THE NEXT GEN­ER­A­TION

An­thony Teen’s thoughts on life as a fa­ther.

The Peak (Singapore) - - The Hot Seat -

PASS­ING IT ON

Now, Teen’s sport of choice is ski­ing, which had steered him into moun­tain climb­ing in the first place. In his youth, he would scale moun­tains with skis strapped on his back for his ski fix. Ev­i­dently, he has passed this pas­sion on to his fam­ily. He proudly whips out his phone to show off a video of one of his daugh­ters ex­e­cut­ing a per­fect back­flip she had re­cently mas­tered. There are echoes of his tena­cious ap­proach to climb­ing in his par­ent­ing tech­niques. Last year, he en­rolled his two old­est daugh­ters into an elite ski academy lo­cated in the Sierra Ne­vada, Cal­i­for­nia.

“I am keen to en­sure that my chil­dren get ad­ver­sity in their life, with­out be­ing cruel to them,” he says. A key rea­son why he sent them to the ski academy, he says, is to stretch their ca­pa­bil­i­ties. At this school, not only do they have to main­tain their grades to con­tinue their ski lessons, they are also given op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­er­cise lead­er­ship skills, in prepa­ra­tion for their ap­pli­ca­tions to top Ivy League uni­ver­si­ties in a few years’ time.

“They get pushed,” he says. “The end goal is that they build re­silience. If you bring up a child wrapped in cot­ton wool, what’s go­ing to hap­pen the first time they run into a speed bump in life?”

As a mem­ber of the Young Pres­i­dents’ Or­ga­ni­za­tion ( YPO), he was a part of the fam­ily fo­rum at the YPO Edge con­fer­ence held in Sin­ga­pore early this year. Teen jokes that he was roped in to join the in­ter­na­tional fam­ily coun­cil be­cause of his six off­spring. The par­ent­ing net­work con­sists of mem­bers from around the world who vol­un­teer their time to run events, con­fer­ence calls and even cre­ate vir­tual con­tent to as­sist other par­ents within the net­work.

Ul­ti­mately, says the man who once stared death in the face while dan­gling pre­car­i­ously off the rock face of El Cap­i­tan, he would like in­stil in the next gen­er­a­tion the con­vic­tion to, well, do what they love. “De­sire will stay, while the chase af­ter money just burns out,” he says.

“The only caveat is that it is go­ing to be a bumpy road and you need to per­se­vere and carry through, even if it some­times looks like there’s no way out. Also, sur­round your­self with strong peo­ple. I wouldn’t have got off El Cap­i­tan with­out my part­ner.”

HIS BIG­GEST FEAR

Is not phys­i­cal per­ils. “We nearly lost the com­pany a few years ago in a big com­mer­cial dis­pute in­volv­ing a con­tract in Aus­tralia. They were do­ing ev­ery­thing they could not to pay us and be­ing a fam­i­ly­owned, pri­vate com­pany, all the as­sets we had were tied to the com­pany. If we lost it, we would have lost ev­ery­thing. That ter­ri­fied me.”

HIS AVOID­ANCE OF SO­CIAL ME­DIA

“I find the idea of shar­ing stuff on Face­book re­tarded. My friends know what I do, I don’t need to put it on Face­book. I got on In­sta­gram last year and my daugh­ters told me I was too old to be on it. I just in­cluded my pro­file photo on Linkedin a few months ago; peo­ple, or gov­ern­ments, look­ing at the com­pany want to know there’s a face to it.”

HIS FREE­WHEEL­ING STYLE

“My kids prob­a­bly think that I am fun-lov­ing, prob­a­bly not a very good dad. My wife thinks I’m more like a grand­fa­ther than their fa­ther, as in I don’t want to do the par­ent­ing, just have the fun.”

“IF YOU BRING UP A CHILD WRAPPED IN COT­TON WOOL, WHAT’ S GO­ING TO HAP­PEN THE FIRST TIME THEY RUN INTO A SPEED BUMP IN LIFE?”

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