Identity Crisis

Each time I watch Jon and Kate Plus 8, I worry that the Gosselin children do not have their own identities. I am an identical twin, and family as well as strangers regularly referred to my sister and me as "the twins" or "the girls." Our younger brother was never referred to as "the boy"; of course, he was always called by his name. I hated being one of "the twins," to the point that now (as a 29 year old) it makes me happy when anyone calls me by my first name. I craved that someone would want to know me, as opposed to us.

Watching Jon and Kate constantly refer to their children as "the girls", "the boys", "the little girls", "the babies", "the twins" etc. makes me very sad. I know what that was like as a child and can only imagine what it feels like to these children - especially Cara and Mady. They not only have to deal with being twins, but it is likely that they also feel they are competing with a set of 6 younger siblings that many consider more "special." They are taken on various TV shows/talk shows and often are not even addressed by the interviewer (all of the kids now are old enough to answer a simple/fun kid-type question). How does that make them feel individually? What is the purpose of them being there? I guess to be on display for the audience to gawk at, much like animals at a zoo.

Another very common and very negative part of being a multiple is the matching clothing. It alarms me that the Gosselin children are always dressed alike on outings and special occasions. This is something I also experienced as a child; sometimes my sister and I wore outfits in different colors, but they we were always dressed alike. I realize that with 8 kids it might be easier for them to wear the same clothes. However, it would be a huge boost to each child's independence and sense of identity if they were allowed to pick out their own clothes. Mady and Cara are clearly old enough to do so, and the sextuplets could also begin to have that freedom. I am not saying Kate should go out and buy them all different clothes, but she could allow them to pick which outfit they would like to wear that day. Every time they go out in public or on trips the children are dressed alike, as if to draw more attention. They are paraded around like perfect little identical dolls. The episode at Dutch Wonderland with the numbered shirts made me cringe. The idea that Jon and Kate numbered their own children but then were too "embarrassed" to wear their own matching shirts just made me sick to my stomach. How do they think it makes the children feel - especially Mady and Cara, who are old enough to understand the dehumanizing purpose behind the numbered shirts. I don't buy the excuse that the numbers make it easier for them to keep track of the kids. The same could have been accomplished by allowing each child to choose their own shirt, perhaps in a certain color.

If Jon and Kate are not careful, their children will grow up with serious social and emotional problems. These children need individuality and a sense of self, separate from a numbered position in a "group" of siblings.

Submitted by Diane

53 comments:

momof5 said...

I know I would not have enjoyed having to 'match' someone else growing up. I was blessed with parents who encouraged me to be an individual and make my own choices, even from an early age. I hope these kids will soon be allowed to assert their own individuality and personalities rather than all being lumped together as they are now.

twinner said...

I'm an identical twin as well. My mother didn't know she was having twins, in 1974 there were no sonograms for healthy 23 year olds and we were actually born at 41 weeks. She didn't have time to learn all the "twin things" durring her pregnacy.

I'm pretty involved in the online multiples world and in the twin world in general (we go to conventions and speak at parents of multiples meetings)

This blog touches on the two biggies for my sister and I. Calling multiples "the twins" or "the triplets" and dressing alike.

Our mother made a concious decision to never call us "the twins", we were the girls or the kids. (we have no other siblings) She never let anyone else call us "the twins" either. When people would ask "how are the twins" she would pause, think, then say "oh, C and K are just fine" She was also big on flipping names so C wasn't always first. Oh the thrill of getting joint mail address to K first....

Dressing alike is fine, when they are too young to express a preference. When they start to then its best to let them dress different (as long as the outfit is reasonable of course). Recently we watch the tumble bus episode and I realized they were all dress differently. Must have been before the product placement deal.

If anyone asks my mother what her advice is to parents of twin is, her first words are "Raise the kids, the twins will take care of themselves". Basically what it means is, do worry about "fostering a close twin relationship" and enjoy having 2 kids. (or in this case, 8 kids)

Chelci said...

