Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Father figure

A father wrote to the newspapers today about the importance of a father's role in a child's development. In earlier times, Asian fathers were seen as distant figures and enforcers of morals and values in the family. Nowadays they play a bigger role, complementing the mum's role in nurturing and bringing up the child.

During my kids' growing up years, not having a father figure around used to bother me constantly. My kids are boys afterall and I worried about the lack of male influence in their life.

I remember how we used to be in awe of our dad when we were young. My dad is a stern and quiet man. Even though he doesn't have a temper, we wouldn't dare test his patience and would always put on our best behavoir at home.

Growing up, we turned to mum for advise but always held alot of respect for our father. When he spoke, his words wielded enormous power. Until now, mum still says dad has made alot of wise decisions, like putting us in good schools and urging mum to start the orchid business.

Unfortunately my kids do not have the opportunity to grow up under the influence of a good father. In fact, they hardly ever see their father. In a way, I was glad they spent a large part of their childhood with my parents.

When the boys were younger, I used to appreciate outings with my best friend's family because her husband is really good at imparting little nuggets of knowledge to the kids. He's the kind of father who teaches his two boys life lessons at every opportunity, from how to break a fall to knot-tying and survival skills. And he plays X-Box games with them and sets up tents in the garden.

After reading that boys start to look up to their father when they're about 10 years of age, I was constantly searching for that father figure for the kids.

That explains the huge amount of time spent on joint activities with best friend's family. Subconsciously, even the tuition teachers and caregivers I engaged at one point were male.

Now that they're older, this doesn't bother me any more. I do my best in imparting whatever knowledge and life skills that I know of. The only regret that I have is I'm too much of a scaredy cat. Because of my fear of heights and roller coaster rides, I didn't expose them to scarey rides and thrilling sports or bring them fishing or cultivate a sporty lifestyle. I wish they could be more rugged and adventurous.

9 comments:

WaterLearner said...

I understand your concerns over the lack of fatherly figure in the lives of your boys. I would worry the same too if I were you.

It's good that your best friend's husband has been willing to help nurture your boys. I also feel that since your boys were, for a long time, staying at your parents. They were also guided by your dad and your bro when his family came around during the weekends?

Blur Ting said...

Hi water - they were getting too much female influence while growing up because they spent all their time with me and our domestic helper.

Everybit helps at my parent's place where my dad is around and my brothers come around during the weekend.

Nick Phillips said...

I don't know, I grew up without a dad cos my parents were separated when I was very young. I didn't really long for a father figure kinda person. Maybe because I was sheltered from a lot of things by my grandma.

But having a father figure to look up too wouldn't have hurt. I hope I can be that figure for my kids one day ...

The World According To Me said...

Some people weren't born to be rugged and adventurous?

Your father and your best friends partner sounded great unfluences to them.

The Real Mother Hen said...

A lot of great people grew up without one parent, or both parents. You were, and still are, a great mom, and that's more than enough :)

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Blur Ting said...

Nick - I'm sure your kids look up to you alot. You do shower them with alot of love and care.

Blur Ting said...

Hi World - I am somewhat consoled by the fact that they have some male figures to look up to at anyone time.

Blur Ting said...

MH - Yes, I realise that and these kids grow up ok too. Of course, nothing is perfect in the real world. I know one thing though, that having no father figure is better than having a bad one!