Parenting not about perfect execution

Posed photo of a father and a child.
Posed photo of a father and a child.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The recent reports and Forum letter on the challenges of fatherhood struck a chord with me and were also strangely comforting (Confessions of a Tiger Dad, and Step up as dad, both June 16; and Actively engaged fathers a necessity in society, June 17) .

It was reassuring to know that I was not alone in my feelings of insecurity as a father - am I doing right, or doing enough?

Author Eric Davis in his bestselling book Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned From Their Training And Taught To Their Sons, brilliantly breaks down parenting into phases similar to the evolutions in US Navy Seal training.

One point in particular struck me from the book of the former US Navy Seal turned consultant and life coach.

He said that fatherhood isn't about flawless execution, but learning from our mistakes, always trying again, and never quitting.

The fact of the matter is that fatherhood - and parenthood - is a tough journey which always will be a work-in-progress.

In the final audit, as parents we can only constantly try to improve, do our darndest for our children and, like soldiers undergoing special forces assessment and selection, hope to be able to look back and say to ourselves that we had a go, we gave it our best, and we were there till the end.

Woon Wee Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2019, with the headline 'Parenting not about perfect execution'. Print Edition | Subscribe