On managing finances and being tactical in leveraging free resources, protecting the romance in marriage, and involving himself with the family, Joshua Foo shares his Parent in Tech stories as a father to two girls and two boys, aged 19, 16, 15, and 11.
Joshua Foo is the Regional Director at Chainalysis. Prior to joining Chainalysis, he spent 18 years in the IT and cyber security space, managing infrastructure at security teams and the Singapore government before moving to the private sector as the Sales Director for FireEye, RSE, and Cardboard Black VMware.
In this episode, Joshua wisely reveals his personal experiences and rational observations to other Parents in Tech. He narrates their financial management in this expensive parenting culture, the importance of date nights every once in a while, and how to have a meaningful and intentional relationship with kids.
He also shares perceptive and enlightening parenting advice, especially for those who are struggling with, or are planning to have, 2 or more children in this technological-driven world.
To get in touch with Joshua Foo, find him on LinkedIn:
Thanks for listening to the Parents in Tech podcast with me, your host, Qin En. We hope you were inspired on how to raise kids and build companies. To catch up on earlier episodes or stay updated with upcoming ones, head over to www. to join our community of parents in tech. There, you can also drop me a question, idea, feedback or suggestion. See you next time!
- [00:39] Introducing today’s guest, Joshua Foo
- [01:46] About meeting his wife
- [04:08] Determining the number of children
- [05:35] On planning and managing finances
- [08:33] ‘Every kid is different”
- [11:48] On conflicts and disagreements
- [13:03] Bringing everyone together
- [15:36] Balancing family and career
- [20:28] Sleep advice for co-parents
- [22:10] Make sure your marriage is protected
- [25:14] Apologize and acknowledge
- [27:57] How did you figure it out?
- [29:34] Main parenting tips!
- [34:11] As a Parent in Tech
- [36:38] Connect with Joshua Foo
Qin En 00:01
Hi, I am Qin En and this is the Parents in Tech Podcast.
Welcome to Season Two, where we interview dads who are technology company leaders based in Southeast Asia. After hearing from moms in Season One, now it's time to speak to dads who are raising kids while thriving in their careers. Let's find out the stories, challenges, and advice they have for us.
In this episode, we speak to Joshua, Regional Director at Chainalysis. Prior to joining Chainalysis, he spent 18 years in the IT and cyber security space, managing infrastructure at security teams and the Singapore government before moving to the private sector as the Sales Director for FireEye, RSE, and Cardboard Black VMware. Joshua is a father of four children, two daughters and two boys. They are aged 19, 16, 15, and 11.
Qin En 01:09
Hey, Joshua! Welcome to the Parents in Tech show. Thanks for joining us. To begin with, can you tell us a bit more about your family?
Joshua Foo 01:16
Sure! Thanks, Qin En, for inviting me on this podcast. Well, I'm a family of six. So, I do have four kids, I’m pretty old… My eldest is 19, and then I have a 16-year-old, 15-year-old, and an 11-year-old, and they are girl-boy-girl-boy, so pretty easy to remember that. So, I'd be really blessed to have a big family and have the enjoyment of watching them grow up and interact amongst each other.
Qin En 01:46
Wow. Wonderful. Okay. I'm going to go into so much of that because that's so interesting. You are the first parent on the call who has more than two kids. That's amazing. Take us back, perhaps. How did you and your wife first meet?
Joshua Foo 01:58
Well, we met at a church camp, actually. We always tell this story where I grew up in the West and she grew up in the East, and somehow we met at the camp [that] was up North, and right now we are staying somewhere in the South. So, we did go around Singapore. We met in a church camp, you know, she really caught my eye.
We were about, I guess, 20 then. And so, we hit it off at that point in time. There was not really mobile phone, so it was email. And actually, the first movie that we went to watch was You've Got New, I remember it very fondly. We had dinner at Marché at In Jem. They used to be, uh…
Qin En 02:43
You can recall that timeline right then, ah.
