Birth order does make a difference

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Editorial by Chris Kovatch

There have been numerous studies regarding birth order and how it affects a child’s personality and intelligence. Being the oldest of four children, I often use the studies to antagonize my siblings and begin debates with them. Beyond the scientific studies, I truly believe there is a greater reason our kids are born in the order that they are. I shared last week about Jackson’s strong personality and the challenges I face personally as his dad. I want to share a little bit about one of my other children.

Rosie is our second child and first daughter. It is best that Rosie was our second child. Had she been our first, we would have quickly developed a “know-it-all” parenting attitude. If Rosie had been our only child, we would have look at other parents and wondered what the big deal was. This parenting thing is easy. Rosie has by far been the easiest of our children to raise. I know that she hasn’t hit her teen years yet and that could all change, but I sincerely doubt it will. Rosie has a heart of gold. She is perhaps most kind-hearted individual I have ever met. She goes out of her way to help others and fiercely works for your approval. If the time comes where she has to be disciplined for something, a simple look or word of disappointment is all that it takes.

Our friends and family routinely try to take one or two of the kids for a few hours to give us a break. Rosie is always the first request. What they don’t realize is that when she leaves, managing the other kids actually becomes harder. Rosie has a nurturing nature to her and someday she will make an awesome mother. She goes out of her way to help out at our house and quite often handles tasks before you even have to mention them.

As our family has grown with the additional of each son or daughter, so has our perspective on parenting different personalities. Rosie has helped us tremendously in this arena. Quite often we get worked up because of a situation and she is quick to enter the fray with her calm attitude. She immediately takes charge of something that is within her control; picking up toys, putting up clothes, herding the kids to their rooms to play, whatever she can do to help out. Most of the time, whatever has us upset has absolutely nothing to do with something the kids have done. It is normally something that has happened outside of our home that we carry in with us and we allow it to alter our attitude. Her calm gives us perspective. It helps us step back and take a look at the big picture and refocus on what is really important. A bad day at work isn’t my kids’ fault. A headache isn’t something they caused. Well, most of the time it isn’t.

We make sure to tell her how much we appreciate what she does. As I am writing this, I know she is at home doing her chores and homework. The house will be in its normal state of crazy, as opposed to some advanced state, when I get home. That gesture on her part means the world to me.

We have already committed to Rosie that when she has kids (which should be at least two decades in her future), that we will be there for her whenever she needs us. However, something tells me that she will be blessed with a little girl just like her.