As a child, Christopher Lee experienced corporal punishment from his parents.
So when it comes to disciplining his own son Zed, he and his actress wife Fann Wong, both 52, prefer and believe in inductive parenting — to use reasoning rather than violence.
Speaking to AsiaOne in an interview recently for his new Mediacorp drama Kill Sera Sera, he shared: "I feel that as long as we use love to care for him and educate him, I believe Zed would also value our love and concern for him.
"Zed knows what he should and should not do. When he knows he has done something wrong, he would own up by himself, and that's the kind of education we want to give him and not by using strict forms of punishment, such as hitting."
'In matters of disciplining our child, we need to be patient'
Christopher recounted that Zed, nine, once told them that he was reprimanded by his teacher in school because he didn't pay attention in class.
"Zed said he was affected by something he saw on his mobile phone and the image, from a game or something, distracted him. He said that he was too invested in it," he said, adding that Zed is using his old mobile phone.
Instead of scolding him or using corporal punishment, Christopher asked Zed what he should do to change and the latter suggested that he would only use the phone during weekends.
He said: "Zed suggested this because he was concerned that he was affected by it and afraid of being scolded by his teachers again. It was hard in the first week because he was tempted to look at his phone, but I reminded him that it was him who suggested the solution and not us. I asked him, 'What if you get distracted and get scolded by your teacher again?'"
Eventually, Zed got used to the routine.
"I think in matters of disciplining our child, we need to be patient," Christopher said, adding that although it may take a few tries sometimes, it is understandable because even adults need to be told a few times.
Because of the boy's upbringing, Zed cares a lot about his parents' feelings too.
Christopher elaborated: "He's most afraid we're disappointed with him. He is actually more afraid of that as compared to us being angry at him. When Fann is angry, he will tremble."
'If he can do better, we would cheer him on too'
Christopher also got candid about Zed's education, sharing that they don't give him too much stress, especially in his school work, but the latter is still required to complete his homework diligently and go for the required tuition classes.
He said: "I wouldn't set targets for Zed to achieve certain results. I let him know that he has to learn and the process should be a happy one. For example, for spelling, I wouldn't tell him that he has to score 100 marks. If he does well, we are happy and cheer for him. If he can do better, we would cheer him on too."
When asked who is mostly in charge of Zed's education now, he replied that he believes both he and Fann would take part in educating Zed at different stages of his life, but for now, he chooses to leave most of the decisions to Fann because she has more experience about Singapore's education and he would support them in the meantime.
Christopher, who grew up in Malaysia, added: "I am not saying that we would definitely succeed in our methods of teaching our son, but at the moment it is working for him and we hope that this is the correct way for him.
"Every family has different ways and we are also not sure whether Zed would succeed from our methods. We really don't know because we also don't have such experiences, but I feel what is most important is that he is happy."
Christopher, who has been working mostly in Taiwan in recent years, said that one of the reasons he accepted the role in Kill Sera Sera was because he missed Singapore and "wanted to spend more time at home".
His last Mediacorp drama was After the Stars in 2019.
In Kill Sera Sera, renowned art sculptor May Shaw's (Hong Kong actress Jessica Hsuan) daughter Sera Sun (Chantalle Ng) was murdered and dismembered on leap year four years ago. Living in guilt and despair over a fight that she had with Sera before her death and devastated that her murder remains unsolved, May seeks to find her daughter's killer.
In the process, she finds out that Sera had been offering sexual services and running a pornography website which her husband and Sera's father Allan (Christopher) was a patron of.
As May continues looking for the murderer and unexpectedly finds emotional connection with pastor James Chang (Taiwanese actor James Wen), she accidentally commits a homicide which she tries to hide by imitating Sera's murder.
Kill Sera Sera, which also stars local actors Xu Bin and Damien Teo, is now available on demand for free on meWATCH and three new episodes will be released every Monday.
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