Joshua Foo 02:43
… and then watch the movie at The Leisure. And that was, I guess that's the beginning of our courtship. And then, we got married pretty early. She was 23. I was 24. I just graduated, but we just felt that we were ready to start our journey together. And, one year later we actually had our first daughter, I was 25 and she was 24.
But, you know, we were ready. Obviously, we had a good discussion on whether we are ready to be parents. And, we felt that you know, we want it to start early, while we had the energy and the time, I guess we were prepared. And, we came along shortly after and she was really a blessing to us. We thoroughly enjoy watching her grow up.
All along, we had a great love for kids, so we would bring our friends’ daughters or sons while we were dating. It came pretty naturally for us. And from then on, yes, more kids came along. Obviously, being young parents, there were definitely challenges along the way, but I guess we'd learned along the way we communicate.
And now we are very much at a very nice place in our life where they are much older. It's a different set of challenges, but you know, at least physically, but not tired out. Because I have friends my age that are just starting and get changing diapers and waking up late in the night. We are not there anymore.
Qin En 04:08
I can completely imagine how, what a relief that must be. Okay. So much to unpack over there, but let's start with the number of children. What did conversations look like between you and your wife when determining how many children you guys would like to have?
Joshua Foo 01:58
I guess a lot boils down to our faith. So, we are both Christians. We're not Catholics, but we are Christians. We just kind of, at the very beginning in our conversation, say, we're going to let God to decide.
So, there wasn't really a discussion on how many that we wanted. We knew we wanted more than two, definitely. So, when we had number three. We thought, okay, it's a good number. And we didn't expect anything more, but then number four came along, and obviously, it was a big shock for us really, because we thought at that time, our number three was about four years old, so pretty much older now. And it's like…
Qin En 04:58
It has stabilized. You got past the phase.
Joshua Foo 05:00
Yes! Stabilized. Exactly. You don't have to worry about changing diapers and stuff. So when number four came, she was like, wow, we have to start all over again. And we were obviously uncertain in terms of finances and how are we going to cope. But, you know, number four came along and he was such an easy baby to look after.
Such a joy when we felt, okay, this is the plan, right. God's plan for us. And we really probably enjoyed it. So yeah, never a discussion on the number, but it's just kind of a feeling that okay… we thought three was good, but then four is better. So, you know that definitely.
Qin En 05:35
Absolutely. That sounds beautiful. Now, just something interesting, really interesting. I just want to catch on there, which is there were of course financial concerns.
And I think we live in a day and age and a place that it's pretty expensive. It can be pretty expensive to raise children, especially depending on how you are to raise your children, the kind of schools you are to send them, the kind of courses you want to send them. Maybe talk to me a bit more about the concerns you had at that point.
‘Cause also you and your wife were young probably, early on in your careers. What was some of the thoughts that happened in this regard?
Joshua Foo 06:05
When we had our first kid, my wife decided to actually be a homemaker. So, she has been a homemaker for a good part of her life. As a parent, she did work from home. She's a graphics designer. So, she did have the opportunity to work from home. But, in January, she wasn't really a career woman. So, we really depended on my income. I think for us, What's the fact that we are happy to live a very simple lifestyle.
Qin En 06:33
Joshua Foo 01:58
We didn't travel much, but we were happy. As the kids grow up, that's obviously that peer pressure of, oh, you know, you need to send them to the best preschool and really to send them for enrichment and music. Now, the whole thing.
So, we made it a point that we will only gonna do so that will not strain our finances. We always make sure that the eldest one or the older ones would get to go first and get to enjoy things. And, then obviously as the rest of them grew up and if we have more finances than they would go on.
So yes, they did have certain classes, but it never got to a point where we were so pressured that we would strain our finances. We always make sure that it was within of the means. We had to accept that having three kids, we can’t possibly send them to all the classes all the time, that would queue us.
So, I guess it was a joint decision between me and my wife. We're not going to allow that to happen, but instead, use resources that were free. To teach them other things. I mean, I-I'm a musician myself, so invest comes to music. I can teach my kids music. There's obviously the internet, a lot of things that we can teach them. We had the view that while it was good to have there, it should not have any strain on the family or the finance.
