Exclusive Interview: The Gift of Being A Dad With Alan Oh

Written by Alan Oh | Edited by Eve Bandusena

Image Source: Alan Oh
Being a dad is one of the most unparalleled experiences in life. From the moment we hold our baby for the first time in our arms to supporting our children behind their major milestones, dads are there every step of the way. To show our appreciation for all dads, we’re exclusively interviewing Alan Oh on his meaningful experience on fatherhood.
Hi Alan, nice to meet you! Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Alan Oh and I am 42 years old. Professionally, I am a counseling psychologist and I practice at my clinic and Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu. In my work, I see individuals, couples and families. I am married and we have a 4-year-old daughter.

What are your best and worst experiences as a dad so far?
The best moment for me as a dad is my daughter finally getting potty trained. It was a relief for me and my wife. I credit this to my wife who had put so much effort to guide my daughter and also my daughter who wants to be more independent in this respect. For me, bad experiences are learning moments. I am learning to maintain my connection with my wife when we have a challenging moment be it about our daughter, careers or etc. This will continue to be a work-in-progress for me as we need to continue to connect as a couple and parents for our child.

What advice would you give to new dads?
I advise new dads to prioritize their relationship with their partners and consciously work on the relationship and evolve as a couple and parent. There will be changes that will continue to happen throughout your lives together, thus adjustments are necessary. Our children are watching us relate to each other. They need good models for their future relationships. Continue to learn how to make your relationship better by attending courses, reading and even attend therapy. There is so much you could uncover about yourself that would help guide your children as they develop into adults. Good relationships contribute to our behavioral and mental health.

Image Source: Alan Oh

What did you like from how your parents raised you and would you like to repeat that with your child?

I like my father’s sense of humour when we were growing up. We didn’t grow up in an environment where we were afraid of him. I want my children to know that both their parent’s hearts are open to them. I grew up with 3 brothers. I am the second child. We grew up doing chores and also cooking. Both my wife and I want our children to be handy in the house and be able to take care of themselves.

What type of dad do you picture yourself to be?
I want to be a dad that could inspire my children and my wife to be their potential.
Image Source: Roger Wang
What have been your challenges so far? 
As a father and husband, the struggle to provide, nurture and bringing out the best from my children and wife will always be there. Reaching a consensus when values differ on how to parent our child will be our challenge.
How involved are you in fatherhood duties?
I do most of the cooking and laundry. My wife does most of the cleaning. We try to be equal partners in parenting and endeavour to support each other in our passion. Her passion is classical music and I am her biggest supporter and critic. Similarly, she is the greatest ally in my success in my career and fatherhood. For me, equality is not 50-50 but a proportion that works for us, and this proportion needs to be reviewed from time to time as our needs change.


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