[This is a sponsored article with Allianz Malaysia.]
What drives our parents to do what they did to raise us? If we could guess, it probably involves a lot of love, plus a few fears.
While our mothers usually wear their hearts on their sleeves, many of us are probably in the dark when it comes to our fathers’ vulnerable sides.
To change that, we recently started conversations with our dads to learn more about their biggest fears as parents, as well as personal advice they would share with other parents, if any.
Since some of us were raised by single moms who had to take on the dual roles of mom and dad, we’ve included their responses as well.
1. Their kids mingle with the wrong crowd
Mr. Morgan, the 63-year-old father of our intern, Joanna, shared that one of his biggest fears as a parent is that she will mix with the wrong group of friends.
Joanna’s mother echoed her fear, saying she was worried about whether Joanna and her siblings would be mature enough to make the right choices and decisions when it comes to mingling with their peers.
Our digital content manager, Zhareef, learned from her mother (who wished to remain anonymous) that she worried about the same things because she thought her friends would affect her decisions and practices.
This concern apparently extends beyond their children’s childhoods, as as Carrian, Claudia’s 50-year-old mother, shared, she worried that her children were working for a company that was not right for her.
And his fear is not unfounded; she pointed out that Claudia ended up working for an old company with irresponsible employers who did not pay her on time or provide her with a good working environment.
2. Eventually distance themselves from their children
Our very own Chief Technology Officer, Bing Han, a 36-year-old father of two young sons, shared that the fear of growing up apart from his own children is something that will always be on his mind.
“The simple reason behind this is that I believe there will always be a generational gap in terms of education, cultural and technological advancement,” he said.
“That’s why I would try to spend time understanding and communicating with my children to keep up with them.”
Our lead writer’s mom, Joyce, also said she’s definitely worried about her kids growing up apart from her.
“I know that when children have grown up, they have their own lives to lead. I will be proud of them when they become independent, have their own house/apartment, have a good career and live well.
She continued: “I expect them to live on their own, but I also expect them to visit me regularly, or at least once a week. Call me regularly to discuss. Be filial children, that’s all we ask [for].”
Janet also shared the same fear when it came to Rikco since he was her only child, so while he was studying abroad in the UK she made sure they got daily calls.
3. Their children do not form a full-fledged family
For Carrian, she believes having grandchildren will ensure that her children will never be alone when she and her husband are gone.
Zhareef’s mother felt the same way, saying she would be concerned if her children decided not to start their own family because “life without children will be boring”, as she put it.
A word from the sponsor: For those who have decided to start a family, the HealthInsured plan offers proactive protection for your unborn child from the 13th week until the 36th week of pregnancy, with coverage up to age 100.
4. Their children grow up to be irresponsible and dependent on others
Joanna’s mother remains concerned about her children’s independence, as she understands that she and her husband may not be around for the rest of their children’s lives to meet their needs.
For Zhareef’s mother, the worry that her children are growing up to be dependent on her or others is magnified, given the lengths she has already invested in ensuring they grow up to be responsible adults.
5. Not being able to provide a good education for his children
Janet’s concern about Rikco’s education stemmed from her wanting him to study more, as well as the things he actually enjoyed.
But she acknowledged that they had always had problems saving money, only having enough to get by most of the time.
“Having education insurance helped, but we only got it to pay a third of [Rikco’s] studies,” she added.
Dr. Awangku, the 61-year-old father of our editor, Sade, was mostly worried that he wouldn’t be able to send him abroad.
After all, coming from an extensive academic background himself, he understood how crucial a quality education was.
Although he lacked provisions and funds to send her abroad to study full-time, he was able to compromise by sending her on a six-month university exchange program in Melbourne.
6. Their children are too naive to navigate the real world.
Carrian shared that she was worried about Claudia and her sister’s public relations and social skills.
“To be precise, I’m afraid they’re too naive to face the real world, especially when it comes to our Asian culture.”
She added: “It’s because they have a Western upbringing and have a Western mentality about things.”
Dr. Awangku mentioned a similar concern, saying he feared that Sade had not been able to get a holistic education, an education he described as going beyond getting A.
For him, a good education meant she would be able to experience different cultures, learn various mindsets, be street smart, and more.
7. Their children do not take care of their health
Janet pointed out that Rikco likes to eat, which isn’t bad in itself, but it’s concerning if he doesn’t lead an overall healthy lifestyle.
“I always pester him to exercise, but he never does,” she lamented.
Dr. Awangku also has several health concerns regarding Sade, mainly regarding his freedom from illnesses and his diet.
He worries that she is taking her youth for granted by not eating the right foods and avoiding vitamins and supplements.
Whether she is able to continue to afford good food and vitamins is also another concern.
Take charge of the things you can control
By having good planning in various aspects, it is possible to overcome some of the common fears mentioned by our parents.
For example, when it comes to finances, Joyce’s dad said it’s worth seeking out a good financial planning consultant and discussing your options.
In terms of health, having a medical plan will be useful, especially if you are not a government pensioner with public health care privileges.
An example of a medical plan is HealthInsured by Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia, which can reduce the impact of expensive medical bills at private hospitals.
Parents who enroll in HealthInsured can enjoy comprehensive medical protection, no overall lifetime limit and extended cancer coverage.
This includes genomic testing for Plan 200 and above to detect cancer risk and rare cancer types, and access to the latest cancer treatments in private hospitals.
On top of that, there is the no deductible plan which gives you the option to choose deductible levels of RM5,000, RM10,000 or RM30,000 for the 200+ plan, while the 150 plan only includes RM300 deductible per disability.
This gives you the flexibility to use existing medical coverage provided by your employers or existing insurance plans for added peace of mind.
HealthInsured also streamlines tedious paperwork during the hospital admission and discharge process, which can sometimes take up to a few hours.
As the COVID-19 virus is expected to persist for another one to three years, parents can also choose to seek care at home with Allianz Care@Home for Plan 200 and above.
They are also entitled to the International Second Medical Opinion service which gives patients access to the best international doctors to provide treatment recommendations on medical matters.
That said, keep in mind that those who have enrolled in Plan 150 will not be eligible for genomic testing, the flexible deductible option, and COVID-19 coverage.
Of course, however, not everything can be controlled or planned.
For such problems, our parents agreed that taking one step at a time and having a little faith can go a long way.
And as kids, there’s nothing more meaningful to them than showing us our appreciation for their hard work and sacrifices by supporting them through their golden years and living our best healthy lives too.
- Learn more about HealthInsured Medical Plans here.