“Most parents tend to fall into the chasm of thinking we know everything, but in fact, there may be a multitude of things we can observe and learn from our children.”
– Peter Tao, father of two

Born in Hong Kong, Staff Engineer Peter Tao migrated to Singapore with his mother when he was 8 years old. Married to Lena Soh, Assistant Director, Marketing & Business Development, with two children aged 6 and 2 years old, he decided to pen an ebook ‘I grow and learn with my children: 26 ABCs life lessons from my two sons’ after becoming a parent.

Describing his parenting style as positive and authoritative, TNAP spoke to him about the inspiration behind the book and the tips he has for new fathers out there.

Peter Tao and his son

Hi Peter, what inspired you to write this book?

My children! I have learned an ocean of things both directly and indirectly from them which I find very enthralling and motivating. Also, it will be interesting and meaningful to show the book to them when they grow up.

Why did you decide to write this book?

I wanted to share with all the fathers out there that the journey of fatherhood is no longer a one-sided affair but a mutual connection and learning adventure, with so much to explore and learn. I wanted to emphasize that there are actually important life lessons that we can pick up from our children too that is simply amazing. Also, I wanted to pen down all the interesting moments and enlightenment they have given me so far for my future recollection and fond memories.

What were some of the difficulties you faced when you were a new father?

The two major ones were sleep deprivation, and juggling between family and work.

Something I learnt in my parenting that really impacted me…

I learned that yelling is not a solution at all no matter how irritated or angry you are. There was one time when I shouted and chided my elder boy for committing a basic grammatical error in his revision work. Within seconds, he burst into tears but retorted irritably, “Can u talk properly and don’t shout at me?!” He looked so upset and hurt that I realized I might have overreacted.

Did your own father’s upbringing influence the way you parent your children? How so?

Not at all. Every child is unique and has different needs, strengths and weaknesses so I devise my own approaches to raise and educate my children in the best possible ways.

#3 Do not keep a record of the wrongs, especially your own parenting mistakes. "Coming up with a list of what I do wrong in my parenting journey is way easier than a list of what I have done right. Your temper could be short today, or you struggled with managing an active wailing toddler at the supermarket and had many eyes looking down on you, shaking their heads and judging you based on that incident. Perhaps you realized that you said a lot more 'NO' than 'YES' today, or you looked away for a short moment and your child fell from the slide at the playground. These incidents don't define you as a mother or father."

The best thing a father can do for his wife is…

To hold her hands every day and make her feel adored and cherished

The best thing a father can do for his children is…

To make them feel loved, special and happy every day.

The best thing a father can do for his own parents is…

To make them feel appreciated always.

For the new fathers out there, what advice would you give them?

1. Spend more quality time with your child as the first few years are very important for his/her development.

2. Be more involved and hands-on in their daily needs (your baby is in fact observing you).

3. Always try to make them smile and laugh.

Complete this sentence. Being a father has…

Given me a new perspective and sense of purpose in life. It has made me become both a teacher and a humble student.

26 Lessons Peter Learnt after becoming a father

Lesson 1: Appreciate the little things in life

Lesson 2: Believe

Lesson 3: Convey the right message

Lesson 4: Display love and affection

Lesson 5: Embrace repetition

Lesson 6: Forgive and forget

Lesson 7: Get up after you fall

Lesson 8: Hold hands

Lesson 9: Inquire, inquire, inquire

Lesson 10: Judge

To find out the rest of the 16 lessons, grab a copy of the ebook ‘I grow and learn with my children: 26 ABCs life lessons from my two sons’ at Google play store, iStore & Amazon.

“Lessons from fatherhood are difficult to put on page. Peter Tao’s heartfelt and personal sharings of his parenting journey makes it easy and a joy to read. Listing down the ABCs of how being a parent has given him a totally new perspective in life, Peter shows us the simple yet valuable life lessons children are capable of teaching parents.” – The New Age Parents

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