DJ Shan Wee: It’s best to accept my kids for who they are

By Lynn Wee   — June 05, 2017
  • DJ Shan Wee on fatherhood
    1 / 10 DJ Shan Wee on fatherhood

    Some parents hashtag #blessed in all the social media posts concerning their little ones and describe each day as a day of wonderment.

    But One FM 91.3 DJ Shan Wee doesn’t buy that.

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  • Accept your child for who he is
    2 / 10 Accept your child for who he is

    “That might be true for some people – that’s because your child has a very sweet personality. On the other hand, if you hear people talk about how difficult it is, that’s also true, because they probably have a child with a difficult personality,” says the 35-year-old, who has two sons, Ciaran, five, and Ruan, three.

    “One of my philosophies now is that people and personalities don’t change. So, it’s best to not try and change your child, but accept him for who he is.”

    Related: From newborn to toddler: The best three years of fatherhood

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  • 99 Rules for New Dads
    3 / 10 99 Rules for New Dads

    Acceptance is one of the underlying themes behind Shan’s new parenting book, 99 Rules for New Dads, which humorously dishes out “dad-vice” on fatherhood from pregnancy until the preschooler years.

    “I always wanted to write a book, and they say you should write about what you know, and that’s what I know right now – being a dad to these boys, every day,” he says.

    Related: Why fathers should read to their children

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  • "My children are terrible at going to bed"
    4 / 10 "My children are terrible at going to bed"

    The book took him six months to pen, and he partially credits his kids’ poor sleeping habits for the quick turnaround.

    He explains: “My children are terrible at going to bed, so while I was working on the book at my study table – which is right outside their room – it made me stay there and write as long as it takes for them to fall asleep.”

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  • He is thankful for the time spent with his boys
    5 / 10 He is thankful for the time spent with his boys

    While he gamely admits to as many parenting hits as misses in his book, Shan is thankful that his career affords him more time with his boys.

    He is responsible for the first half of the day, when he drops Ciaran off at school, bonds with Ruan and sends him to school, before heading for his 4pm-to-8pm shift on The Escape Plan with Shan and Cheryl.

    Related: Secrets of 5 super dads in Singapore 

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  • The kids love swimming
    6 / 10 The kids love swimming

    His Indonesian wife, Artika Sulaiman, 35, who works as a wedding planner, manages the kids for the rest of the day.

    The family’s favourite hangouts include the Jacob Ballas Children’s Gardens and Gardens by the Bay’s water play area. They also love to swim.

    Related: Dads and breastfeeding: 3 inspiring men who went the extra mile

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  • Your wife is still your No.1 priority
    7 / 10 Your wife is still your No.1 priority

    Out of his 99 rules, which would he offer to new dads?

    His top three: One, it doesn’t matter how many kids you have or how good they are, your wife is still your No. 1 priority.

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  • Sleep culture is important
    8 / 10 Sleep culture is important

    Two, work really hard to get your child’s sleep culture right, “more so than anything else”.

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  • Don't expect your kids to change
    9 / 10 Don't expect your kids to change

    Three, the philosophy that he shared at the start – personality stays from day one. “Accept that and don’t expect it to change”.

    Related: Minister Tan Chuan Jin has no maid and helps with household chores

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  • Acceptance is key
    10 / 10 Acceptance is key

    He adds in the book: “If you don’t accept your child’s personality, you are essentially condemning them to a life where the most important person in their eyes, their Dad, does not approve of them.

    A life where their Dad does not like everything that they are. This is surely the biggest failing a father can inflict.”

    He couldn’t have said it better.

    99 Rules for New Dads is published by Straits Times Press and costs $22.50 (before GST) at major bookstores.

    Related: Quiz: What type of dad are you?

    (Photos: Young Parents and Instagram/ShanWee)

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