Filmmaker father shares about his parenting style, instructing his little ones about the entire world

Filmmaker Linus Chung’s most unforgettable second in fatherhood was when his wife Leong Shen Nyan confirmed him her being pregnant examination benefits. And that was how his journey into fatherhood started, eight yrs in the past, remembers the 41-12 months-previous from Kuching, Sarawak.

“We realised that this was the moment where by we would go from having to consider care of just ourselves to getting accountable for a different daily life, ” he says.

Now, Chung is a father of 3 small children aged 8, 6 and four, whom he states are all uniquely named soon after an individual famed: a scientist, an artiste and a politician.

“We chose to name our first daughter Linne just after Swedish botanist, zoologist and taxonomist Carl von Linne for the reason that my spouse is a wildlife conservationist, and our second daughter Yasmin, in remembrance of movie director and actor Yasmin Ahmad. And, our son Theodore is named just after US president Theodore Roosevelt, ” states Chung who acted in Sepet, a film directed and composed by the late Yasmin.

But Chung adds that he also has an “animal family” comprising Chocolate, a seven-yr-outdated labrador and Monty, a rescued 4-metre reticulated python for which he has a license from the wildlife division.

An adventurous instant for Chung and his three small children at Gibbon Retreat in Bentong Pahang all through the recovery MCO in 2020. Photograph: Linus Chung

Special parenting tactic

The few who are living in Kuala Lumpur enjoy the outside and have been taking their small children into the outdoor since they ended up as younger as a thirty day period old. In advance of the pandemic, they’d go into the jungle at the very least at the time or two times a week.

“We really encourage our little ones to go into the jungle and to experience character and bond with wildlife. We bring our young ones out to character since we want them to explore and practical experience it, ” he claims.

“In the city, surrounded by concrete, activities may well be confined and preset, and issues are ordinarily always the exact same, whilst the jungle is uncertain and ever-shifting, Even if a human being hikes in the jungle everyday, the route is at any time-switching simply because it is alive – some days, the ground is damp and slippery when it rains, and other days, it’s dry when the weather conditions is scorching. It can even come to be overgrown with bushes and shrubs – so there are quite a few uncertainties and ‘what ifs’. It teaches us quite a few items. This is for the reason that when points alter, we’ve to understand to adapt and evolve, ” he states.

Chung feels that being in the jungle for that reason “forces” the small children to discover to adapt to modifications and decide on up survival capabilities which are vital and required in daily life.

Chung and his wife Leong (pictured with their children at Ampang Forest in 2016) encourage their children to go into the jungle, to experience nature and bond with wildlife, Photo: Linus ChungChung and his wife Leong (pictured with their small children at Ampang Forest in 2016) stimulate their young children to go into the jungle, to knowledge character and bond with wildlife, Picture: Linus Chung

He provides that he has generally had a specific bond with animals due to the fact youthful, that’s why he kept Monty the python following the particular person who initially rescued it moved absent and could no lengthier consider treatment of it.

“Most folks could notify their young ones not to contact the snake for worry of them acquiring hurt, but we try to really encourage our kids to firstly see it as a residing matter and to understand it – is it risky, why it is in which it is, and how to help it. So, it’s essential to recognize any potential risks involved and mitigate them, ” he suggests.

Chung, who can make corporate and business films, as perfectly as documentary films for a residing, has his personal YouTube channel on parenting referred to as Fantastic Minor Tales, which characteristics his wife and young children.

Outdoors in the jungle with Chocolate, their labrador, in 2016. Photo: Linus ChungOutside in the jungle with Chocolate, their labrador, in 2016. Photograph: Linus Chung

His wife Leong from Kuantan, Pahang, is a wildlife conservationist but is currently concentrating on getting a complete-time mom and homemaker.

The couple homeschools their small children, applying a combination of methods which include Unschool, which focuses on training predominantly what a youngster is interested in.

“We experience that true studying does not come about when it is compelled, and that youngsters should discover in a holistic, organic way. So, rather of subsequent a frequent college syllabus – no matter if regional or intercontinental – at residence, we provide a supportive environment to inspire the child’s normal curiosity about the world all around them and mastering comes about alongside the way, ” he suggests.

Pandemic parenting

During the lockdown, they aren’t equipped to provide their kids out to check out the earth all around them, but Chung suggests that they have “evolved” their methods to convey the outdoors globe to their youngsters.

“We live in a landed property so the small children can devote time in the back garden. Also, we do something termed ‘travelling at home’ which is generally educating them to practical experience the world at property, ” he says.

“This week, my youngsters are ‘in Italy’. We print out air tickets for them and make them create their names on it. Then we prepare the chairs like in an plane and engage in movies of an plane traveling. So, they’re ‘going to Italy’ and they even get peanuts like on the aircraft,” he claims.

This week, we are 'in Italy' and we're 'centurions in Rome', says Chung. Photo: Linus ChungThis 7 days, we are ‘in Italy’ and we are ‘centurions in Rome’, suggests Chung. Photograph: Linus Chung

“In Italy, there is the Coliseum so we set up the chairs in a circle to resemble the Coliseum. Then we place the toys in the middle like the gladiators combating in the Coliseum,” he adds.

Chung states that they also prepare the ideal films and documentaries for their small children to watch on Netflix, these types of as these that entail the Coliseum, and get them to do artwork by “designing and creating their have gladiator armour”.

“They are also not permitted to sleep in their possess rooms simply because they’re ‘not at home’ but ‘in Italy’. So they snooze at ‘the hotel’ which is the sofa for a handful of days,” he suggests.

“During lunch time, we give them Italian food stuff – pizza. So, we recreate or ‘fake’ the working experience for them at household, ” he states, introducing that the preceding 7 days, they went to Mexico.

Dedication and sacrifice

To Chung, the most vital features that a father really should have are motivation and self-sacrifice.

Fatherhood involves commitment and sacrifice, says Chung. Photo: Linus ChungFatherhood involves determination and sacrifice, claims Chung. Photo: Linus Chung“When a child is born into the globe, they are generally helpless, so we need to be fully commited to care for and nurture the child until finally they improve up and can consider treatment of by themselves. It includes a sacrifice of our time, vitality, and methods – but it’s truly worth it.

“I’m grateful to my possess mothers and fathers, to my possess father who was inclined to nurture me and elevate me. And now, it’s my turn to nurture the next era – my personal kids,” he claims.

Chung’s father life in Sarawak and usually visited them in KL just before the pandemic.

He is hoping that the pandemic circumstance increases quickly, so that they will be able to see each other once again.

To Chung and his family, Fathers Working day is like any other “regular” working day.

“We test to place in exertion to appreciate each and every other everyday, rather than to only aim on precise dates,” he points out.

“But Chinese New 12 months and parents’ birthdays are religiously noticed of class,” he speedily adds.

Chung reveals that some of his unforgettable and funniest fatherhood times are in the easy items these kinds of as the conversations that he has with his young children, together with “where toddlers come from”.

“I showed my son a infant scan graphic of him in the womb and explained to him, ‘This is you prior to you were being born’, and his unpredicted reply was, ‘Before I was born, I was a ghost?’ for the reason that the picture of the scan appears to be like like a ghost, and we all burst out laughing,” he states.

“So, it’s not in the grand gestures but the tiny things and important reminiscences, and producing each next rely that really issues,” the unconventional father concludes.