When we were growing up, our dad used to spend one-on-one time with each of us; we take turns going out to lunch with him or going on business trips with him.
It was a huge treat to get to travel with him individually, because he’d let you take over the itinerary and do whatever you wanted because he wanted to explore what each kid’s interests were.
Now that we’re older, we all work with him, and we’re lucky to have a boss who mentors us the way that our dad does.
Our parents seem to have very opposite personalities at times, but when it comes to raising kids, they share beliefs. They believe in having a close relationship with us kids and in spending quality time together, and also in providing guidance and setting very clear rules and boundaries.
When we were kids, our parents always made time for us, but they were also busy with work.
Now that we’re older, my dad gets to relax a bit more, and whereas before he’d focus on us kids and our hobbies, now he invites us to spend time with him on his passions and interests, such as dance. He loves staging programs and getting everyone in the family involved in creative projects.
My dad has this amazing ability to always see the glass half-full, no matter what. Whenever he’s going through something hard, he focuses on God. There’s always something to learn from others, and he always ends up seeing potential even in the most difficult people.
I’ve never seen him bitter or jealous, and it’s because he’s always so full of gratitude for everything he has.
Dad was very young when he had my sister and me. We lived in Hong Kong first and then in the US.
Even while he was working and taking his MBA at Kellogg, he would always make time to play the most fun games with us and teach us songs. He’d always read to us and he was the “cool” dad.
One of his favorite things to do was to hype us up to bring us to Chuck E. Cheese. He even had a chant and a song for it. As we got older, he was always there to watch our awarding or graduation ceremonies. Even with his busy schedule, he was always there to watch my brother’s games, my sister’s and my recitals, or any other important event.
He was also always there to document it all with his video camera. He was always pretty hands-on even if he works long hours all the time.
Today, he is still very much involved in our lives. He takes us out to lunch every once in a while or for coffee breaks during work hours. We also travel a lot, either one-on-one with him or as a family. All three of us work for him so we see him a lot in the office as well. Sometimes, business meetings continue to the dinner table.
Mom has always been the disciplinarian, while Dad is the one who is more concerned about our safety and protection.
They were both very aligned with how they raised us. As much as possible, they try to make sure we have good values and that we work hard. They do have strict rules for us, but they also allow us to go out, travel, and have fun as long as we inform them of our plans or keep them updated, to let them know we are safe, alive, and well.
Mom looks like she is scary, especially when she gets angry, but she has the softest heart. She and my dad are the best people to go to for advice because of all the life experiences and wisdom that they have. Mom gives more practical advice for everyday problems, while dad is more likely to give business advice.
In terms of who has the last say, Mom’s word is supreme. Whenever we ask for permission for something, Dad always says, “Ask your mom.” If she says yes, we are good to go.
Growing up, I always thought my parents were perfect. I thought and still think that my parents are the most good-looking people on the planet. It helps that they have aged gracefully while maintaining their healthy physiques. They are also very hardworking and are retail superstars. I get starstruck with my own parents sometimes.
Dad is the type of person who will do anything for his children just to make us happy. One time, I wanted to ride the longest zipline in the world with him while we were in South Africa. I couldn’t sleep for days thinking about it.
When I got there, I was terrified and almost backed out. He was very calm and told me, “We are already here, let’s do this.”
It was an amazing experience. I asked him later why he didn’t seem nervous and scared at all. He told me, “I was scared but I knew you really wanted to go on that zipline. I knew if I acted afraid, you wouldn’t go anymore so I stayed calm and collected so you could check something off your bucket list.”
Dad does things for me, even if he doesn’t want to. I love him so much for it. He wants to make sure that when he travels with his children, that we get to do everything we want. Sometimes it means he has to hold all our bags while we slip and slide on muddy terrain while climbing a mountain in Hawaii. We could see he was smiling but having a hard time holding our things for us, but he wanted us to enjoy as much as possible.
Dad is selfless as a father and a leader at work. If that ain’t love, then I don’t know what love is.
Dad’s favorite sayings are, “Reap what you sow,” and “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
He has lived these words in the way he has run his business.
Dad is perpetually stressed out because he always chooses the harder path when it comes to work. He likes to do things with integrity and honesty. Sometimes, being the nice guy in business makes you progress slower, but he has made it work.
He says that business is a force of good. He lives to work because he wants to give jobs to as many people as possible and give his employees the best quality of life. He has turned around his companies and led them out of distress or debt.
We have seen him do the impossible. He is definitely a war veteran when it comes to retail. He has been through so much and yet he never brought home his struggles, problems, or negativity. He is never afraid of a challenge because he needs to stay strong for his family and his employees. He has worked harder than anyone I know in life.
Today, he can relax a bit because he has succeeded in giving us the beautiful, comfortable life that he wanted to give us.
Dad was as hands-on as any dad should be. Safety was always the number one priority, but he gave us enough room to grow and make our own mistakes.
He is very involved in our lives. We work together, live together, and learn together.
I believe that my parents are perfect opposites. From the outside, their parenting styles seem completely different, yet they share the values, morals, and beliefs. While Dad is more affectionate with his parenting style, Mom embodies the tough unconditional love that every kid needs. She is the fire that ignites us and he is the shield that protects us.
Though we have grown older, I feel that from the very beginning, Dad always treated us the same way. He was, and still is, the most genuine listener I have ever met.
My sisters and I were not raised through lectures and having decisions made for us. We were raised by being listened to and guided with wisdom from their experiences.
When my sisters and I were very young, Dad would plan days when he took us out one-on-one. It might be for lunch, shooting hoops on the basketball court, or even joining him on a business trip.
All those days with Dad, I don’t remember him talking more than 30 percent of the time. Instead, he would ask us questions and genuinely listen to what we had to say. And when he did teach, he always did it through stories about his experiences, which made us never forget.
Today, it’s still the same way—it’s never about him and what he has been able to do with his life. Rather, it’s about nurturing our identities and figuring out how he can best support who we are.
He taught us that learning never stops, and you can learn from anyone if you just listen.