Thanks for writing this, as my nieces are twins and i know that in our family they are often called the girls. SO thanks for shedding some light on this topic, as they are only 3 years old I still have time to never say, "the girls" again!!! Icompletely agree about the outfits as well. My aunt lets the girls(oops) choose their own clothes and they are 3, but on weekends she chooses. thanks

Anonymous said...

I have two boys (adopted) who are extremely close in age (less than a month) and I always tried to NOT dress them alike - ok, the Christmas picture maybe, but that's it. I'm glad to get some validation that I'm on the right track.

I also appreciate your comments on not calling the boys "the boys". I do that, or sometimes call them "the kids". Knowing that this can be a source of frustration for the person being called it is helpful.

Thank you for your commentary. I have to say I've probably enjoyed this guest post more than anything else I've read on this web site.

Anonymous said...

Far be it from me ever to defend anything that Kate does because she quite literally is, aside from Casey Anthony, my least favorite mother in the country right now. But I also refer to the girls in my family as "the girls" sometimes and I do that to the boys. I'll say (scream) to my husband things like "the boys and I are going to the batting cages", things like that.

Anonymous said...

I think their dressing alike has more to do with their (beyond obvious) product deals than anything else. I really hate those big sister/little sister/brother oversized shirts. I can't recall which episode they wore those on. I feel most sorry for Cara and Mady. Not only will they probably always be called the twins, they will always be the less special twin sisters of the 'tups :(

Cincymom said...

I also have thought about the practicality of six matching outfits. If they bought separate outfits and same for Cara and Mady, then they would have hand-me-downs for the girls from the older sisses. They can't if Cara and Mady have 2 matching outfits and there isn't a third for the tup girls when it's handed down. Isnt' it more cost effective to dress separately?

Anonymous said...

Cincymom said...

Isnt' it more cost effective to dress separately?


Remember, the Gosselins pay for nothing.

Joanne said...

I also am an Identical twin. We were always referred to as "the twins". So much so, that when my kindergarten teacher aske me my name on the first day, I said "the twins". That was all I ever heard, so it seemed reasonable to me at 5 yrs old that is what I was called by.

yubicc said...

I understand it to a point- and I dont like the parents AT ALL- and it *IS* very exploitative and embarrasing to the kids to publicise the lives.

But what are they supposed to do when referring to the little ones?

"We have to go ahead and put Colin, Alexis, Leah, Joel, Hannah, and Adden to bed"

lol....doesn't that seem a little over the top?

What IS an issue is not how they refer to them, but the lack of individual attention they give them, esp the mom. She's such a hag.

Anonymous said...

As a mother of 20 month old triplets I have to agree that the dressing alike and referring to children as "the triplets" etc. annoys me. I have a lot of multiple friends who choose to dress their kiddos the same. I just think it is confusing to others while in public. I think from the minute your child is conceived they have a unique personality and should have the right to be viewed as an individual and not a group ex. the twins, the triplets etc. When my kids are older I certainly do not want them introducing themselves stating "Hi we are the _____ triplets!"
Back to the dressing alike. I think it is such a waste of money to buy 2 of the same thing exactly alike.(I have one girl, 2 boys) My boys are dressed alike on very minimal occasions because someone bought them the same outfit. Other multiple parents will strongly disagree with my views and that is fine.....I just think it is better to think out of the box when it comes to your childrens individuality.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I think their dressing alike has more to do with their (beyond obvious) product deals than anything else.

I agree. It is Gymboree and other brand name clothing companies that are the accomplices in Kate dressing her children alike as they are the ones providing the endless supply of free clothing. It is either per Kate's request, or a decision on the part of Gymboree to provide identical matching outfits for the twins, the boy tups, and girl tups accordingly. Either way, there exists no budget for clothing 8 children in the Gosselin household as the Gosselin children are the walking billboards for Gymboree advertising.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I find Jon and Kate usually refer to the 6 as the "little kids". That always struck me as a strange term to call them.

Anonymous said...

