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.