Friday, January 11, 2013

What?! Better Fathering Index?

Who says Singapore is a boring country? We may be just a tiny dot on the map, but we are definitely not tiny when it comes to “interesting/absurd” ideas like BFI aka Better Fathering Index.

Here I am worrying that in 3-4 years time, my Joey will have to face the cruelty of streaming in Primary school. Now, fathers have to be “stream” too. Good or Bad? Pass or Fail? It is already a headache for an aging Daddy like myself to be bothered with my BMI (Body Mass Index), now the Centre for Fathering says it wants to come up with a benchmark to measure the involvement of young fathers in raising their children. Click here to read more.

The Index is expected to be ready by the end of the year after a comprehensive survey of dads in Singapore. It will be taking into consideration the amount of time that fathers spend per day, per week, per month, per year. And the kind of activities fathers engage in with children.

Here are my views:
1. Using an index to measure a person is never going to work, everyone is different and everyone is unique.
2. To measure the quality of fathering is outright impossible. There are just too many factors to be considered before a fair and accurate reliable report can be generated.
3. Good fathering cannot be trained. Fathering is all about love and not skills. Love cannot be trained, it is a choice!
4. Fathering is just one side of the coin. Effective and good parenting involves both the mother and the father.
5. This BFI idea sounds more like the involved organisation trying to hit some KPI (fertility rate) instead of truly wanting to improve fathering issue.


I only say good morning to my girls, hug and kiss them before rushing off to work every morning.
I reaches home on certain nights late and my girls are both asleep. On nights that I reaches home early, I will sit down with them, listen to what they have to say, and spend a bit of time playing with them.
I will step in to discipline the girls when they are mischievous and over-stepping the boundary.
Occasionally when my wife is not able to coach them for school work, I will help out.
On Saturday morning, I will bring my girls out for breakfast (usually their favourite McDonalds).
Every weekend, I will try my best to bring the girls out for some outdoor activities so that they won’t be bored staying at home for the entire week.


So, am I a good father? What is my score?

I am blessed to have a wife who understands my line of work and we are able to adjust accordingly our time for the kids. I am blessed to be working in an organisation where we promote good parenting needs. I am blessed to have 2 healthy children who are happy. I am blessed to have parents staying with me and they are able to help. I am blessed both my wife and my parents are healthy.

Consider another father who has to travel in his work. Consider another father who has ailing parents to take care of. Consider another father who needs to work 3 jobs to support the family. Consider single-parent fathers.

They are not able to spend much time with their children engaging them in different activities, are they then bad fathers? No, I think not.

I am not an anti-fan of Centre for Fathering. I am just bewildered why is there a need for such an Index. Numbers count, but in this case, I don’t think it counts that much.


  1. Totally agreed with you that BFI is not really measurable in this case. I'm sure if they come out with BMI (Better Mothering Index) one day, this is still not measurable on mother's side too!

    1. Yup! Same idea of giving more money to encourage fertility rate.. it's not the amount that matters (tho more is always welcomed), it's the mindset and attitude towards parenthood that will help any fertility rate..