Qin En 07:51
Yeah, absolutely. And I think the part about being resourceful, like for example, you already have the music inclination and background, so why the need to send them outside when you can teach them?
Joshua Foo 08:01
Yes. Correct. But, importantly, is there is financial strain on the family, it affects the relationship between husband and wife. That is not what you want, because the kids can see, they can sense it. They're not in a safe environment, no matter how many classes you send them to, they're just not going to feel that they are the right environment.
I can say that now, having gone through that journey and seeing how it happened, obviously we have other friends have had challenges, but we just felt that this was the way we wanted to go about it.
Qin En 08:33
Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So you have been a dad for nearly two decades. What is perhaps one of the most challenging experiences you've been through?
Joshua Foo 08:43
The fact that every kid is different. So, I've had the privilege to have four and then to really confirm the notion that every kid is different and therefore your job as a parent is to really groom them in their own path, in their own strength, their own personalities.
I can tell you like have four kids, two of them are strong academically, and the other two are very strong artistically from the creative nature. And so, again, is that pressure or, you know, everyone has to do that same type of scores in school. And, we thought that, no, that's not the way because we can see, they obviously have different strengths.
And so, we want to make sure that we identify that early and make sure that they are confident in their own string. So, we always have conversations. Obviously the two who do better in school, they'll kind of say, oh yeah, you know, I did. That's the thing I think we have. You know, the whole family, every one of them that you guys have different strengths. So, we're not going to measure just based on academic results.
And so, I mean, today now they're much older. They do understand and appreciate it. And I think those that were not so strong academically, they're actually striving in the area that, uh, you know, like for my eldest daughter, she's actually doing very well in school right now in the creative side. So, she's in design and she's doing really, really well in that.
So, I think as a parent in my journey, that was the biggest challenge I need to identify. The string of my kids and make sure that I'm guiding them in that direction. Yeah.
Qin En 10:13
Yeah. And, this is a question just for myself. When did you start identifying as seeing those signs or patterns that each of them might be inclined in different ways?
Joshua Foo 10:23
Actually, you can see it from very young and obviously, I guess it's much easier to see when you have two or more to compare, but you can see that they exhibit different traits, different personalities.
My eldest daughter, she's very independent. She can speak well, she's articulate. Well, my second child who’s a boy. He was really very quiet, but he had such good memory and he was very good at maths. And so, different traits. As they grow along and grow up, and you can see that. Yeah. There's certain things that they excel in. My daughter draw very nicely while my son can’t draw for, I mean, he's okay, he's not too bad, but you know, he knows and he tries in different environment, different.
So, I think, constantly looking at it. I… probably my advice would be understand that your kid is going to be different, different from you, different from what you envision a child should be, the path that they should go. I think, as a parent, firstly, we need to accept that as parents, our job is to identify this, how different they are, what they are good at, what they are weak, and then help them along so that you're not sure things in them.
And, I think, especially right now in the world today, you need a degree, you know, that's what our parents thinking. Everybody called to get a degree you're not going to do well in life. That's not the case. And, so we kind of have to make sure that we make sense of that. Right. We remember that as they grew up.
Qin En 11:48
Absolutely. I think that's called an advice, to recognize the differences and really unlock their potential. But, Joshua, you know, these differences also create avenues for conflict and disagreement. So tell me, how does that look like and how has that changed over the years?
Joshua Foo 12:04
Okay. One of the things my kids do, they like to talk. But, they tell me it’s trashtalk, and they like to just shut one another, or if you suck at maths or you're lousy in school and things like that, you know, there'll be a lot. We bought those for you, but you don't have EQ. So, there's always this thing about we got IQ, but you got no EQ and stuff all around the dinner table. It's friendly banter.
They're just teasing one another. But, I think it's the constant reminder to them that, hey, each one of you have different strengths. You don’t have strengths that everyone has, for example, they're all musically inclined, but you know, you do have different strengths. You know, as parents, we try to tell them. So, everyone is judged differently in a sense.
