The Golden Rule of Playing Doubles

Playdates can be a minefield at the best of times, but when there are twins involved it can be even more complicated. In my girls' almost 7 years, we've only had a handful of play dates outside of hanging out with family and close friends and their kids. But since Lile and Sábha started school they have made a wider circle of little buddies and play dates have started to happen more frequently.

At first, I wasn't sure how they worked. I wondered if I was supposed to stay. Or if I did, if that'd be weird... I also wondered if the person inviting them really wanted to invite both - or if they were just being polite and trying not to leave one twin out. And then I always felt bad - because offloading two kids on someone is a lot different to offloading just one... and basically it's just all a bit awkward.

After not-that-much-experience, I have somehow discovered one golden rule that is making me more confident in hosting play dates and sending my twins on them. This basic rule works both ways - for hosts and for parents of little twins who are currently wondering how it all works. And it is basically, to:

Avoid Three's Company

Here's why:

For Parents of Twins:
As much as possible, try to avoid just having one child over for your twins to play with. In my experience it has always resulted in someone feeling left out of a game. Sometimes all three children can be the left out one at various times and that's a lot of whining to be listening to. It seems, at first, like it will be more work having a fourth child to look after, but when each child has a buddy - it's actually seven thousand percent easier to look after them. Fact. Each set plays their own game or they all play together and there is rarely an issue with anyone being left on the sidelines. Even numbers for an even keel. It is a wonder to behold.

For Parents of Not-Twins:
As much as possible, try not to worry about someone being left on the sidelines... If your child is friends with a twin and you want to invite that twin over but feel obliged to also invite the second child - please realise that you don't have to. Really. Most twins probably have their own individual school friends and to be honest it is soooo good for them to have one-to-one with their buddies. To be even more honest it also does them a world of good to have a break from their twin sibling too, from time to time. Don't worry about the sibling that's being left behind. You can be sure they would jump at a chance to either have rare one-to-one time with a parent or to go on their own special play dates with their own friends too. It's really not a bad thing to just invite one. Just remember -

Two's Company = Good
Four's Company = Good 
but 
Three's Company = Baaad!

I might be kidding myself... I mean... we might just be awful people... but I think that the perceived pressure to invite both of my kids on a play date is the reason they've had so few so far. I was the same with thinking that taking on two extra kids would be too much! But in our case two extra kids actually makes things easier.  This discovery has made me determined to host play dates more often this year and to encourage my girls' individual friendships as much as I can.

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Are you a parent of twins? Can you relate? How do you handle play dates?
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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