Dads share parenting tales at Fathers' Day dialogue session

SINGAPORE - From the high cost of raising a child with special needs, to missing out on a child's milestones because the family has a maid looking after the children, 15 fathers shared the challenges they face in parenthood at a dialogue session on Sunday (June 18).

The dialogue was chaired by Minister of Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin and took place alongside a day-long carnival in celebration of Fathers' Day on Sunday.

One father talked about how he left his job when he found out his child has autism, another said he used to bring his three daughters out individually on "dates" and was happy when on his 60th birthday, one of them took the day off to spend time with him.

The dialogue was organised by the Centre for Fathering, whose chairman Richard Hoon said: "We would like fathers who try to raise a family in the midst of struggles, for their stories to be heard."

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About 2,000 fathers and their families showed up to the carnival at Mediacorp Campus.

Alongside food and games, a picnic and an outdoor movie screening, families also came together to leave handprints on a wall, signifying dads' promises to be more involved in their children's lives.

The event was kick-started by Mr Tan, who said: "Fathers face different kinds of challenges in raising their children but the one thing that we have in common is our unconditional love for our children. Despite the difficulties that we encounter at times, it is important to stay positive and let our children know that we love them and will give them our best."