Order in the house
The compelling question (“Born this way”, July 5-6) of whether the birth order of a child dictates the way he or she continues into adulthood is a paradigm steeped in many variables. I put more stock in Sir Francis Galton's nature versus nurture theory and side with the nurture hypothesis as more critical to how a child develops. Upbringing in a loving, caring and nurturing environment has a huge impact on where children end up as adults. Studies over the years of twins and of adopted children have shown a more definitive understanding of the role of parenting as a key ingredient. I know from being the firstborn in my family, with one younger brother, that being raised by a single mother in the 1970s we were equally loved and cared for and given the same opportunities. The role of the parent in a child's path to success needs to be more deeply explored and debated.
Paul Henderson, Wynnum I wonder if birth order applies to twins, especially those of the same sex? Some twins I know are highly competitive into advanced age. Do twins have added challenges to face in the family dynamics, I wonder, or is the birth order theory just a little stereotyped?
Judi Cox, Springfield
Prescription : laughter
How encouraging and uplifting it was to read of actor, author and comedian Billy Connolly's positive attitude, despite having Parkinson's disease and battling prostate cancer (“The Grin Reaper”, July 5-6). As a retired Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and taking a host of medication for depression, I have just discovered that the best medicine against adversity is laughter and to have eternal hope.
Rudolf Bojtschuk, Brisbane
Pills not the cure-all
Reading the article about paracetamol (“Curate's egg”, July 5-6), I became alarmed. If paracetamol is doing us harm, taking a different pill is not the answer. Change in diet, exercise and mental health will work much better. If only doctors would prescribe real food, rather than tablets, perhaps our health system would improve. Then again, massive pharmaceutical companies have nothing to gain from this. Jemma Rainbow, Hope Island
Heads-up for head trauma
Good to see Mary-Rose MacColl (Upfront, July 5-6) draw attention to the risk of injury in contact sports. About 20 years ago my son suffered concussion during an Australian rules game and afterwards got on the wrong bus and went to another town in country Victoria, where fortunately someone knew him. He was told to wear a helmet but that then made him a target for other players, and there were no rules in place to deal with that. There has been some attention drawn to the problem of this kind of violence in interviews with players who are now troubled by CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) but, until zero tolerance begins at junior level, it will only continue.
Elaine Fraser, Taigum