I hear you! My sister and I are 26 months apart. We have a brother as well, so we're "the girls". Growing up, people constantly mistook us for twins. Except for being about the same size and weight and the coordinating wardrobe that Mom and Grandma perpetuated, we really didn't look alike at all. Probably for the sake of making life easier, we did the same activities, got the same privileges at the same time, etc.

When you're a kid, two years is a big age gap! I can't imagine how Cara and Mady feel when they're grouped in with Hannah, Alexis, and Leah. The labels definitely have to go. And the obsession with birth order. Who really cares? Only Kate would be nutty enough to name them alphabetically and constantly number them. For all intents and purposes, they're 8 and 4. Mady doesn't need to be reminded that she's second to Cara by 6 minutes or whatever. Maybe Kate uses it to justify why Joel is always last in life! Time to foster some individuality and break out of the herd mentality if you want your children to have meaningful relationships with one another later on, Kate!

Anonymous said...

Regarding gymboree...if they had 3 different outfits from each line, they could mix and match like crazy and have many more different outfits. This would should one of the great things about Gymbo, the ability to mix and match within the line. I'm guessing it's Kate who wants them matching...and like a pp mentioned, it does draw more attention to them.

I did notice they were not dressed identically on the pre k episode.

Anonymous said...

When the Dilley's were on Rachel Ray back in May, the mom said that she dressed her kids alike till they told her to stop doing it.

Nox said...

In my family there were no twins, but there are two boys. They were often referred to as "the boys". Collectively we were often "the kids". If you never get anything but that, I can see it bugging, but I think that to an extent it's normal when dealing with groups.

As for the matching clothes, I find it obnoxious, but I can see it being easier to keep track of them in public places if they're all wearing the same color or pattern. Also, when they went to pre-school it didn't look like they were dressed alike.

Anonymous said...

As for dressing multiples the same, I think if I had twins or triplets at a young age I might take advantage of it...when they're small I do think it's cute when they dress them in the same clothes...but not all the time. I think if it's the same clothes but a different color it's a lot more acceptable.
But it has to stop at a certain age, I do feel badly for Mady and Cara. They are old enough to have their own style and obviously their own personality and what they enjoy in clothes. I think putting them in the same outfit all the time is a bit much, maybe for pictures that's fine. I'd do the same thing for pictures, but not in their everyday lives.

...but baby twins are cute when they're dressed the same. I'm sorry, it's just adorable. But maybe I just like babies! lol

bigsis88 said...

My youngest sisters are triplets, and they actually like dressing alike. Usually, they will pick out the same style shirt in different colors, same color with different graphics, etc. This year, they started 8th grade and the two oldest want to dress differently, but they youngest wants to dress alike on occasion. We've always called them by their names, though.

bigsis88 said...

P.S. Some parents might dress their multiples (or children close in age) alike just to get the "buy one get one free" type deals. I don't know if this applies to the Gosselins though, since they don't pay for their own clothing.

Anonymous said...

And the obsession with birth order. Who really cares?

----------------------------

I've always thought that was odd. I forget which epi it was, but all the kids were wearing the numbered shirts that were made by a fan (which, in itself is very wierd)

Kate just likes the attention it brings to HER.

iluveeyore said...

Thanks for writing this, as my nieces are twins and i know that in our family they are often called the girls. SO thanks for shedding some light on this topic, as they are only 3 years old I still have time to never say, "the girls" again!!! Icompletely agree about the outfits as well. My aunt lets the girls(oops) choose their own clothes and they are 3, but on weekends she chooses. thanks

Nieces? Aunt? Almost a Cousin?

Anonymous said...

It is fine to occasionally, off-handedly refer to children as "the girls," "the boys," etc. I think the author's point is that multiples get called a group name (e.g. "the twins") so frequently that no one bothers to learn their actual names. It's not about the title, it's about a basic acknowledgment of individuality.

iluveeyore said...

My youngest sisters are triplets, and they actually like dressing alike. Usually, they will pick out the same style shirt in different colors, same color with different graphics, etc. This year, they started 8th grade and the two oldest want to dress differently, but they youngest wants to dress alike on occasion. We've always called them by their names, though.

