Dads Rising to COVID-19 Challenges

Many fathers out there are rising to the challenges of working from home and engaging their children who are at home on home-based learning during the circuit breaker.

Daryl Sung, DADs for Life volunteer at Cedar Primary School shares his three “Ls” for overcoming this COVID-19 season:

Love – Continue to show lots of love this period to your spouse and children, through actions, time spent together,
words of encouragement and affirmation and through hugs and kisses. Great teamwork will be good too this period to help each other out at home. Be it housework, homework or heart-work, all these are good platforms to show love.

Learn – Its really a new ground for all to learn and conquer together as a family. Lots of first hand experiential learning for both parents and children. Take it slow, easy and one step at a time. The simple truth is learning always takes time and it is a process. I know many picked up cooking, sewing or many new ways to engage the kids at home and online. Be creative in your learning!!

Lastly, LAUGH! This period is stressful and tense for many at home, but through it all, do take time to let loose, laugh it out with your kids, have fun. Watch a funny show together, pillow fight, have fun teasing each other, and laugh it out loud! Laughter is a great medicine for our body, natural stress reliever.

Phoon Kok Hwa, DADs for Life volunteer at Swiss Cottage Secondary School shared the three things that brought his family closer together during the COVID-19 season:

Serve – “Before the circuit breaker, our whole family volunteered to distribute sanitiser at a community centre under the #BYOBclean initiative. After circuit breaker commenced, with my encouragement, they agreed to donate their weekly allowance for the entire HBL duration to the YMCA Project Makan which helps to fund the meals of needy children.”

Play: “We dug out board games like Scrabble and Dizit and had many hours of fun playing together . We also played family mobile games like Family Style Co-Op Kitchen where we needed to work as a team to climb the ladderboard.”

Teach: “Instead of just being students during Home-Based Learning, I encourage my kids to experience being instructors of virtual classes as well. They came up with ideas on what they wished to teach, learned how to do it, rehearsed the steps and finally conducted the classes for adults and kids using Zoom. This was an invaluable learning experience for them.”

Check out what Azman Bin Ibrahim, DADs for Life volunteer at Lianhua Primary School and Yuan Ching Secondary School is doing!

Here are some tips on how he manages his children’s home-based learning schedule:

1. He acts as role model to encourage his children to wake up early.
2. The first rule of discipline he has given to his children is to tidy up bed!
3. He ensures his children has plenty of activities after long hours of home-based learning such as playing board games, watching movies and reading books.

Ramani, DADs for Life volunteer at Unity Secondary School, encourages all parents to stay positive and supportive towards their children during this home-based learning season. As a father, he gives them the space to explore their interests.

He shares how he nurtures his children’s love for music. “Playing the instruments can get quite loud at times and sometimes out of tune. However, I just ask them to continue as it is music to my ears. I can learn from them and I often ask them to share their experience when playing different types of instruments.”

Ramani’s musically talented children can play a variety of instruments such as the guitar, piano and keyboard. His second daughter also plays the Erhu

Gunal Kanna, DADs for Life volunteer from Tampines Primary School, says that its a priority for the family to stay healthy through exercise during this COVID-19 season.

He is also actively involved in his children’s home-based learning experience by helping them navigate the challenges of using technology, checking on their work and providing them with fun educational activities to do after they are done with their school work. Way to go, Gunal!

DADs for Life volunteer at Zhenghua Primary School, Mohamed Jamaluddin Abdullah, has been enjoying a bonding time with his five children during this work from home and home-based learning season.

One of their favourite activities is cooking and baking together! Surely, there’s no greater joy than enjoying the fruits of their labour as a family.



Yuen Chee Onn, Group Head, Engagement and Programmes, Centre for Fathering, shares his thoughts on nurturing the spirit of giving in his children during this COVID-19 season:

With the distressing news of the COVID-19 situation worsening and a record number of new cases registered recently, I am thankful for the monetary support from the government. As my job is not affected and my children are all grown up, I am prompted to bless others whose livelihood has been affected by the COVID-19 situation with this money.

All these years, I made many donations but have never directly involved my children. I realised this could be a good opportunity for me to lead by example. I encouraged my three children and son-in-law, who are in their twenties, to consider donating their pay out as well to help people, such as migrant workers, who are badly affected by COVID-19. I am heartened that they have responded positively.

I would like to encourage all fathers out there to take this opportunity to nurture your children’s spirit of giving, if your financial situation permits. For younger children, you can involve them in deciding which charity you would like to donate to.