Little People, Big World‘s Zach Roloff has two young children, both born with achondroplasia, a common form of dwarfism. In a new interview, he describes how he’s thinking of their future and how to set them up for success. He sees the brother-sister dynamic working in the favor of Jackson, 2, and Lilah, 4 months.
“It’s obviously a part of them, but we don’t want dwarfism to define our children,” he told People. Zach explains in the interview that he’s parenting in a way that situates his children above any adversity that they might face.
Zach Roloff knew to have kids meant there would be a 50% chance they would be born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism.
Zach Roloff is married to Tori Roloff who is of average height and both understood that having children together meant their kids could potentially have dwarfism.
“That wasn’t a concern to us,” Zach explained in the interview. “Sure, there was a chance our kids could have dwarfism, and there was also a chance that none of our kids would have dwarfism. Whatever we got is what we were going to love and roll with.”
Because both children have dwarfism, Zach says they will share a special bond.
Zach expects his kids will rely on each other more than most brothers and sisters. “I think it will bring them closer than your typical brother-sister relationship,” said.
He explained that as Jackson gets older his sister Lilah will be following in his footsteps. “Jackson will be setting the precedent at school,” Zach foresees. “He’ll be punching through those barriers. When it’s time for Lilah to start going, the school will already have an awareness of what the needs are. He’ll be blazing that trail for her.”
Zach has a truly beautiful hope for his children. The pair of kids will act as support for both one another but they’ll also help to educate their peers at school about the obstacles they might face.
Zach realizes this dynamic puts more pressure on his son, but he feels Jackson is up to the task.
“You do have to just push [Jackson] a little bit more,” Zach said of his 2-year-old. Zach says he’ll be there for his son and is already teaching him how to navigate the complexities of the situation.
“When he’s running with the other kids, he’s a little slower than the rest. I just say, ‘Keep going, dude.’ The height difference is just going to get bigger as he gets older, and the other kids are going to get faster. But I try to not baby him. I want to build that resilience and mental toughness in him early so he’s able to overcome later challenges, especially when he’s at school and doesn’t have Mom and Dad around.”
What an incredible father. Jackson is only a toddler, but Zach is already building a foundation for him to thrive once he’s at school.
Tori, a former schoolteacher, isn’t phased. She loves her children and is humble in her assessment of the role she intends on playing.
Zach and Tori are realistic about the role they’ll play in their children’s lives. She says that parenting Jackson and Lilah is both joyful and inspiring. “It’s just given me such purpose,” Tori shared. “I pray that my kids grow up to be good people. If I do that, then my job on earth is done.”
Zach is a standout dad and we always love to hear from Tori. These kids are clearly in some capable hands. Tori and Zach’s aspirations for themselves as parents are wonderful and we’d all be smart to adopt the same mission and “purpose” for our own children.
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