So, I guess they understand that through repetitive affirmation. Letting them know, right? So, today they don't see like, oh, you do badly in school and judged like that. They just see each other as equal. Really? You have your strengths. I have my strengths. And then, they coexists in that way.
Qin En 13:03
Yeah. The reminder that it's okay to poke fun at each other, but at the end of the day, everyone is different. And, you mentioned that these conversations happen around the dinner.
The next question. I want to ask, it’s do you have these kinds of practices or routines? Let's say you guys must eat dinner together X days a week. Tell us a bit more about how you bring everyone together, because they are also at an age where they start to have their independence, their own schedule, and all of those things.
Joshua Foo 13:28
We used to have a lot of family meals together. There isn't like a fixed date because I guess at this age, they're still at home pretty much. And, obviously the last two years they're stuck at home. But, you enjoy the company over dinner. And firstly, we have a rule that there's no tech, so everybody puts down their phones, even myself and we have a conversation over dinner or it could be lunch, or anything.
Qin En 13:51
Joshua Foo 13:51
And so, that has really helped build up the bond. We discuss everything in anything under the sun. And, that's kind of been really something that we look forward to, or certainly for myself, I look forward to it to have dinners. And, we have been stuck at home because we can't have more than five people outside. So, a lot of family dinners at home, we look forward to be able to go out with a family.
Yeah. But, if there's any rule, no tech doing dinner time. Yeah. We just talk, talk about it. And, I try to facilitate right? Try to facilitate. But, this age now, they can talk amongst themselves pretty much also.
Qin En 14:31
Got it. And, of course, at the dinner table, conversations include what's happening at work. I presume. So, for you, I'm very fascinated. How do you explain your current job and company to your children?
Joshua Foo 14:42
Well, they know that I'm in the sales slide. So, they know I sell things that when I moved away from cyber security space and move to geneticists, which is in blockchain and cryptocurrency, obviously, at the beginning, they're like, what is this? What are you doing? What's cryptocurrency? And obviously, try to explain and share with them.
And the interesting thing is they kind of get it because they are not so ingrained in the old technology, they adopt new technology. Oh, okay. This is a digital currency. Okay. You kind of digitize your current currency. They can accept that. I mean, obviously, if I explain it to my folks, it's kind of difficult.
The thing with young kids is that you have so much. They are very open to all these new things. So, I guess explaining to them wasn't as difficult as me explaining to my siblings or my parents, you know, what is this thing that I do now?
Qin En 15:36
Gotcha. Gotcha. With this very successful career to get ahead so far, Joshua, I'm curious as to whether there are moments where you found it really hard to balance between the two. Especially given that I guess your partner isn't working.
And then there's always this negative stereotype, which I can, it clearly doesn't apply to you, but the stereotype where it's that the father goes out to work and basically doesn't really come home, doesn't really spend time because it's just out there working, bring home the bacon. Whereas, the mom is at home taking care of the kids. I sense that's different for you, but talk to me a bit more about the challenges that you've faced over these past two decades, balancing and juggling that.
Joshua Foo 13:51
Obviously, at the beginning part of their lives, I was pretty much involved.
My work schedule wasn't that hectic, so, I could spend a lot of time with the kids. I've always been a hands-on ded, so I can change diapers, clean their butts. I just can't cook, but I can do pretty much everything else. And, I just enjoy them. And like I mentioned, my wife and I grew up loving kids. So, I was pretty much involved in their life.
But, obviously, as I grew in my career, that men longer hours traveling, you know, obviously more pressure. And I would say that, yeah, definitely in my mid-thirties, I was struggling to kind of juggle work and family. So, I really depend a lot on my wife to handle the business. I think it did help that I had really built a strong relationship with my kids early on, but I guess when I got older, I kind of realized the importance of fathers in the life of the kids. And this is something that I carried with me.
I read a book, you know, what I've learned from that book? And, I truly believe that actually, the father has a very, very important role in the life of kids. Whether is it talking about with daughters or sons, but you know, we are, I would say the peeler that really holds the family together. Not taking anything away from mothers, right?
