Birthday Party Manners and Etiquette: Do You Have to Invite Both Twins?

twin sisters, birthday party kids
Packaged deal or what? What are the rules regarding birthday parties and twins?

True story: At a recent gathering, the mother of twins was openly complaining about a snub one of her 5-year-old daughters had received. While the sister had been invited to a classmate’s birthday party, her twin had not received an invitation. Not so tangential to this story is the fact that these twins are in separate classes, the birthday party in question allowed for drop-offs and the birthday party’s host is a completely reasonable person who would have certainly allowed the twin sister to come along as well — had the mother spoken up.

Instead, Twins’ Mom complained at a different birthday party, one in which both twins had been invited, saying something about hoping other children wouldn’t have to suffer that kind of heartbreak.

All of which makes me wonder: what are the rules regarding twins?

I don’t have twins nor a horse in this race, except that I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, kids or adults. But here’s where I’m coming from: I thought the pendulum had swung from matching outfits and rhyming names to hyper-focusing on the individuality of everyone, including those who lived together in a womb and even those who are difficult to tell apart. I thought twins and their parents wanted opportunities for their multiples to develop separately a bit, as well as together. Hence, the different classes!

And bigger picture: if we’re requiring entire sets of multiples to be invited, then aren’t we simply saying all birthday parties should be open to invitees’ siblings? If so, that’s a much bigger affair than I’d ever voluntarily organize.

Or is this a case of nuance, something about the lives of multiples I don’t understand? Something along the lines of how I encourage my children to be discreet about party talk at school, since we don’t throw big blow-outs and we can’t invite everyone. Is it that the nature of twinship means, in this case, party invitations can’t be kept secret?

I’m kind of a hard-ass. I don’t think anyone is entitled to a party invitation, and the fact that this mother does makes me weep for my kids’ generation. But I’m willing to listen and change my mind. Please, someone convince me.

Parents of multiples, what’s the right thing to do? What are your expectations? Parents of singletons, what would you do?


Is it just me, or are twins everywhere?

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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