Dads' share of parenting has evolved

Mr Edwin Choy's column ("A message to fathers: Get involved"; Monday) underscores the critical role fathers play in their children's lives and in helping to build the bedrock of a healthy, functioning family.

While mothers tend to be lionised as the key nurturer of children and are showered with adoration, it is heartening to note that fathers are increasingly getting their fair share of attention, and deservedly so.

Look around and you will witness young fathers carrying their tiny tots and changing diapers with ease, or chaperoning their children to school or enrichment classes.

Today's dads are undeniably more hands-on in parenting than those of past generations.

Like what Mr Choy said, many involved fathers are guided by instinct in the way they love and care for their children. This is much the same way mothers bring up their children, too.

Parenting should never be an exact methodology that someone can be schooled in.

Besides, approaches have to continually evolve in response to changes in the dynamics of the parent-child relationship, especially when the latter grows up.

What is paramount is open communication, giving children our undivided attention when they need it most, and resisting the urge to foist unrealistic expectations on them.

Added to that is the fact that parenting should ideally be seen as a joint partnership. The roles of a father and a mother are complementary, and the value of such an arrangement to a child is immeasurable.

As trustees of our children's well-being, we must remind ourselves that we are, in effect, raising future parents who subliminally inherit our legacy in establishing a stable family unit where their children can, in turn, feel loved and thrive.

Marietta Koh (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2016, with the headline 'Dads' share of parenting has evolved'. Print Edition | Subscribe