I think sometimes fathers forget the importance of their role in the family. Not just about making sure they provide the finances, but the emotional support, the presence of being there, that relationship that you built with the kids. It's very different from what a mother can prove.
And, so with that, I've been making sure that even though I work long hours, the time I spend with my kids have to be very meaningful, it has to be very intentional. And I make sure that I talk to them, communicate. But yeah, it's got to be something that you really believe that I need to be there. I need to be there for them, not just, or making sure that finances for the family, but I need to be there physically.
I need to be present in their lives, whether it's my eldest daughter or it’s my youngest son, you know, I make sure that I have, you've got them all. You got to kind of make sure you have time for everybody here. Yeah.
Qin En 18:31
So, you mentioned meaningful and intentional, which is so powerful and important, but perhaps could you distill it out technically, what did that look like for you?
Joshua Foo 18:41
Okay. So, for example, if I'm fetching my daughter to school, I want to make sure that I talk to her. So, and I want to make sure that I talk in a way that it's not like father to daughter, but more like a fan. You know, share with me what's happening in school or your friends, what's happening.
And I always try to in the conversations, (inaudible), like I will tell my daughter when she went to a new class, she didn't have helpful friends, why not make new friends? And always watch out for those people who probably like loners or they don't have friends naturally as, as if, why don't you go be friends with them?
In a way, when I have time with them, whether it's driving them around or at the dinner table. Just to make sure that it's not just being there physically, but also there mentally or having that connection with them. So, talking to them, I go cycling with them. These kinds of activities that really makes that relationship stronger. So now they are open to tell me things.
They share me, even my eldest daughter if she has certain career decisions she needs to make, because now she's almost graduating and what courses she should take. I'm glad that she comes to me for advice. So, I guess it's building that along the way, making sure it's intentional, building that along the way. And then you can see the fruits. They're more open to tell you things. They share with the things you have laughed, and they feel very comfortable with you.
Qin En 20:07
That's wonderful. And, that closeness is something that clearly took years to build up, took years to get right, and took a lot of effort. I'm glad you are sort of reaping the fruits of the labor now.
So, with all that's happening, your career, having four children, talk to me a bit more about energy and sleep. How do you keep your energy up? Do you get much sleep at all? Tell me a bit more about that.
Joshua Foo 20:28
I find myself sleeping less as I get older.
Qin En 20:32
Really? Like, you need the sleep less? Or you just feel sleepless? Or both?
Joshua Foo 20:36
Just naturally, like… Let's see if I go to bed at 12 midnight, I used to be able to, if it's an off day, let's say Saturday, I used to be able to sleep to 10 or 11. Now, naturally along seven plus I'm awake. Somehow, the body just doesn't need that much sleep anymore.
But yeah, I think sleep is very important, especially for young parents who, or any other parent with young kids. Because, you know, if your kids are waking up, every two, three hours, it's going to affect your sleep, your mental state. Then, you do have to work. And it just creates an ever large of issues and stress and strain.
So, I do advice for parents of young kids, think about how to sleep train them, so that they can sleep throughout the night. In your own ways, you have different methods and stuff, but it really helps to bring a bit of mental soundness when you're not struggling with sleep.
I think nobody likes to have bad sleep or keeps waking up, nobody. I've never met a parent who say, oh, I love to wake up every two hours to feed my kids. None. They don't. But, they do it because their parents, but if given a choice, they wouldn't. So I think that's good. And it helps to give, I guess, some time between you and your wife, which I also think it's very, very important. I think more important actually than anything else.
So, yeah, I guess I sleep really less, but I do sleep better now it's now that the kids are much older. They're not disturbing us. They used to wake up much earlier than me last time. So, they will knock on the door. They'll wake. Okay. I got to wake up now, but now it's okay. Now they sleep in. If they have to, they sleep in.
Qin En 22:10
Yeah. That's great. Touch on the point about creating that space and time to be alone with your wife, essentially those date nights, date moments. How do you protect that when you have 4 children?
