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Youths share how they’ve grown closer to their fathers during COVID-19

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Five youths tell us their favourite moments from being in the same space with their fathers during circuit breaker.

We just entered Phase 2, hooray! And that means we'll get to hold Father's Day celebrations outdoors, thankfully, given that Mother's Day was celebrated a little differently this year. 

For some of us, it will be a good way to perk our fathers up, especially since they have been working from home during the circuit breaker non-stop. 

But being stuck in the same space almost 24/7 might not have been necessarily a bad thing either. During this period, more Singaporean fathers found time to reconnect with their children, having not had the time to do so previously.

In a Focus on the Family Singapore survey, it was revealed that many Singaporean fathers had gotten more involved at home. Out of more than 2,400 Singaporeans fathers, 73 per cent reconnected with their families. Of these, 85 per cent connected more with their children. 

The most common reason given for their increased involvement was because they spent time at home.

With Father's Day happening on Sunday (Jun 21), Youth.SG asked five Singaporean youths to share how they've grown closer to their fathers in the past two months. 

Leh Ying, a 22 year-old student, said the two-month long circuit breaker gave her and her father to make up for lost time. Previously, Leh Ying had barely spent time at home due to school commitments and internships. 

She shared: "Now that we are all at home, we spoke more together, and it helps that we both love to watch the same drama shows and love to cook. So all these random conversations naturally brought us closer again." 

During this period, cooking became a father-daughter activity for them too. Her father has been teaching her how to make traditional Hakka dishes like abacus seeds, as her paternal grandmother is a Hakka woman. Also, as her father is Teochew, they have been whipping up Teochew desserts together.

"It has been pretty interesting how my kitchen has turned into a restaurant, but I am not complaining!" she said.

widespread-of-dishes

Leh Ying has spent the last two months whipping up dishes together at home with her father, which has brought her closer to him.
PHOTO CREDIT: LEH YING

Eng Jiayi, a 23 year-old student, shares the same passion for design with her father and they've been using their free time during the circuit breaker to do mini-renovations to their house. 

She said: "We painted the walls, spray painted items to give it a new look, changed up old joineries for the doors and DIY-ed our own ceiling light!" 

Like father, like daughter, indeed! 

While some Singaporeans have found joy in running during the circuit breaker, Clarence Tay, a 24 year-old undergraduate, found joy in doing strength exercises with his father.

He shared: "My dad would encourage me to exercise more and would even try his best to exercise with me despite his age. Simple exercises such as pull ups, sit ups, and push ups were what we usually did. Exercising together really helped keep me motivated and also strengthened my relationship with my dad."
 
Apart from doing activities together, two youths shared that conversations with their fathers have gotten more personal. In a fast-paced society where deep and honest conversations are rare, Dominic Lim, a 24 year-old researcher and Clarissa Tan, a 23 year-old undergraduate, said that being in the same space as their fathers have created windows for heart-to-heart talks. 

"Most of the time dinner conversations used to surround the issues we face at work, but now that everyone is working at home, it has allowed my dad and I to share about issues beyond just about school and workplace issues," explained Dominic.

"We have had more heart to heart talks. There are still moments where we would debate due to differing opinions, but those discussions normally end in an impasse and we just accept each other's views," Clarissa shared.

With more quality time spent together, the circuit breaker has reminded them of their fathers' love.

corner-in-the-house
The corner in the house that Jiayi re-designed together with her father. 
PHOTO CREDIT: ENG JIAYI

For Jiayi, this period reminded her of her father's selflessness. 

She said: "Previously, I told him that my curtains are really dusty so he went to order blinds online, installed them for me simply because I mentioned it. And even when I've completely forgotten I mentioned I enjoy this particular brand of milk, he would remember and bag three cartons of it. He has always been very meticulous, patient and loving."

Upon asking Clarissa her plans for celebrating Father's Day, she was also reminded of her father's unconditional love especially when he plans to cook on the day itself.

She shyly said: "He's planning to cook at home, oops! But he loves to cook, so that's a gift in itself. My mum will also be getting durians for him since it's in season, and my boyfriend is buying him a dessert box with his favourite cheesecake! I'm gonna make him a card and bring him all my love!" 

What about you? How are you celebrating Father's Day? If you plan to head out for a meal, remember to continue observing the safe distancing measures!

BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: CLARISSA TAN, LEH YING

Feeling bored at home? Hop on to Cr8studiosg to watch chat shows, stand-up comedy and music performances! Or visit MehGoWhere.SG for more resources or things to do!

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