder how they happen- ed to become one-half of one. Unlike fraternal twins, who jre no more than children at the same time, iden- iical twins are duplications of each other, possessing iden- tical physical structures, but differing temperaments and personalities. This point in itself often leads to difficulties in the rearing of twins, according to Lethbridge child psychiatrist, Dr. Enid Melville. "The idea seems to apply more to the past than the says Dr. Melville, "when twinness was stressed, when twins were dressed alike, when parents expected them to be the same because they looked the same." Own Identity Twins should be helped to find their own individual iden- tity, she says, and not be thought of as a pair, which often develops the feeling of "being half of a person." "There's nothing harmful, in the short run, in dressing twins she explains, "as long as it's not a reflec- tion of the parents' assuming the children have the same needs." Through childhood, twins tend to seek out each other's company, often becoming overly dependant, preferring not to make outside contacts with other children, to the point of having their own language. Parents should be aware of this tendency to "close off and become a single unit" and should foster maximum independence. "Often, one twin is domi- nant and the other sub- missive" says Dr. Melville, "One seems to lead the other both boys are very sportsminded surging ahead and leaving their twin by the wayside. "Twins need a solid founda- tion to build on. A feeling that they don't .always have to be together to Be complete. The better the childhood background, the better the adolescent, the better the adult." Catches up Closer now to adulthood than adolescence, 16 year old Louise and Emily, were raised both as twins and in- dividuals by parents Louis and Emily Burke. "They've played a kind of catch-up football all their explains Mr. Burke, "with Louise being the aggressive one, taking things on immediately, and Emily cathcing up later on." The girls were treated alike in that a favor done for one was also done for the other. A state of "psychological equilibrium" was kept ac- cording to Mr. Burke, with items and attentions given equal in attractiveness but not necessarily in sameness. Both parents agreed the girls were thought of as "the twins" but were recognized as two individuals with com- plementing personalities. "Where one has a sense of humor, the other possesses a sense of says Mr. Burke. "Particularily in adolescence one can see characteristics blossoming in each." As children, Emily and Louise were raised with the same applied up-bringing as their elder brother and younger sister. They spent a great deal of time together, but were "always able to wander off into other groups, and then come back to their own unit" Twinness to them is a pleasure, assured Louise, "because you always have a best friend you can talk to, share problems with and someone who understands you best of all." They attend classes together and still prefer to do things with one another, although both have personal, as well as shared, friends. "We do find a feeling of 'something's missing' when we're not says Emily, "but we know we are individuals even though peo- ple call us the twins. "Our friends can't tell who's who when we're on our own, but can distinguish when we're together." Mrs. Burke says the girls were easier to handle as children and less trouble than her single births, as the, twins kept each other company. "I dressed them alike because it was easier, but it hasn't hurt them to any ex- she says. "And they always wanted to have the same things." Today, Emily and Louise choose different outfits as it increases their wardrobe. Both share a love of the put- doors and play classical guitar. But have developed different hobbies and hopes for the future. Preferences Where Emily 'eirjoys close contact with people and has chosen law as a possible profession; Louise prefers scientific research and laughingly aspires "to save the "Your twin is something claims Louise, receiving an approving nod from Emily. "She's more than a sister, more than a best friend. You can tell her everything and know she understands. "We're inclined to have the same interests because we're attracted to the same things in most instances, although we fight once in a while and I'd like to play switch tricks and Emily won't do it." On the subject of raising twins, Emily says she would develop her own twins "not in- dividually, but would develop their individuality." Louise would prefer to develop them along "two different lines, with different hobbies, but still allow them to stay together it's good." The reality of separation in the future doesn't bother either. "It'll be like losing a best friend, but we'll still be friends, if you know what we mean." A handful Gordon and Eileen Coghlin found little difficulty in rais- ing their twin sons, Barry and Jamie, now 12 years old. At the time of their birth the family lived in what Mrs. Coghlin refers to as "the with few neighbors. "They were a handful at times, but I managed to nurse and care for them both, and they pretty well kept themselves amused." With two other boys in the family and all spaced within three-years of each other, there was little time to stress twinness or to totally avoid it "They certainly received attention from people on the street but there are twins on both sides of the family so it wasn't as unusual to says Mr. Coghlin. Both Jamie and Barry stated they resented having their names-confused by people, but found their friends could tell them apart. Unlike the Burke girls, the boys had been separated throughout most of their school years and had developed distinct friendship groups. Both are actively sport- sminded and play basketball, hockey, baseball and enjoy chess as a pastime Interdependency has never been a problem with Jamie and Barry, who tend to com- pete with one another and claim they'd prefer not to be twins "cause everyone bugs you." "It's an old says Mr. Coghlin, "but we think it's true. Twins are sometimes twice the trouble, but they're also twice the fun." share interest in classical guitar Parents exchange ideas through association By JUDE CAMPBELL Herald Staff Writer Faced with two infants, both squirming, both helpless and both disturbingly alike, how does a young mother keep them separated in her mind knowing always who is who. Paint their toenails is one suggestion. Don't remove their hospital bands is another. Pray you'll remember, still a third.. The first months and years HELP US TO HELP OTHERS! The Salvation Army Welfare Services NNd Clothing. Furniture. Toys. HousHiold Edicts Oil 320-2860 For Pickup OR LEAVE AT 412 1st AVE. S. in the lives of twins, both identical and fraternal can be trying ones for mother and child alike. Elaine, Sherryl, Karen, Loretta and Laureen can vouch for that. All are mothers of twins, some with other children, others with twins as their first born. "Believe me it's something else when you have to cope with feeding, bathing and play sessions with two instead of says Sherryl Husbands are a salvation in Nelda Hopp Alice Gordon Jenette Howarth VALENTINE SPECIALS! Effective January 14th to February 14th en Cold Waves, Colors and Conditioners Senior Citizens Rates Every Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday 20% Off All Services FOR AN APPOINTMENT PHONE 321-1637 BONNYDALE BEAUTY SALON 1414-iriti St. SOUTH the early months, they all claim, for as Loretta put it, "I'd have given up without him." The mothers, all members of the Parents of Twins and Triplets Association, gather together for meetings to exchange ideas, solve problems and learn more about the phenomena of twins and their upbringing. "What was taken for granted years ago is no longer in explains Elaine. "People are more conscious of the fact that twins are different and need to be treated as individuals. "As a group, we learn to handle ourselves and our twins better, for the good." The impact of twins, the group says, is reflected more by parents and neighbors. Attempting to keep "everything on an even keel" takes time, patience and understanding the children's feelings. Treating the children as separate beings was cited as being the most difficult thing, as most people tend to "lump them together as a pair." "There's more emphasis today on says Karen, "although some twins prefer to dress alike when they are young, as mine do. "But I feel they do resent being thought of as just 'the twins' and will probably start to naturally separate in later years." Problems involveu in the pre-school years include making the twins realize they will probably be separated at school age. The trauma of separation could be great if twins spend a lot of time together and make few social contacts. "Preparing them for the separation is something every parent should explained Laureen. "Then there's the problem of having them pick one friend between the two of them, competing for attention and seeking approval." The club, which deals with all aspects of family life and care, boasts 35 active members, numerous outlying members who receive the monthly newsletter, as well as associate members. The group began in March of last year and members have twins from ages 20 months to seven years but does not restrict membership to childhood years. "We're particularly interested in attracting mothers with adolescent and teenage twins as resource says Sherryl, "as our own will soon be in those stages. Grown twins are also welcome to join." BREEDING GROUND .Every cubic foot of garbage produces flies. TEENAGERS! Twelve Week Course in Modelling and Self-Improvement REGISTRATIONS Monday, January p.m. at Lakeview School of Dancing 300412th S. or Phone 328-4135 Limited number accepted. Special guest speakers with fashion show to conclude course. FABRIC SALE We Have To Make Room For Our Spring Stock Double Cotton Knits Polyester Fortrel Knits Bonded (Fall Fabrics) ALL USED SEWING MACHINES 323-5th Street South 20% Off Phones 327-8877 327-8818 ;