Joshua Foo 22:21
So. this came about, I think maybe after the fifth or seventh year of our marriage, we had already three kids. And, you know, this was something that we reflected at that point in time. We came to an acknowledgment, which is, again, is something I do share with a lot of my friends as well, is the fact that the most important thing that you can do for your kids, it's not for your kids.
So, it's not sending them to the best classes. It's not sending them to the best schools or giving them every opportunity. Actually, it’s not what the kid needs or wants. I think the best thing you can do for your kid is to make sure that your marriage or relationship with your wife is protected.
I do see parents where they spend more time with the kids and with each other, they feel that that's the responsibility of a parent. I need to give my kids this and that. And if it means working longer hours and not having that time with your spouse and the effects in the relationship. So, I think, maybe realize that, okay, what we're going to do for our kids is to make sure that their parents are in love. Their parents are in sync. You know, we are communicating. We have a healthy relationship. And the kids can see that, that's the most important thing that they want. They can't articulate it, but you can see it in their lives as they grow up.
You know, unfortunately, we are surrounded by families that have been through devolves and things like that. And, you just realize that, actually that's what the kids wants, their family, their parents to be together. Because of that, as we go along, we are happy to, okay, kids, you're going to your grandparents, we are going out on a date, then they'll be like, oh, you know, you're not bringing us. They know we just, the two of us or we'll go for trips, just the two of us. And then, oh, you're not bringing up is exactly normal.
And so obviously when they grew up and then now they don't question, right? It's not, if I want to go on a treat my wife, then you know, we just tell them, okay, we are going. And then they get used to the fact that their parents are going to have their own time. Their parents, you know, that's okay for them. In fact, they, I find that, I think that they feel that sense of security. Again, that's safe environment, you know, they see their parents.
Actually, we use that as well. We test them, right? So, sometimes when they are disobedient, in terms of, you know, you cause daddy and mommy to be upset with each other. And we start calling pretending like, pretending to call, then you can see that they feel very, very uncomfortable and very disturbed that their parents are fighting, right? And it's because of them, but it’s obviously staged, but…
Qin En 25:03
Yes, yes, yes.
Joshua Foo 25:04
You know, we kind of see, and we can see that's not what they want, right? And so, they change their behavior, because they don't want their parents to be against each other. Yeah.
Qin En 25:14
Yeah. The impact of (inaudible), I can't agree more. Like, you can send them for all the courses and whatever stuff, you think it’s good for them, but it isn’t exactly right. At the end of the day, by having a loving relationship, you create a loving environment where they can really grow and try even…
And I guess also on that point, right, that's what I'm sure, one thing that you had to teach our kids along the way is conflict resolution. How to manage disagreements, how do you go about doing that?
Joshua Foo 25:40
You know, when they were very young, at the very beginning was the three of them. Obviously, they would snatch and they will bite. You know, one of them is a biter, one of them is a hitter, and one of them is just ignore and just move away. You know, they have different styles of conflict. Actually, even till today, some are more articulate than ever. And then, you know, while some would just keep quiet, because they're not as articulate as their siblings. When it comes to conflict resolution, it's important for them to firstly, apologize and acknowledge.
Maybe they say certain hurtful words, which they thought now you're just joking around, but I say, hey, you hurt your brother with. And so, you should apologize, and this is a brother that loves you and he cares for you. So, you're making him feel bad. And so, I think in that culture of, you're not afraid to apologize.
And even as parents, I do apologize to my kids as well. When I have wronged them or have been too harsh, I'm not afraid to apologize to them. And so, I think that's important that you build a culture to see if you thought something wrong, whether you’re a parent or not, you can go and apologize (inaudible) mistakes.
And so, I guess know that there's still conflicts, it's much lesser now because they are older, but yes, when they were going up, I think just making sure that they do apologize. They knew where they have gone wrong. You explain it to them and then you do it as yourself. Right. You set the example that you will apologize to them as well.
So they don't feel that apologies are making them lesser than anything, because even their dad is apologizing or their mama is apologizing to them. So I guess that's what we do throughout the time they were growing up.
