Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | August 2020

Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | August 2020 1602 1773 The Flyer Magazine

Today while contemplating what “amazing wisdom” I could dispense for this article, and with two kids at home vying for my attention, (my oldest and my youngest), I realised that two things were occurring.

1. It only seemed like yesterday that my 13-year-old was my 3-year- old.

2. That time seems to be going faster each year.

This made me want to find out how this time was spent, so I did a bit of research. I jumped onto Instagram.

SO this is what I found out and it freaked me out a little.

1. You only have a newborn for a month.

2. An infant for a year.

3. A toddler for two years.

4. A pre-schooler for two years.

5. A child for five years

6. A pre-teen for three years

7. And a teenager for five years.

After this they are off (unless they are one of those 30-year-olds still at home with a bedroom in the basement).   

This time goes so fast. Our kids are 13, 11, 6, and 3. So we are into the final stage (fingers crossed) with our oldest and into stage four with the youngest. And to be honest even though some days seem really, really long, I’m actually not sure where the time has gone.

My wife has always said she has tried to enjoy every stage with each child as they aren’t there for long and when you break it down like the numbers above, it really sinks in. When we were brand new parents the days seemed to go pretty fast and the nights were soooooo long, (until you finally got to sleep and then it was time to go to work). Now we are four kids deep and the nights are usually much better but the time still goes so fast. It’s made me think that I really need to make sure I spend more quality time with my kids. For this to happen I’ve had to figure out which kids needs what type of LOVE from me. A really good book to read is

“The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.

It’s the best way that I’ve discovered to figure out my kids at different stages.

Go to 5lovelanguages.com and have a wee search. You can even do a quick survey with your child and it’ll give you a tentative idea of what really fills your kids’ love tank. The categories are:

1. Quality time (spending time with them).

2. Physical touch (hugging them, giving them kisses).

3.  Acts of service (doing things for them).

4. Words of affirmation (saying nice things to them).

5. Gifts (giving and receiving gifts).

Everyone will generally have a main love language and then supplementary ones. I just finished this quiz with my oldest and he came in at (remembering he’s 13):

1. 40% quality time

2. 0% Physical touch

3. 10% acts of service

4. 25% words of affirmation and

5. 25% receiving gifts.

Take some time today to have a check of the website, and do the survey with your child. Did anything surprise you? How is/are their love languages different to yours?

Just remember that kids under five are usually all of those love languages and can vary between them quite a lot. The older we get the more a particular one will resonate with us, but they can still change over time and circumstances.

Be kind
Stay safe
Shaun

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