Several of my friends on Facebook have been reading and commenting on the book by Kevin Leman, “The Birth Order Book”. I kept meaning to read it and it was killing me seeing them discuss it. I already knew I wanted to read it a long time ago. So even though I have several other books I’m currently reading, I bought it for my Kindle and started it…and now I can’t put the thing down!
First, this book is completely fascinating! Second, it’s completely humbling. I went into reading this simply to quelch my own curiosity and hopefully better understand my children. But now after getting through 42% of the book (’cause that’s how far I’ve gotten according to my Kindle), I realize that I’ve got some issues! I never thought of myself as a perfectionist, but apparently I am an over-the-top perfectionist, says the quiz I took. As in off the charts people.
I’ve learned a lot about myself (for example, that I should strive for excellence, NOT perfection) and I’ve already adjusted my own expectations for myself and others. But the biggest thing I’ve gleaned from this book that I’m not even half finished with yet, is how to handle some things with my children. In fact, I have had the opportunity to put some of this information to use IMMEDIATELY.
Take for example the fact that I’m a compliant first born, my husband is a compliant first born and then we have our first born son who is also compliant. Whoa-what a hot mess! The other day my compliant and perfectionistic first born was in tears over some homework. Why? Because he was struggling to write a complete sentence about a book he read. He was so mad at himself because he knew what he wanted to say, but he also knew that he couldn’t CORRECTLY spell the words he wanted to use. He immediately wanted to quit and was reduced to tears when I told him he had to finish the assignment.
I was so glad I had the information from this book fresh in my mind so that I could figure out what was really wrong with my son and then deal with it compassionately. Before reading this book, my inclination would have been to think he’s just being lazy or having a bad attitude. Wow! What a difference this book has already made.
I also have learned that I need to make sure I pay special attention to my middle child. I need to go out of my way to let him know that he is loved, that he is important and a valued member of our family. He is actually the child who I am the most uncertain about. I just don’t “get” him and I want to. I want to understand his uniqueness and the special ways God has made him. He is very different from his big brother. Almost totally opposite in fact….which, the book told me he would be.
As for the third born, well, we are so in for it if we are not careful. She’s destined to be our precious princess. But her Daddy and I are not into the whole Tiny Tiara gig. We don’t do diva. So hopefully, this book will teach me what to watch out for there too. I’m pretty sure it’s hopeless for my husband though. He will be charmed to the max by this little girl if she follows what this book suggests!
If you are looking for a fascinating read, something to help you better understand your kids or your spouse or your friend, then I recommend this book! Now I’m off to read some more…