Patrick Pang

Being more involved… As a dad again.


I’ve been so involved volunteering and working during the growing up years of my children that somehow I feel I’ve missed the most important part of their life. It is something which money can’t buy and we can never turn back time to experience those moments again. It is through the many episodes that I feel its best for me to slow things down.

These days, after deciding cut down on my volunteering commitments, I was able to squeeze more time to spend with the children. While I still need to find some “me” time for myself, I would try to bring them out even when mummy is not available. The activities that we go through together definitely helps to bond us closer. For example, I would try to bring them for outdoor activities, go out for a meal and even start planning for more activities. Our trekking at Bukit Timah Hill was one of those activities which I manage to plan and I was definitely happy when I learn from the children that they enjoyed themselves.

During these activities, it is perhaps the best time for me to better understand my children and explained to them the reasons for doing certain things. We learn new things everyday and I’m learning to be a better dad each day.

The children and me

The action series… Of the children


We have shifted to our new place and we have got more walls and more space to play with. One day, on the bed, Evan was covering his ears after he found it difficult to sleep as he feels that the environment was rather noisy. I took a photo of him and after that, looking at him, I feel that instead of the usual group photos and smiley ones, I am beginning to see the other side of my children and decided to move on to take more of it.

Evan covering his ears


The next picture which I took was for Ezanne. This picture was taken when Ezanne with some toys and decided to put together some of the “fences” and made it into a hat and wore it. Somehow, I feel such moments were difficult to capture but rather satisfying after seeing the pictures.

Ezanne being creative


The last was Ethan. He always enjoyed his weekly Wushu class in school and I asked him, show me something that you’ve learnt. This was what he showed me.

Ethan doing his wushu stunt

iPad for the children. Consider and re-consider.


When the iPad was first launched years back, my wife and I thought that this was a great gadget not only for the adults but for the children too. There are many interactive apps which we can download for free and these apps, some of it are educational and we feel that the children will definitely learn quite abit when using it.

We made a decision and started exposing the children to iPads. When they first started using it, they were amazed by the educational apps. But as time pass, they began to get bored of it and started to explore the other apps available in the iPad itself. Then, instead of the educational apps which we wanted them to explore, the started playing games. So here’s the problem, they became addicted to the games and because the iPad was so accessible to them, they started using it almost all day long and quarreled among themselves as each of them wanted to play with it.

The situation got alittle out of hand when we started to restrict their usage. They asked for it when they woke up, after meals and before they sleep. They were sort of under going this stage of cold turkey as they were cranky and crying. It was difficult but we managed to pull through.

These days, the children only uses the iPad on weekends and we gave them a time limit to the usage. When we are out for meals or shopping, we often see parents leaving their children with the iPads but children will get addicted to it. So the next time you want to distract your children, you may want to think of some other ways rather than using the iPad.

Evan using the iPad

Learning to be responsible from young


During this period of time when we have no maid, I thought that this will be the best opportunity for our children to learn to be independent and learn to be a responsible child. Over the last four months, occasionally, we got the children to help to sweep the floor but more importantly to get them to be responsible for the things that they have done. For example, if they were to throw tantrum and start throwing their toys all over the floor, we will

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make sure that they pick up each one of it and keep it in a neatly.

So if the children take their toys out to play, we will also make sure that they will keep them and put it back to where they took it from.

So what’s your parenting style to teach your children to be responsible? Do share them with me.

Evan keeping his toys

Do the boys give in to the girl?


The children are growing up and slowly maturing and we are beginning to see their individual characteristics. The 3 children loves each other but they also “fight” among themselves. I guess its part of the growing up process. Many times, whenever we get something for one, we will have to buy 3 instead to avoid them from fighting. In worst case scenario, we will have to start rationalising with them. At the end of it, its always Ethan and Evan giving in to Ezanne.

Among the 3, I will say that Ethan is the easiest to manage. Maybe I appear to be scary and fierce, whatever I tell him, he comply. He will not bargain and not asked any further. He knows when I’m angry and when I’m joking. When he knows I’m angry, he knows I mean business. But after awhile, I will talk to him personally and rationalise with him on my actions. When I need him to give him to Ezanne, he will.

For Ezanne, I’m not sure if its the Middle Child Syndrome or she is just taking advantage of me. She proves to be really stubborn and has no room for negotiation. Even after talking to her, she refuses to give in. She is a tough girl who only comply when you uses the soft approach. On many occasions, its everyone of us giving in to her. It may not be a good thing and we are trying to find a solution to it.

