My Daughter Turned 5


My eldest child just turned five (5). That also means I became a father five years ago. I’ve been repeating that to myself a few weeks now, and I still can’t grasp it fully. It’s surreal. The feeling of happiness watching her grow, the joy of being with her as she learns about the world around her, the surprise in seeing what she is now able to do and then there’s that bittersweet feeling making me ask quietly in undertone ‘why do you have to grow up so fast?’.

It has been five years but I still recall things as if they just happened last month. The hospital admission, the long wait outside the delivery room, the trembling and the anticipation. And then the first time I saw her behind the glass of the nursery room. I still can’t believe how amazing that felt. It was indescribable.

Five years went by so fast. She’s no longer an infant but a schoolgirl. She is able to do a lot of things on her own now. She can even help watch after her little sister and she’s able to get her own snacks and drinks from the kitchen whenever she’s hungry. I’m truly proud and happy about her developing independence. I’m happy for her, but, I’m scared for my self.

I’m scared of the fact that in the coming years, she’ll need us less and less. One day, she’ll be totally independent. I know that’s still a long time from today, but I don’t trust that it will feel that way when it comes. Just like how fast five years felt like right now. Specially if I used the time in between carelessly.

Realizing this, I decided I will be even more keen in spending quality time with my kids when ever and how ever I can. I will make sure any time I spend away from them is never a waste of time. I will do my best to be with them as much as I can so that in the future, I will be able to say I have spent all the time I can with them. I know though, that won’t save me from feeling sad should the day come for them to leave home. But at least, I hope, I will not have to put up with regret of being absent during the times they needed me most.


Unplugged: Spending Less Time on Gadgets

My wife and I had several conversations on lessening screen time for us and for our kids as well. The goal is to spend more time interacting face-to-face and without distractions.

We have recently started practicing less cellphone use at home by depositing our mobile phones to a designated area. And when we sleep, our phones are stored away from the bed, out of easy reach and on Do Not Disturb mode. By doing this, we have enjoyed our weekends more and slept better and longer. We played with our kids more in our backyard and has been – well, always working on it – creative on the games and activities that would tick the interest of our toddlers and at the same time contribute to their learning and development.

The time freed up from staying away from our phones and T.V. already gave us a lot of room to do other things. Interestingly, on top of  achieving the goal of more face-to-face interactions and the plus points from getting better sleep, and being more physically active, we have noticed a lot more positive results on our kids. They have become more attentive, more patient and more caring towards each other.

Now, I’m no expert to say how spending less screen time really affects a kids behavior, happiness or their developing brain, but I’m liking the results so we’ve decided to continue on.

Have you tried establishing less screen time at home? Or are you more of a traditional who implements a limited time for T.V. and gadget use at home? Please let me know your experience around this topic in the comments. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Oh yeah, I found this link below which I thought is also worth sharing.