Father's Day Special - What My Dad Taught Me

By: Png Han Yong

As Father’s Day draws near this June, I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the person who has been my mentor, role model and staunch supporter these past 21 years – my dad.

When I was younger, my dad was like my childhood hero who, alongside the likes of Superman and the Power Rangers, could defend my world against any troubles.

Every parent’s instinct is to protect their children from harm, and unfortunately this may translate into an over-protective attitude which mollycoddles the child, rendering him or her vulnerable to the dangers of the outside world later in life.

Not my dad. He stood aside and told me how to pick myself up after I had fallen for the umpteenth time when struggling to learn how to ride a bicycle. To him, learning to make mistakes and recovering from them is part and parcel of growing up.

Thanks to this carefully cultivated sense of independence, and coupled with a quick eye for navigation, I had learnt to navigate myself around our small red dot on public transport at the tender age of five.

As a taxi-driver who ploughs through the night shift, my dad and I don’t get to see much of each other on weekdays. In the wee hours of the morning, he’s usually asleep when I wake up for school or work and by the time I return home, he has already headed out for work.

Yet despite such an irregular schedule, my dad always tries to make time for me and for the family. He regularly plans meal outings and family holidays so that we can spend more time together and bond as a family. His actions made me realise that building and maintaining a happy family isn't easy but it’s definitely worth the effort. Family will always support you when all else fails.

Although he doesn't earn much, my dad definitely tries his best to make our life as comfortable as possible. He taught me that while it is good to push ourselves to work harder in order to increase our income, it is also important to plan what you wish to do with it. Money, he says, is meant to be spent wisely, not hoarded mindlessly.

And despite never having gone through a tertiary education, my dad constantly encourages me to excel in my studies, if only to increase my chances of having a better career in the future. The younger me might have scoffed and considered it far-fetched and even annoying, but now, as I stand upon the threshold of adulthood, I have come to appreciate the wisdom of my father’s words.

Thank you dad, for being such an exemplary father who has given so much and asked for little in return. I will always strive to be a son whom you can be proud of.

What do you have to say to your dad this Father's Day? Share with us in the comment box below!

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