Q: Our 4-year-old triplet girls are starting preschool. Should they be in separate classrooms?
A: In working with families that have twins or triplets, one of the biggest challenges is for the children to develop their own, separate identities over time.
Having them all in the same classroom, unless there isn’t another option, tends to significantly inhibit, or at least delay, each child in developing their own independent personalities, interests and preferences.
It also puts them at a real disadvantage in terms of instant comparisons in school progress and academics as well as interests and aptitudes.
For example, if one of the three is more of a sports-oriented girl and the other two like to read a lot, the one who doesn’t read as much may be seen as not being as good on the academic side, especially in the first few years of school.
Finally, getting confused with your siblings is never fun at any age, and being called by your correct name is always important. Three similar-looking girls in the same class, especially if they like to dress in similar clothes, can lead to frequently being called by the wrong name.
This column is intended to provide general information only and not medical advice. Contact your health care provider with questions about your child. Dr. Peter Dehnel is a board-certified pediatrician and medical director with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Send questions to [email protected].