Father figure

These dads lead busy lives but always carve out time for their kids. They're easy on the eye too! Azlinda Said has their stories.

Leonard Tan, 31, service professional

Has three children - Leon, seven; Chloe, five; Jewel, one

He believes in… Really understanding his little ones. "I always ask about their day as I want them to know they can talk to me about anything, be it their personal lives or their deepest fears. I want my children to understand that no matter what happens, whether they've been good or bad, I'll love them just the same."

His tip: Have a second childhood with your kids. "Play with them, think like them and take an interest in what they enjoy doing. That's how you become their friend instead of just remaining an authority figure."

Gregory Goh, 36, teacher

Has three kids - Jared Nicholas, eight; Natalie Claire, seven; Cadence Faith, five

He believes in… Patience. "My middle child, Natalie, is very weak in Chinese and although I don't speak the language much, I will sit and guide her patiently. I want her to love the subject, not be frightened of it. It has worked, I believe, as she has shown improvement."

His tip: Hold off punishment, rationalise instead. "A lot of parents tell their kids what they did wrong but seldom tell them how to correct it. I realised that my children were becoming so used to the punishment that its effect was lost on them. I now reason with them instead, so they can understand why they have to do certain things."

Jim Lim, 37, business owner

Has three children - Ethan, six; Chloe, four; Brandon, 17 months

He bonds with his kids by… Playing a "search" game. "My kids first choose a game level - easy, medium or difficult - and I then look for object in our surroundings for them to find. I made up the game as I wanted to show my kids they can learn something new every day, and that they don't need toys to entertain themselves."

His tip: Let your kids interact with others. "I seldom let my young ones watch shows on TV or the iPad. I want them to interact with others and become 'people persons'. The world is getting more impersonal, but I want my children to be able to connect with their friends face-to-face."

Gerald Chue, 37, senior copywriter

Has two daughters - Natalie, seven; Samantha, 19 months

He tells his kids… It's okay to make mistakes. "I want them to learn how to make decisions from an early age. If they make a mistake, they should be able to understand its impact so they'll take more time to think through serious decisions in future. I tell them that everybody makes mistakes, even Daddy."

His tip: Don't just bring your child up, grow with him or her as well. "As parents, we tell our kids to do and learn certain things by a certain age. We should just let them be - they'll pick up those skills when they're ready. So let them do the silly things they want and enjoy it with them."

Get the June 2014 issue of Simply Her for more interesting stories. Simply Her, published by SPH Magazines is available at all newsstands now.

Azlinda Said is a writer with Simply Her magazine by SPH Magazines.

Check out more stories at Simply Her online, www.simplyher.com.sg.