If the two oldest (of triplets! how many minutes older?) don't want to dress alike, who would the youngest dress alike with?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
And the obsession with birth order. Who really cares?

----------------------------

I've always thought that was odd. I forget which epi it was, but all the kids were wearing the numbered shirts that were made by a fan (which, in itself is very wierd)

Kate just likes the attention it brings to HER.

Kate commented in last night's episode that Joel felt offended that he was the last one to be seen by the doc and said the tups were examined in 'birth order' thus Joel being the 'last' one and 'offended'. Joel would have no reason to feel offended, or awareness of the fact, if J & K werent constantly referencing their children in relationship to birth order or first and last. Perhaps Joel wasnt offended at all about his being last, or his birth order, he made no verbal expression of the fact. More than likely, he was just being a typical 4 year old and didnt want to spend another minute in the exam room! The only reason these children would have issue with their birth order (negative or positive) is because it has been imposed upon them by their parents.
What excuses will Kate bring to light when it comes to her 'tagalong' 'just one more' child.

Mrs. P said...

Thanks for that! I am a mom of triplets, and I don't refer to them as "the triplets". I also try not to get to matchy with clothes (even at 9 months old!). We point out their obvious differences to make sure that their older siblings can tell the girls apart.

This was very insightful for me. :)

It is a shame that J&K never refer to the children as individuals, though I still see the gender issues as more disturbing.

Peas and Carrots said...

I am an identical twin and know what is like not to have an identity. My parents didn't ever force us to dress the same, in fact they encouraged individuality. Funnily enough it wasn't our parents who made us disappear, but friends, teachers and extended family members, they insisted on the twin mentality. We did dress alike, but in different colors and that was by choice.

I hated it when people called us "the twins". My sister and I would respond "Thats not my name, I'm Peas and her name is Carrots".

It is not like we are a borg collective we are individuals. Each of J&K children are different and all have different personalities. They should be encouraged to dress differently and nuture their individual talents.

I remember our 8th birthday, my sister and I had several friends in common and we invited them to our party, only to receive one gift to share between the two of us, how tacky is that! It used to drive my mom nuts, because she would tell the parents who were grumbling about two gifts, "A card will be just fine."

I was lucky my parents nutured us to be individuals and didn't buy into the whole twin thing.

Anonymous said...

I am twinner's sister(second post). I think all parents call their children "the kids" sometimes, it's just easier, But constantly being call "the twins" is annoying.
I work in child care and if another co-worker writes in the communication book that "the twins won't be in." I will scrach it out and write their names.

A few more things.....

1)When you dress your multiples the same, if one gets dirty are you suppose to change all? Kate's answer~Of course especially if you are at Disney and you get ice cream on your shirt you are ruined.

2) Cara and Maddy go to a private school and are dressed alike all day. They should express their personalities after school and on weekend.

P.S. playing devils advocate here. I know a lot of families dress the whole family in the same bright colour if they are going to an amusment park or other crowded place. Just easier to keep track of everyone. I think that is ok, but dressing alike to go to the store or doctors etc. is over the top.

Diane said...

I would just like to thank everyone for their comments and feedback to my post. I am glad some of you were able to find it insightful. These thoughts have been on my mind for a while now as I ponder J&K+8 and read other comments/posts about them.

I'm not saying nobody should ever be called "boys" or "girls" in general. Of course it will happen. It is ludicrous to expect that it won't. As someone else stated, my original point was just that multiples get called "the twins", "the triplets", "the girls", etc. so often - not just because they are a group of one sex or the other - but because (IMO) people are afraid to make mistakes and call one by the wrong name. I could care less, I'd rather at least know that they are trying to know my name! Even if they make a mistake and call me the wrong name, then they could correct themselves (when I say "No, I'm Diane") and that might help them learn my name or who I am, aside from being "the twins".

SmartyQ said...

I went through school with triplets back in the olden days when twins were unique, triplets astonishing. Their parents gave them rhyming names and always dressed them alike. A few years ago, one of the trips told me that he spent the first 18 years of his life never knowing if he was special because of himself or because he was a triplet.

