As your children near the end of their primary school life, you need to make decisions about secondary school. Whatever decisions you made over primary schooling, secondary school is a new situation with a new set of circumstances so you have to consider all the options again. The big difference now is that your children are older, so ask them for their opinion. Encourage them to feel involved in the decision without being responsible for it.
The issue of separation becomes more complex at this stage, for example, you have boy/girl twins, as single sex schools may become an option. Where a selection process is in place (the 11+ or entrance examinations, even for many comprehensive schools), one child might pass the test and another fail, which highlights academic differences.
Multiples do need gradually to become independent from each other, so that by the time they finish their secondary education they will be ready to lead separate lives, while still being good friends with a strong bond between them. Tamba’s experience shows that for many multiples, the ideal situation would be different classes within the same school, so that they would have the chance to develop as individuals, while supporting each other and spurring each other on.
Become a Tamba member today to listen to Tamba's Honorary Consultants for Primary and Secondary Education Diane Galloway discusses the transition from primary to secondary school.
Every family will have a different experience of adolescence, but a few problems are more likely with multiples. The growing difference between boy and girl multiples becomes even more noticeable. This can impose a huge strain on previously very close relationships, as the girls turn into the young women, while the boys are still giggling boys. For girl multiples, the fact that the beginning of periods can be up to three years apart can also cause strain. Multiples will always compare themselves first and foremost with their fellow multiples, and the nature of physical development at adolescence can make differences hard to deny.
The transition to secondary schools can present unique challenges for parents of multiples. If you feel you need a listening ear, Twinline, our Freephone helpline can provide you with valuable support. Twinline is staffed by trained volunteers who are parents of multiples and is free for all members and non-members.
Twinline is open everyday from 10am to 1pm and from 7pm to 10pm on 0800 138 0509 (freephone). If you need to speak to someone out of Twinline hours you can email Ask Twinline.
For more information on moving to secondary school, take a look at our Older Multiples Guide (You'll need to be registered with Tamba to view the guide)
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