Spend more time with us, dad: Singapore kids
Fri, Nov 19, 2010
my paper

By Kenny Chee

BUSINESSMAN Choy Kin Weng gets weekly requests from his friends to meet up for a cup of coffee, to watch movies or to play mahjong.

However, the 44-year-old makes a conscious effort to reject most of these requests, in order to spend more time with his two teenage sons.

Mr Choy has meals with them as much as he can, and takes them out to cycle on weekends.

"Society is changing so fast. If I don't spend more time with my kids, I worry that they might not grow up with the basic concepts of family values," he said.

His sentiments on fatherhood underscore some findings of a survey released yesterday.

The survey was commissioned by the Fathers Action Network (FAN), a work group formed in November last year under the National Family Council.

The survey, conducted on 140 children aged nine to 12 here in May, found that many are happy when they are involved in activities with their fathers.

It showed that the top wish among children here is for their dads to buy them gifts. This could be due to gifts being a common way for Singaporean families to express affection or to give rewards, said the findings.

Almost as important was the wish for fathers to play or spend more time with their children.

The survey showed that the children were most unhappy with their dads when they scolded them.

They were also unhappy when their fathers were absent or did not spend enough time with them.

One new plan revealed yesterday by FAN to help inspire fathers to become better dads is the Dads@Workplace programme.

For a start, it tries to encourage firms to organise short talks for its employees who are fathers, to help them pick up fathering skills.

FAN chairman Richard Seow said: "We want to remind all dads out there to savour precious moments with their children."



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