I'm sure the twins and the tups will face those feelings if Kon continue on their present course. Heck, 'if'? Kon have the sensitivity of a goat. Of course their behavior won't change.

lvtennisball said...

Funny, I noticed again last night how J&K call to the kids individually, and not as a group. Jon was calling up the stairs, and he called individual names. He didn't say, "kids, come down here," he said "Alexis, Collin" or whoever individually. I have heard them do this in the past as well. I really hate to defend J&K, but they do seem to treat the kids as individuals.

Notice that the little kids were NOT wearing matching outfits to go to school.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your personal insight. I have triplet girls and I have been careful to dress them in different colors, but I failed to see that dressing them in the same dress or pattern is essentially the same even if the color is different. We do refer to them as "the girls" in my family, and as of right now that stops. I've always tried to think of ways to "individualize" them, so that they will understand as they are growing up that I don't just see them as a group.

Anonymous said...

This post got me thinking...

I am a first grade teacher and today a few of the children in my class were discussing their Halloween costumes. I can't remember if there was a Halloween episode in the past. Do you think Kate would go as far as to make the kids dress the same for Halloween? For example, all the little girls in the same costume, all the little boys in the same costume. It would be so sad if she didn't let them choose their own costumes but really - I can't say I would put it past her. They're dressed the same on every other day of their lives.

Anonymous said...

I understand how irritating it would be to constantly be called "the twins" or "the sextuplets", but I think Jon and Kate do plenty of differentiating between each child in regular conversation, and labels like "the tups" are used merely to speed the conversation instead of constantly having to list every single name.

Half the show would be a recitation of names if they didn't use phrases that encompassed more than one child at a time.

As for matching clothing, I wouldn't really worry too much about that. I don't believe we've seen any of the kids complain about having to match, and it's possible they even enjoy matching. There are so many other ways to show individuality, and I think people in general rely on clothing a little too much as a signifier of personality.

Anonymous said...

My best friend had twin girls and they were definate by age 7 they were two different people. They'd rip matchy clothes off quicker then you could get them on them. Lucky they were mirror twins and parted their hair on the opposite sides so it wasn't hard to get the names right. But they'd give a cheer to this blog entry because they were never the "twins" but always A and B.

Jadzia said...

Our youngest two sons are "Irish twins" (born 10 months apart) and we do generally call them "the babies" or "the little boys." They are only one size apart (the younger one is a bruiser); generally, we only buy them identical clothes when we're hitting the Costco table or something like that, and end up finding the same clothes in their 2 sizes. So far, the kids seem to know who they are.

My husband, who is a "real" twin, was not dressed identically to his brother after they were 4 years old or so. I pretty much follow his lead on how much differentiation we need to make. He's actually worse about doing "the little boys"/"the babies" thing than I am. Although I am more guilty of calling them the wrong names every.single.day.

Anonymous said...

The first episode of the series was them going to a pumpkin patch. They picked out pumpkins and took them home to carve them. I don't think we have seen anything else as to what what they do for Halloween besides that.

ThreeFarmers said...

The fact that Kate and Jon seem to encourage that the children sick together and always "have each other," doesn't bode well for individuality down the line.

I hope that those kids are given the opportunity to stay in school and not be forced into home schooling. The Gosselin kids need to know that they can rely on other people in addition to each other.

I'm by no means against home schooling, I know several families who do it wonderfully. Look at the Duggars, all of those kids seem very well socialized. Heck, Josh just got married...and it wasn't even to one of his sisters. *snicker*

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the sextuplets were dressed in matching outfits to school too, which I don't think should happen. It's cute for pictures, or special occasions, but for everyday life, and school, they ought to be able to pick whatever weather appropriate outfit they want out of their closet.

rap541 said...

"Mady doesn't need to be reminded that she's second to Cara by 6 minutes or whatever. Maybe Kate uses it to justify why Joel is always last in life!"