Qin En 27:23
Yeah, I think that's such a radical shift that I feel this generation that we're in, it's starting to accept that parents can be wrong and it's okay to be vulnerable. It's okay to apologize to children.
I feel like at least for that one generation older, it's always like the parents are always right. You're the authority figure. You don't have to apologize. You don't have to explain. So, just really glad to see that shift.
You know Joshua, you come packed full of wisdom. I'm curious, where do you learn parenting from? Do you have resources, books, mentors, or did you sort of figure everything out along the way you go?
Joshua Foo 27:57
I've read a couple of books, but I guess it's a lot of, I mean, again, back to my faith, right? So a lot of prayer. Learning from the Bible, from God. You know how to be a good father, how to be a good parent in the Christian faith, you know, God is our father, right? So we, we learn from Him.
But, also communication with my wife. We want to make sure that we are always in sync. If we say no, it's both of us that say, no. If we do have issues, we want to talk it through. So, communication is really key between husband and wife in terms of parenting. So, it's not just me. Parenting is not just her parenting. It’s us parenting. And so, communication, I think it's important. So, we learned from that.
For us, it has always been a learning journey. We don't have like, oh, this is the way we should parent kind of ideology and this is how it is. We are kind of like, we are learning along the way and whatever we've learned, you know, we believe all of us believe, okay, this is the way we should do it. This is what we have learned. This is how we want to do it now. And then both of us and then when we do it in that way.
All the kids are different. You kind of have different parenting styles for each one of them. Some you cane. Some you cane lesser. Some Chinese saying, (Chinese words), actually that is true. You know, there are some things that are also fundamental across all the kids.
Yep. So I think, yeah, we learn, we want to make sure that we're keeping them, we don't have that thing or I'm the best parent. We just kind of keep learning along the way.
Qin En 29:34
Gotcha. So very much about figuring out as it goes, but also taking the inspiration from your faith, as well as the books that you've read.
So let's say I gave you a chance to write a book that will last, not just for your children, but for your generations to come. What kind of topics would you talk about? What kind of things would you write it? A book leaving for your children, their children's children, and many generations to come.
Joshua Foo 29:59
Wow. I mean, we've certainly learned a lot. So, even right now at this stage in our lives, my wife and I are also trying to help out younger parents, friends that we have, or, you know, friends at church, you know, we try to share with that. And we’re really about sharing what we have gone through, right? It won't work for every single person, but there, I guess, certain principles to parenting.
If I were to write a book, I guess, you know, like what I mentioned, the first thing is protect the marriage. I think that is the core of parenting. Make sure that your marriage is healthy. It's loving. You're communicating with one another, and you make sure that you're in agreement when it comes to parenting.
No, don't have different views. If there are different views, try to come to a consensus. Try come to an agreement because that's really very important. So, the kids see the parents as one. They don't see it as two. They see them as one, I would give that advice.
And really that the other one would be that the kids are all different. So, keep a very open mind on how you want to handle and deal with them. There may be certain principles that may mean the same, but the implementation, the teaching of those principles might differ. For example, when the kids were growing up, we never allow them to tantrum in public. So, no screaming and shouting and crying out loud in public and just reacting up
So, we were very, very stern on this, but how we taught each one of them is different because really their personalities are different. But, we make sure that that principle, you don't show tantrums in public, but we also make sure we don't discipline them in public.
So generally, like if they chore, we know when they were younger, we will bring them to (inaudible) or to a stairwell out of the public site and we will deal with it, you know, in private. So again, the implementation is different, but the principles will allow this to happen. Yeah. I guess, you know, sort of things like this is probably what I would share in that book, which we get a chapter, I guess.
Qin En 32:1
Wonderful. Okay. So, this is actually technical advice. Once again, for myself, that's why I enjoy doing this podcast. My kid 17 months old, she's starting to do the chore attention thing in public thing. Could you just share how, what are the different ones? That you have dealt with this so that I can try and experiment them the next time you have?
Joshua Foo 32:30
Okay. So like I shared firstly, if it's in public, bring her to a private corner away from the public because kids don't like to be scolded in public and then they kind of react to that.
