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Ask Denene: My Twins Are Opposites

One of my 6-year-old twins is very outgoing and athletic; the other is shy, hates sports, and complains that he's friendless. How do I help him?

Forget the twin thing, and try to look at him as the unique child that he is. Clearly, your sociable son has found camaraderie with kids who have his same interests, including sports. This may be the reason those kids aren't bonding with your shy son -- they want to kick the ball around, and rip and run, and he doesn't. But what does he want to do? Maybe he's into art or reading. Maybe he'd prefer to take swimming lessons or try some other low-key activities that speak to who he is. 

I'll bet that if you involve him in a pastime he likes, and help him connect with kids with similar interests -- in other words, pull him out of his brother's shadow -- he'll forge a few solid friendships of his own and start discovering his kind of fun. 

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