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Parent Accused Of ‘Stifling’ Their Identical Twin Sons By Dressing Them In Color-Coded Shirts

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Parenting is full of tough decisions and responsibilities, but with twins, one additional task might be telling the children apart.

Sometimes people work out a system for telling them apart, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, that others are not a fan of.

Redditor Throwaway_twin_sons_, for instance, dressed their children in color-coordinated clothing.

But when they were criticized for stifling their children’s identities, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were doing something wrong.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for exclusively dressing my twin sons in color-coded shirts?”

The OP had a system for telling their twins apart.

“I have a set of identical twin boys, 1.5years old.”

“My husband and I are both forgetful, and having a new baby is tiring, and I was scared of getting them mixed up. So we decided the older baby, Atticus, would be blue, and the younger one, Ezra, would be green.”

“We bought only green or blue onesies at first, figuring that once their personalities developed more, I would integrate more colors.”

“Most of both sides of the family know we do this and quite a few even use it to still tell the boys apart, despite my husband and I being able to know which is which, no problem (such as after bath when neither is dressed).”

It seemed like an easy enough plan.

“Since the boys are so young, we let them pick their shirts, but we have a dresser with the top painted blue for Atticus and one with the top green for Ezra.”

“The boys know which dresser belongs to them, they each have an average amount of shirts, just they are either a majority blue or a majority green.”

“They have different decorations on them, such as Hulk or Captain America, the green or blue character from their favorite show PJ masks, even their church clothes are blue or green button-ups.”

But not everyone appreciated it.

“We had a Christmas party over the weekend. The boys showed up in a blue sweater with a snowman on it, and the other had a green sweater with a Christmas tree on it.”

“Many people said they looked adorable.”

“My husband’s cousin cornered me and told me that I was stifling the boys’ individuality since I am forcing them to dress how I want them to.”

“When I told her I would probably diversify shirts when they turned 3, maybe starting at 2.5, she went ballistic, saying that it isn’t fair to them.”

“I tried pointing out that no 1.5 year old knows what they are wearing, has a say in what gets bought, nor do they care.”

“AITA for dressing them in their own color and nothing else?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the OP’s system was much less stifling than the cousin’s would be.

“So when the family has bought pink outfits for baby girls and blue for boys, they all should be ashamed of themselves too. How disgusting.”

“And why stop at colors? How dare people buy little girls’ dresses and only buy costume dresses for their toddler boys. That is simply outrageous. Riiigghhtt.”

“If a child has expressed a desire for something, that is one thing. But if they are perfectly happy with how they are dressed until they are old enough to choose for themselves, well sorry, but take your judgemental butt elsewhere.”

“Being a parent is hard enough. I cannot imagine the extra issues raised when there is difficulty to tell your children apart.”

“And I think this is a brilliant strategy for toddlers. They can identify their own things by color, which is one of the first things they learn to identify, and know they have their individual clothes and not just communal belongings which gives a sense of ownership.”

“It will also help them as they strive for more independence. They know what clothes are theirs when they go to get dressed and can select from their own pool. I imagine being your own identity when a twin and being treated as such would be important. Well done OP.” – 30flips

“NTA – The color coding is for you and others to tell them apart. Nobody is being harmed here, especially not your twins.” – Acidic-Tomato

“H**l, this is common even with non-twin siblings. With my eldest daughter, the grandmas bought her a ton of pink, obviously. Then we had a boy and they bought him blue.”

“When we had #3, we just arbitrarily chose green as her color to make it simple when buying 3 of something, like easter baskets or whatever. The kids are 8, 6, and 5 and still use ‘their colors’ most of the time, by choice.”

“We bought new toothbrushes and 5yo got to pick first. She usually picks green but chose pink. Now she constantly forgets which toothbrush is hers because she’s used to having green.” – Over-Construction101

Others were thoroughly confused by the cousin’s logic.

“‘Stifling their individuality.’ Like girl, they are 1.5 years old. They, like literally every other baby on earth, do not have a say in how they dress. And they don’t care.”

“When they do care, OP can diversify their wardrobes accordingly.” – GoodGirlsGrace

“This cousin sounds wild, lol (laughing out loud). My daughter turned four in March and this year she has really gotten into picking her own outfits. She doesn’t always match, and I’ll tell her sometimes, but most of the time I’m met with, ‘Yes, it do!'”

“So I say to heck with it and let her dress how she wants. When she was 1.5 though, she didn’t care! Her biggest concern really was pulling all the books out of my bedside table at that point. Op is NTA and honestly, I think it’s a smart idea.” – chelledees

“Instead of explaining things to her, a better response might have been, ‘Sorry you don’t like it, but as their parents, we are the only ones who make decisions for our children, not you.'”

“Of course you are NTA.” – SamiHami24

“And why do you feel you need to re-think your mothering because of her? (Rhetorical question. I’m sure you don’t) But, seriously, now is the time to exercise boundaries.”

“‘Thanks for your thoughts. I’ll consider it. Pass the bean dip, please.'” – Miserable-Narwhal-53

“NTA at all. They’re still literal babies. They literally only care about clothes in terms of that they are the right temperature and comfortable.”

“My nephews are twins and they straight up shared a wardrobe until they were old enough to have distinct interests and be different sizes.”

“If you keep color coding them and do force matching all the time as they get older and develop more distinct personalities and tastes, you’d be a jerk. But right now? Nope.” – malorthotdogs

While the OP thought they may have been doing something wrong after what their family member said, the subReddit didn’t think so. Considering the age of the twins, it was more important that they were cared for and properly dressed.

If they were older and their personal tastes were being ignored, that would be an entirely different story.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit