Dads share the challenges they face in parenting

Mr Daniel Chua, 38, a logistics assistant, playing mini bowling with his son Ocean, six, at the Father's Day carnival yesterday.
Mr Daniel Chua, 38, a logistics assistant, playing mini bowling with his son Ocean, six, at the Father's Day carnival yesterday.ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

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 rearing the children, 15 fathers shared the challenges they faced in parenthood at a dialogue yesterday.

It was chaired by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin and held alongside a day-long Father's Day carnival.

One father talked about how he left his job when he found out his child has autism, another said he used to take 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.

Mr Andy Seow, 44, a mobile accessories shop owner, told of how caring for his eight-year-old with autism can be costly because he needs speech therapy and attends a private special-needs school.

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The dialogue was organised by 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."

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

Other than enjoying food and games, picnicking and an outdoor movie screening, families left handprints on a wall, signifying dad's promise to be more involved in their children's lives.

PM LEE'S FATHER'S DAY MESSAGE

Happy Father's Day to all dads and dads-to-be!

For many of us, our fathers are our first heroes, and important role models as we grow up.

Many fathers are a lot more hands-on in raising children today. In their own special ways, fathers impart advice to help us make life decisions and learn values that steer us along the right path.

Do spend some time (not just today, I hope :) ) with your father and show your appreciation to him. Have a great Father's Day, everyone!

PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, who wrote a Father's Day message on Facebook yesterday.

Mr Tan, who is a father of two, 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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2017, with the headline 'Dads share the challenges they face in parenting'. Print Edition | Subscribe