I think I would be more ok with "birth order" lines if Kate wasn't openly acknowledging that Alexis is always first and Joel is always last. I mean, not to be too harsh but... there are thousands of people who spend time as one adult amoung six four year-olds. They're called preschool teachers, and Kate strikes me as the sort of parent who would throw a *fit* if her kids were ALWAYS the last in the official snack line because of their birthday. Being *first* is important in little kid land- come on, am I the only one who loved to be the first in line?

I tend to feel the same as others about numbered shirts and identical clothing. I am not a twin, but I grew up in the era where twins were dressed alike and named alike and at least one set of friends admitted to me once that they wished they weren't twins but just Rod and Tod (not their real names) because their parents, teachers, etc, always saw them as one person.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the author of this post. I, too, am an identical twin and my mother had a second set of twins (fraternal) when my sister and I were 18 months old.
My mom dressed my sister an I alike until we were about five years old - when we began to protest! Although everyone referred to our family as the "twin family," my parents were so careful to treat each of us as individuals.
I cringe when I see the Gosselin family not only label their adorable children as "the twins" or "the little ones" but actually make their living off of the circumstances of their births.
Not to be a "twin snob," but fraternal twins or even septuplets are no more alike than any normal siblings but they just happened to be born at the same time. In the Gosselin's case, it was all due to drugs!
Anyway, the children are adorable, although some appeared very troubled. Kate and Jon ---- remember that each one of you children is a beautiful, unique individual... treat them tht way!

Anonymous said...

About the matching clothes; didn't Kate say in one of the early specials that they were going with matching outfits for the time being due to the hassle of having to remember whose clothes were whose? I think that may be part of the answer for matching clothes. We also see the kids not dressed as a group MANY times.

On the issue of multiples being grouped, I can see that being an issue, and definitly fell individuality is important, but I don't see that too much here. I have a feeling some of the grouping is due to the show. Also, calling all of the kids "the kids" as opposed to calling them each by name makes more sense with the number of kids. I also know me and my sister (not twins) were referred to as "the girls" many times. Anyway, they do seem to know the kids on a personal level and as individuals. When they did the special days, they went to places they thought each individual kid would like and the kids loved their days. The family may have issues, but to me it seems like this isn't one of them.

P.S. Regarding doing things by birth order; Didn't Kate say that they might switch it up sometimes so Joel wouldn't always be last?

michelle said...

True.

Stefanie said...

I have four girls and we are guilty of calling them "the girls" when we talk about them as a group because always saying "A,M,O and R..." can be quite a mouthful!!!

I cant remember a time when we dressed them alike, but when we go out to crowded places I always dress them in the same color group. For example, we went to a busy apple orchard last weekend and I dressed them so they all were wearing red tops just so we can find them more easily (my husband and I try to fit the theme too, lol, it really does help!)

I think more than anything they need to take them out more one on one and get to know each of them, which I do think they are trying. It seems like they know the different personailities/likes/dislikes of their children and maybe they need to put more focus on the individual.

rap541 said...

" Didn't Kate say that they might switch it up sometimes so Joel wouldn't always be last?"

She absolutely did... but really, should it take a brain trust to realize this before the kid is over four years of age? For people who focus on being fair etc (always getting the kids the same Xmas gifts, etc) they sure seem to drop the ball on an obvious one.

I mean really, if precious Hanny was last in birth order, do you really think Kate would be "NO! Hanny you were born last! Back of the line!"

For the record, my three year old niece watched with me and said "Why can't they eat like big girls like me?" - without bibs. The bibs on four year olds just skeeves me.

funkycatt said...

Excellent post. It is interesting to hear what is like to be a twin, and never refered to as an individual person, but more of a part of a set.

I've started letting my son pick his clothes in the morning, and sometimes when we are in the store. (Not out of everything, just blue shirt or red shirt). He loves it! It makes him feel grown up and gives him some control over his environment. He's two. By 4 and certainly by 8 the Gosselins are more than capable of picking their own clothes.

Anyway, I truly wish that the kids will be able to grow up and be their own people. How unfortunate it would be if they never got to be independant, contributing adults.

funkycatt said...

