For many parents like myself, raising our children to adulthood is akin to an emotional rollercoaster ride.
When they are born, we take delight in how sweet and innocent they are. In their formative years, we relish the time spent hearing them say their first word, and watching them take their first step.
We shed tears on their first day of school, miss them throughout the day and count down the hours until we can pick them from school.
Then the trials and tribulations come as they go through their teenage years, when we wonder how our sweet, innocent children evolved into the bundle of anxieties before us. We spend sleepless nights wondering how we can protect them from the evils of the world.
And then comes the emptiness and feelings of loss, when seemingly in the blink of an eye, they are on the cusp of adulthood, ready to leave the nest and live their own lives.
Children really grow up so fast, and I am sure that deep down, every parent wants to be there for his or her children throughout their journey to adulthood.
For many of us, this can be a challenge as we struggle with the demands of work, family and other commitments. Work-life balance becomes increasingly difficult to maintain and it is easy to get caught up in the rat race.
Parenthood certainly has its ups and downs, but my children have been one of the greatest joys in my life. Children are the embodiment of love between a couple, and the start of life together as a family.
I am glad that I was able to share many milestones in my children’s lives and that we have forged a strong bond over the years.
With my son and daughter when they were younger
My relationship with my children has evolved over the years; from a father figure when they were young to a friend, now that my daughter and son are 20 and 16 years old respectively. Despite my busy schedule as a community leader then, and a Member of Parliament now, I consciously make and take time to be in contact with them, so that we can share our moments together — physically and virtually.
I must say, technology has really helped to complement my efforts in engaging my children. Although my daughter is now overseas continuing her studies, technology has enabled us to remain close and continue our journey in developing our family bond.
Let us dedicate this day to our children and be active and present parents.
For me, I will spend time with my son watching the Causeway Challenge between Singapore and Malaysia at the National Stadium tonight. I hope you will find some time to share the joy of Children’s Day with your child.
To all the children out there, Happy Children’s Day!