What may be true in the past of fathers working hours on end to bring home the bacon while mother stays home to take care of the children and chores is no longer practised. How times have changed. There are increasingly more programmes and organisations that encourage and support men in how to be fathers who are involved and engaged in their children's lives. Take for instance the Centre for Fathering and the programmes they offer and efforts by the National Library Board to get fathers to read to their children. My guest today, Adrian Lim, (on the right in the photo) also leaked that a Father's Movement will be launched by MCYS in the not-too-distant future. I'm glad fathers haven't been forgotten, conversely, their place and purposes are being farthered.
Adrian was a former school psychologist, but is now freelancing and is a certified three-in-one social worker, counsellor and psychologist. Having recently completed his doctrate dissertation on "Men's Transition into Fatherhood", he was on our show to share the expectations of 20 men before becoming fathers and how on or off-target they were thereafter.
He was joined by stay-home-dad Glenn Ang (on the left in the photo above) who though armed with a Law degree and taught for three years, gave them all up to dedicate himself fully to playing fulltime dad. With three kids (the eldest being an 8-year-old boy and the youngest a one-year-old daughter), I asked him if the sacrifices he's made in forgoing a career in the marketplace were worthwhile. He replied, "Watching them walk, their first step. Just being able to play with them throughout the day. (The) little things...the nicest thing for me is just putting them to bed at night. When you're watching them fall asleep, it's just a beautful way to end the day".
Speaker at the upcoming Singapore Parenting Congress 2009, Alan Yip of MindEdge, too made clear that it's not just about spending quality time with children. In order to even have quality time, he said a father needs the quantity to make it possible. He challenged fathers on air to look at their priorities and suggested small ways of 'creating' golden opportunities for when dad and bond with his children.
I salute all fathers this Father's Day for the many sacrifices that go unacknowledged, that your contributions will reap long-term rewards.
I love this verse in the Bible taken from Psalm 127:4,
The children born to a man when he is young are
arrows in the hand of a warrior.
Fathers, you are that warrior! You are that archer. Sharpen your arrows and aim well.
To my own dad (photo on the left) ,
Thanks for the many years of sacrifice, of patience, of teaching and discipline!
You taught me more than arithmetics and spelling, but inculcated in me a love for sports and adventure, had me pick up your zest for life (not forgetting your weird sense of humour), developed in me a fondness for campfires 'cos you were such a great leader and challenged me to pick my battles and conquer my fears.
How blessed I am to be your son!