6 true stories of how S’porean parents express care for their children

Quite tsundere.

Tsiuwen Yeo | Sponsored | May 24, 2019, 04:00 PM

Singaporean parents are not the most affectionate.

They have high standards and expectations, and at some point, you may have found it difficult to feel like they care.

Of course they do care, even if they express it in the most nonchalant or roundabout manners.

But sometimes, the most subtle forms of care can be the most powerful.

Too shy to apologise

- Mothership staff (female)

My father once said something very, very mean to me and we didn’t speak for days. Then he bought me a terribly expensive facial wash out of nowhere.

He never ever buys me gifts. Not even on my birthdays.

Hot milo

- Mothership staff (female)

Once when I was a kid, about 5 or 6 years old, I pissed my mom off so much she "threw" me out of the house. By that I mean she just left me outside our main door and I was crying like mad because I thought she was going to throw me away (haha abandonment issues haha thanks mom).

After I cried for a long time, my dad opened the door.

He was holding a cup and he handed it to me through the gate. I realised it was hot milo.

Omg I was so happy but also like still crying and terrified because I knew he didn't wanna piss off my mom by letting me in and ~bypassing~ her punishment, but he showed me love by making me a warm cup of milo?!?!?!

I will never forget that because I was sitting outside the gate, crying, and my dad just.. handed me milo. So damn Asian please.

Praying for a good omen

- We Hon

When I'm sad, my mom hides angpaos in my wardrobe without me knowing as a good omen.

Two months after I broke up with my ex, I found an angpao hidden in between t-shirts I hardly wear. I recognised that it belonged to my ma, so I asked about it.

She told me not to open it and put it back. It’s for like some good omen thing. My ma is very superstitious.

I was like awwww! So till this day it’s still in between those t-shirts.

Randomly making food from scratch

- Chandel

When I broke up with my first boyfriend, I was really upset every day. For two weeks, I would come home from internship, lock myself in my bedroom and just cry -- the only time I left my room would be to eat or shower. Thereafter, I would just miserably cry myself to sleep.

One day, my dad randomly told me that he was making something special for dinner that night: He made chee cheong fun from scratch -- yes, skin, fillings and all. After dinner, I went back to my room to cry again, as usual.

But in hindsight, I was quite touched because my dad seldom cooked those days and he actually made the effort to make something that really wasn't easy to prepare, just to cheer me up.

While he didn't really talk about the breakup with me directly, I guess he showed his support through making me yummy food.

Silent companionship

- Jia Hui

When I got dumped by my first boyfriend, I was really depressed and couldn't bring myself to eat. My dad just plopped me in the car, drove me to McDonalds, ordered me hotcakes and sat with me in silence as I cried and ate.

This is the same guy that only wants to eats Chinese food when we travel, and who probably never ordered himself a McDonalds meal -- ever.

Love is expressed in many languages, and my dad speaks food.

No hugging

- Mothership staff (female)

My dad is not a sentimental person. He has no qualms about me travelling for long periods or living away from home -- just go, it’s good life experience.

When I was leaving for a 6-month exchange trip, my parents and friends were at the airport to send me off. A friend offered to take a photo for my parents and I, but my dad strongly rejected the idea.

I thought he was embarrassed because my friends were there, but he said (and in a pretty loud voice, I must add):

“Why? It’s not like you’re not coming back. It’s not like I’m not seeing you again.”

I realised he probably felt like a photo would be too permanent a goodbye, because he hugged me hard before I went in.

I later cried at the boarding gate.


True care is going beyond daily acts of care -- being selfless in protecting the interest and wellbeing of the ones we love.

There are many ways to show love and care for your family. Of course, the outward, physical displays of affection are immediately recognisable, but the subtle expressions and actions are equal in magnitude.

One of the least obvious, but perhaps most impactful way of showing care is through protecting your family with life insurance. Although tangible, its value is rarely felt until a claim is made. Think of it as a well -- a constant stream of love and sentiment for the family to be protected from rough patches in life.

A safety net. A backup plan. A rock that will help keep things together when times get hard. Something to give your family the confidence and ability to tackle life when you can’t be there.

Find out how you can show true care for your family with NTUC Income’s protection plans here.

This post is sponsored by NTUC Income.