(Scene—You rush into the lobby of the ‘First National Bank of Your 15-year-old Daughter’s Heart’ and quickly approach her window.)
Your Daughter: Good afternoon. How may I help you?
You: Hi. I need make a big withdrawal fast!
Your Daughter: Ok, sir. No problem. Could you please let me see some ID?
You: Sure.(You hand her a copy of her birth certificate where you are listed as “Father.”)
Your Daughter: Everything looks in order, Dad. Please wait just a minute while I check your account.(She turns away from you but then gets a strange look on her face.)
You: Is there a problem?
Your Daughter: Yes, sort of. I clearly see that you opened an account here a long time ago, but it doesn’t appear to have a sufficient balance for you to make a big withdrawal. When was the last time that you made a deposit?
You: Well, I don’t remember. I guess it’s been a while. You know, I have been very busy working and stuff like that. But, my wife has been making lots of deposits. Seems like every time I turn around she is heading here. Since we are married, can’t I just make a withdrawal from her account?
Your Daughter: Dad, no you can’t because we don’t offer joint accounts here.
You: Oh yeah…That’s right…I remember hearing that. What about a loan? Can I get one of those?
Your Daughter: I’m sorry…We don’t offer loans either. You can only withdraw what you have deposited.(You start to get a bit upset…)You: Well that just doesn’t seem fair! I clearly have an account. And, well, I need to make a withdrawal. Can’t you make an exception? After all, I am DAD.
Your Daughter: Dad. I am sorry. I just can’t help you…(You are becoming more upset…)
You: Well, doggone it, I am not going to take no for answer.(Your daughter gets a concerned and stern look on her face and you can see her reaching under the counter to push the button for security.)
Your Daughter: As I said, I can’t help you. You knew the rules when you opened the account. How can you expect to withdraw funds that you didn’t deposit? That’s just not the way it works here. All you had to do was make consistent deposits. Even small ones would have been fine because “interest”—your interest—would have compounded these deposits substantially over time. Taking deposits that don’t belong to you is, well, robbery. So, I need to ask you to leave now. Or, do I need to call security?
How can fathers make a change?
Our current generation of modern fathers is already leading this Dad-volution in fatherhood. Some men are fiercely progressive and believe in being a nurturing influence in their kids’ lives.
In our tiny Singapore, we are seeing a surge in a breed of “progressive dads”. A strong tribe of men, who makes the effort in making sure they deposit emotionally to their children’s emotional banks. Forty-two-year-old Technopreneur Jay Huang , a father of twins, is proud to be part of this Dad-volution. Growing up without the presence of a strong father figure, Jay is committed to making a difference. He is the family’s chef, driver and music tutor – all in one. Jay makes it a point to put his children first. Being a music aficionado himself, he goes to Violin lessons with his son and learns together with his son. At home, he helps his children with their music homework. At night, before the children sleeps, Jay would play a round of UNO cards with his children and hopes to make this a nightly ritual. He would then burn the midnight oil so as to ensure that his own work is in order.
At the other end of Singapore, Bobby Sim, 40, is a stay-at-home father who’s opted to take the road less travelled – by staying at home to take care of his five-year-old daughter, while his wife goes to work. He says, “I believe modern fathers want to be great parents. And other than breastfeeding, dads can do practically everything the mum can do, and sometimes even better. (There shouldn’t be any) gender stereotyping.”
Coincidentally, both Huang and Sim grew up without a father by their side. Because of that, both said that they are inspired to become the fatherly figure they themselves never had, for their children.
Indeed, this modern generation of fathers has greatly outdone their predecessors.