Dads play vital role in dealing with kids

I read with sadness of the families struggling to cope with out-of-control teenagers or young adults, in the report "When parents dial 999" (The New Paper, April 5).

The lack of a father figure is often the cause of children behaving badly or getting into trouble.

Even in families that are intact, the poor fathers may be too busy with work to know what their children are up to.

When children, especially boys, do not get love and guidance from the father, they may look for an alternative, say in a gang leader.

Girls may turn to the Internet for love, often with disastrous consequences.

Fathers, however busy they are, should learn from the example of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Even as he was busy with nation-building as Singapore's first prime minister, he found time to be with his children.

It has been reported that he would play Chinese chess to bond with them. At the same time, he was strict with them and would not hesitate to scold them if they misbehaved. Singapore fathers should do likewise instead of delegating this responsibility to the mother, teachers or others.

Fathers who are busy chasing the 5Cs of cash, credit card, car, condominium and country club membership should never neglect the most important C, their children.

Single mothers should also consider sending their children to join youth groups or to see a male counsellor, as this may help stop them from getting into trouble.

This article was first published on April 13, 2015.
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