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What makes one a better Dad? You decide

Posted 12 December, 2019 by Surely
in For Parents and Parents to be

Recently we came across this touching yet inspiring story about a singe mum who had it rough after her boyfriend passed away just before their marriage. There are some friends who had undergone similar life experiences. These are two that I like to share.


Warm Dad, Cold Dad


Being the only kid in her household, Xue Li (XL) was doted upon by both her parents and her relative. Regardless, she was extremely close to her Dad which as a friend, I could see why. Whenever my classmates and I visited her, Uncle Tay (as we called him) always welcomed us with a wide grin and more importantly a bunch of sng bao. He never failed to squat down, had a quiet word with XL and hugged her before releasing her back to her room where we would play for the rest of the afternoon. XL absolutely adored her Pa.


In case you are wondering what is sng bao


On the other hand, Celine’s Dad was much less affable. He was an accountant by profession but always gave the impression that he loved numbers more than his family. Growing up, Celine was always fearful of her father and tried to keep herself out of his way. He rarely played with Celine and whenever he spoke, it was more instructional than affectionate. Naturally, Celine gravitated towards her Mum and they were basically inseparable since Celine was also a single child.


Misfortune descends


Somehow the memory was still quite vivid despite the years. In the middle of our Chinese lesson, our form teacher disrupted the lesson and requested for XL. For the next few days, XL did not attend school. Later on, I came to know that her Dad was involved in a worksite accident and was cruelly crushed by a piece of equipment. It was a horrifying blow to XL who never had a chance to say goodbye. For the nxt few weeks, we did not know how to act around her as she was clearly and visibly upset over his demise. Then suddenly, she had to change to another primary school and we lost touch for some time.

For Celine, her Dad became much warmer at the tail-end of his life. When Celine was 10, her Pa was diagnosed with late-stage colon cancer. He was no longer the strong, stoic individual that she was used to. Instead, he was physically weak but a lot more talkative. It was during this period that Celine spoke more with her Dad and learned about his life stories. In a way, the same dreadful disease that took her father away. ironically pushed him closer to her before the end.


The Aftermath


We learned later on that XL had to stay with her grandma after her Dad passed away because of financial reasons. Her mother had to work long hours to make up for her Dad’s income and that meant that XL was to be taken care of by someone else. Her grandmother lived on the other side of the island-state and thus, XL had to switch school. Besides coping with the trauma, she had to make new friends in a new environment, spend less time with her mother and basically adapt to an entirely new lifestyle.

For Celine, life remained largely unchanged besides the fact that her Dad passed on after a year of struggle. Her mother who was a home-maker had to take up nanny jobs (at their own home) to earn a living. She had to help out with the toddlers after school till their parents fetched them but it was not too hard anyway. It turned out that his Dad who was good with numbers had made sure that the family had enough till Celine was old enough to fend for herself. To her amazement, her university tuition was also taken care of by her old man.


Who was a better father?


XL had a wonderful childhood and probably would continue to have one if not for the untimely demise of her father. She would always carry with her the fond memories of her Pa which no one can take away from her. However, her post-Dad life was terrible, evidenced by her less-than-ideal PSLE results. The loss of her father was soon accompanied by the loss of bonding time with her mother who had to work. It was a bitter pill to take for an 11-year-old.

For Celine, it was true that she never felt close to her father. However, she learned to appreciate how much his father actually loved her when she was an adult. What she has today was a result of her father’s long-term planning and foresight. It was love but in a different form.


Some love can be fleeting but nonetheless it is still love.


The truth is no one is a better Dad. They loved their kids in a different manner and both should be respected for being a good father.


Good news – you can have them both


Being warm and loving to your kid and having the foresight to plan for your child’s financial future are not mutually exclusive. You can be a great parent for today and for the future when you are no longer around. With careful insurance planning, you can make sure that the latter happens.

If you are wondering how you can be a better parent financially, check out the articles at the end of this blog!

www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured


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  1. Frowns88

    In my very own opinion, Celine’ has a better father as he took care of the family’s financial stability that ultimately will be able to support the family’s well-being/sanity in the long-term.

    Being a good guy does not guarantee that he is a good father. As sad and realistic as it sounds, love does not keep the stomach full. A good man who is unable to “finance” his family sufficiently usually leads to frequent quarrels and worries esp when money falls short. This affects the child’s mental stability, focus and growth. Seeing their friends getting by fine at their younger days also makes them feel insecure.

    More often than not, the child have to learn things the hard way at a very young age and gradually grow disappointed about life, making him or her a nihilist someday.

    1. Chadderz

      I believe that both are equally important. Money issues may affect the child but at the same time, depraving a young child of attention cause serious mental implication in the long run too.

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