I just wanted to add, I do dress my kids alike on occasion. Who knows why really, I think its cute. They're 7 months and 26 months old, so frankly they don't always notice. (The two year old might point out that they both have monkeys on their shirt).

My sister and I are "irish twins" (13 months apart) and we would dress alike. It was mostly for church. She wore the pink dress and I wore whatever other color they made. We really LIKED to dress alike though.

However, I plan to STOP as soon as the kids don't like it. Or frankly it gets too expensive. Because my 7 month old has all of his brother's old clothes, plus all the new matching stuff. And that's a LOT of clothes.

You do see the kids wearing non-matching clothes A LOT in the older episodes. Also if they are at home just playing. Its when they go on an outing that Kate gest them all "dolled up" in matching clothes.

J&K say how much it bothers Mady that Care was born first. Guess what? She wouldn't know if you didn't tell her. And she certainly would obsess if you didn't keep reminding her.

bigsis88 said...

Iluveeyore,
The oldest was born 30 minutes before the 2 youngest, who just kinda "slipped out" (so I've been told.) Sometimes the youngest gives the "puppy dog face", and the two older ones give in and agree to dress alike. Her (meaning the youngest) new thing is to borrow my clothes whenever possible (even though there is a 6 yr age difference, we wear about the same size since I'm pretty thin) or she'll convince me to wear the same shirt/jeans/etc. she's wearing since we have some of the same clothes.

Anonymous said...

Most families refer to birth order. I am the second of three, and I am forever called "the middle girl," "our middle child", "the youngest girl", it's bound to happen to everyone. It's the same as saying- this is my youngest or this is my oldest. I still had some identity issues about being the middle child. I know only children who have identity issues because they didn't have brothers or sisters. No matter what, it can happen.

cupcake tin said...

I feel like the objection this post explores is more because Kate is SO obsessed with her kids as a group than as each as an individual.

I am one of 8, there were 5 girls and 3 boys. When we were on family outings we had to wear the same colors because my mom found it easier to spot us in public that way. When the older kids got older, they could wear whatever they wanted, but had to check in every-so-often or risk being sought after and punished.

Because my parents treated us as individuals, including the twins in our family, we didn't feel like the times we were grouped together made us less than what we were. Of course the younger kids got sick of being so-and-so's sister or brother, but that's just being part of a big family.

Nadia said...

I found this very interesting, I have three boys all born within 18 months. Including identical twin boys. My boys are very young (4,2 1/2, 2 1/2) and I sometimes dress them alike. Right now they are all in the same size clothing and so I have alot of fun picking out outfits for them in three different colors. Personally I think that it is one of the fun things about having multiples. My boys could not care less about what clothes they wear at this point and have no interest in having an oppion on what they wear. I know that someday they will but right now I am having fun with it well my kids are little. Once they start to show me that they do not want to dress the same anymore then that will be the end of it, but untill then I am going to have some fun with it. And personally I do not see anything wrong with that.

I try to encourage my kids to be individual's in many other ways. I cut my identical twins hair differently so that people could tell them apart at a glance and encourage them to be in different sports and to have different interests. Their personalitys are night and day different and I love that.

I think that J&K's kids are getting to be too old to all be dressing the same. I was very happy to see that they were in different clothing to be going off to preschool.

Chelci said...

To Iloveeyore,
Nieces? Aunt? Almost a Cousin?

Lol. long story, they are my aunts kids, so technically cousins, but becuase I am 20 years older than them they call me aunt, and to confuse it even more, my aunt isnt my "real" aunt either!

Anonymous said...

I've read most of the comments that have come since I posted my comment earlier, and I have to stress one last time to the parents who say they want to have fun with dressing their multiples alike- Your kids need to KNOW that you see them as individuals, and not just because you SAY that you do, but because there is evidence. As they are growing up and looking at the photo album, or looking at the album when they are grown, they need to see how you fixed their curls, or their sweaters, or their ribbons differently from their siblings. Having something special means many times having something unique, or specially chosen for you. It shows them that you don't just see them as a group.