Evan being the youngest doesn’t mean that he is the least mature. In fact, at his age, he is learning much faster than Ethan and Ezanne and behaving just like one of them. Whatever Ezanne say or do, he follows. Whatever Ezanne wants, he wants. He always end up fighting with Ezanne over a common thing. But when I ask him to give in to Ezanne, he will. He just need something to distract him.

At the end of the day, I feel that the boys do give in to their sister.

Ethan, Ezanne and Evan

Studying with your children in public places


Last weekend, we were out at a shopping mall and we came across a parent, who got her 2 children and herself some food at a eatery and decided to start revising their work. They got their assessment books on the table and the mother started to teach them.

Mum teaching her 2 children

Personally, as a parent, I thought this was not necessary and since we are out at the shopping mall, we should just let our children enjoy and relax themselves. While we are all eager parents who wants our children to do well academically, we ought to find a balance.

When I first posted this picture on Instagram, all my friends did not support this action. So what do you think of this?

The girl that melts my heart


If my wife is going to read this post, and I believe she will, she will be very disappointed. This post on the girl who melts my heart is about our daughter, Ezanne.

Few months ago, as I was preparing for a presentation, I was doing a small research on the behaviour of my children and realised that Ezanne is going through the Middle Child Syndrome. The research tells me that I will have to pay more attention to the girl as she probably felt was lacking. As I was thinking through, I analyze that her actions tells me so.

Since then, I’ve been talking more to her and she is becoming more receptive. One of the probable reasons could be that she is growing up and is beginning to understand things better. For example, I tried to explain to her why she need to give in to Ethan at times and I’m happy that she is beginning to give in more to her.

She knows when I’m unhappy and whenever she sees that I’m going out for meetings or work, she

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will say, “Dad dad, you must be careful of yourself ah.” Something which I’m not sure if my boys will ever tell me. I guess girls are just more thoughtful than boys.

Ezanne and me

The best time is FAMILY TIME


These days, the only day that I’m looking forward to is Saturday. Its a day which I get to spend some quality time with the children. The maid has

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returned home and it means we will have to do things on our own. Somehow, I felt that when the maid was around, we relied heavily on her and we had missed out on the family bonding time and left the task of looking after the children to her. When she is not around, it means its time for us to take over.

We were at the airport last evening and after dinner, we brought the children to their favourite playground.When I stepped into the place, I asked myself, “When was the last time I played with my children?” I could not remember. But running around with them and seeing the happy faces just makes me feel alittle guilty and wanted to do more.

I guess the best time is family time. It is a time when we forget about the worries and troubles that we have. It is a time when we behave like kid and play with our children and forge closer bond with them.

Family Time

Character Building of our Children


While most parents (including myself) will think that academic is one of the most important thing for our children, I will like to add that the character of the child is equally important too. For me, character building is not the duty of the school, the teacher but its the duty of the parents and the family. We, as parents, are responsible for how our children grow up to be.

We are examples for our children. Our children will follow in our foot steps in whatever we do and its important for us to set good examples for them. I may not have done my best in that aspect, but will certainly try to do so.

2 weeks ago, we were out for a family dinner. While eating, Ethan initiated to feed him mum with soup. That was one action which I was pretty impressed. Next, he knew that I didn’t like to eat vegetables and somehow ‘tricked’ me to eating vegetables. He insisted on taking the vegetables from the plate himself and later on he said, “Dad dad, you don’t like to eat vegetables, so you better eat this. I take it for you.” Quite frankly, there is no way I could reject him.

These 2 examples are just simple actions

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that Ethan has done which makes me ponder even further my teaching method and how he can continue to grow up with such positive thinking. I do hope that parents who are reading this will be able to share your character building tips with me.

Ethan feeding mummy

Stay At Home Dad?


Last week, Ethan was down with chicken pox and instead of wifey staying home to look after the children, I told her, I will do it. After all, I’ve been rather busy over the past 11 months and since things have slowed down alittle, I thought its time for me to do my bit as a father.

While the children were down with chicken pox, they remain rather active, jumping, playing and shouting around at home. I took the opportunity to do home teaching.

At the time when there is strong emphasis of home teaching and involvement of parents in the growing up years of children, I thought there is much more that I can do. One example is to spend more time with them and talk to them more to understand them better.

In my opinion, how our children grow is not determined by what is taught in school, but more importantly, everything starts from home. Its the responsibilities of the parents to determine how our children will be. And as I spend more time with my children, I started thinking of becoming a Stay Home Dad! I know that its impossible for now, but at some point in time, if its possible, I will want to be one.