Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | June 2020https://theflyer.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Shaun-Vining.jpg16021773The Flyer MagazineThe Flyer Magazinehttps://theflyer.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Shaun-Vining.jpg
Kids have a weird way of bringing you back to reality. Just when you think you’ve done something quite well, or mastered a tiny bit of parenting, they either ‘roast’ you, or prove you wrong. This happened to me while I was “teaching” during lockdown. I was continually reminded by my daughters that I was not a teacher and that’s not how we do it. It apparently didn’t matter that I only finished teaching four years ago, as that ‘was like soooo long ago, Dad, everything has changed’.
Sometimes I think we had four kids just so we could work on a particular ‘age and stage’ again and finally get it right. Then we eventually realised that you’re never really gonna get it right, but by that stage we were four kids in and it was too late. But as long as you love them, and they know that, then as far as I’m concerned, it’s a win.
The trouble is, each of my kids is different. “I know, right!” And three of my kids are girls. At least my son I get, (well sometimes), but my girls are completely different with their personalities. The only real thing that they have in common is that they all love to sing and they are all kind to people, (so we must be doing something right, right?). Although just when I think I’ve figured one of them out, they completely surprise me. I see little bits of my wife and myself in them, but usually when they are talking to their siblings in a manner that we try not to allow in our house. It’ll be a sentence or word that I use, or even a ‘look’, that I’m sure was passed down from my parents as well. The issue I have is that they are so very clever at copying my bad traits but it takes forever to imbed my more endearing qualities.
I did feel better as a Dad though when I read an article the other day about “the worst dads in the animal kingdom”. I certainly felt that I was far more superior to any of these dads.
• Daddy Brown Bears will eat their cubs, even if they have a good food supply.
• Papa Assassin Bugs will regularly eat their own eggs on the nest.
• Dad Bottlenose Dolphins will drown their calves so they don’t have to raise them and can mate again.
• Father Goby Fish will pretend to look after the kids and the nest, but as soon as the mum is gone, he’ll eat them.
Hopefully this list makes you feel like you’re doing a good job.
Even though we are in Level 2, your kids will still be feeling a little weird. The first week back at school would have generally been hard. Getting back to peer groups, while supposedly social distancing, trying to get back into home and school routines. Trying to deal with issues that there might be at home with finances, or job situations. So have some grace for them, as they (just like us), have NEVER been in this situation before.
And finally; Dads, I know this is a hard time currently, so if you need to reach out to someone do it. As we are all in this together, and by you reaching out, it might be just what that other person needed as well.