So, bring them to a stairwell. Usually I would do it as the dad. The dad somehow has that authoritative figure that they know and the respect. So, I would bring them to stairwell and I will talk to them very sternly. And obviously, you want to do that consistently. So even if it's at home, when she is acting up, so address it, then and there as well.
I guess to me, it was to be really stern and strict about it. You know, kids learn really fast. They do get the message, but sometimes you need to persevere and just continue to do it until you get the real fruit.
For my four different kids, you know, for some of them, the breakthrough was really fast, they learn fast. But, for some of them, it was a bit harder. So, their personality is like, okay, are more stubborn. Yeah, I guess most of the stronger in that sense, there will be more strong-willed than others. But, as parents, you want to make sure that you continue to perceive you until the point gets across a lot.
Parents are like, let's give up all my kids is like this. I can't handle her. You know? And it's no, it's not that right. I guess it's, it's that your kid hasn't gotten to the point of understanding yet, you know, and you given up too early. So, kind of make sure it's consistent. Whether is it outside or at home. And just press it and do you know, she gets the point across because you'll be very surprised how fast they learn.
You know, they let good things. They also learn bad things, but they learn fast. They can, they can get it. Um, so I think as parents, we just want to make sure that we persevere.
Qin En 34:11
That's good advice. Okay. Thanks for that. And I'm taking that to heart also. So, Joshua, you have shared a lot, but if I could just challenge you as we wrap up today's conversation, if there's one more lesson that you have learned as a Parent in Tech, in addition to all that you have shared, which is amazing, what would it be?
Joshua Foo 34:29
I think our kids truly live in a tech bubble. They don’t know and has not seen what's a pager. They don't know a wall without internet. This is their life. This is normal, normal. So, I guess as a Parent in Tech, understanding tech, being an enabler, but tech is also being, you know, can be a disruptor, you know. In a sense that, you know, they're also a lot of bad things, you know, that uses tech.
One thing I would advice is don't shy your kids away from tech because that is the world we are going to live in. I mean, we will, we already live in, but it's going to get even more technology-saturated. Talk about internet of things. Everything is going to connect the internet.
So, there are some parents like, oh no, too much tech. And as well, you don't strike a balance, but don't move them away from tech. They already have tech in school. They already have e-mail, Instagram, and things. So, I think it's more of teaching them a balance between living in a virtual world with all this technology in place, how you leverage them for good, but how you also try to identify bad tech, right, things that are happening about in the cyber space.
But, also to tell them that you still need that human interaction no matter what. There's a lot of texting. Now, that you think about it, but a phone call would actually be much better, try to encourage that as well, the human interactions. Whether is it with your friends, with their grandparents, with the siblings, make sure that there's also that human element. Because I don't think that part is going away, even if we were to have the metaverse assessment, they expecting. You see what a picture, that's a human interaction to them.
So, my advice would be as parents, as, especially in tech, appreciate what tech can do, the bad things about tech, and just make sure that your kids understand how to leverage this technology as they are going up, but also know the perils of all these things, how to take caution to tech. I think that's so important aspect as the worst continues to evolve with technology.
Qin En 36:38
Yeah, I think that's so well-said I, to be aware, to be conscious of what's going on, to know what's good and bad, to have the discernment and adapt to it. That's wonderful. Joshua, it's such a joy to speak with you today. If some of the parents are listening to this would love to connect with you, how can they best do so?
Joshua Foo 36:56
Oh, they can find me on LinkedIn, you know, just such Joshua Foo. I work for Chainalysis. And I’ll happy to connect with them and share more and learn from them, as well.
Qin En 37:05
Sure. Sounds good. Well, thank you so much, Joshua, for joining us today on Parents in Tec. Such a joy to speak with you.
Joshua Foo 25:40
Thank you so much for having me, Qin En.
Qin En 35:40
Thanks for listening to the Parents in Tech Podcast, with me your host, Qin En. We hope you were inspired on how to raise kids and build companies.
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