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How Christopher Lee disciplines his son with the phrase 'Cancel everything' and nagging

The veteran actor shared how he and his wife Fann Wong are like as parents, as well as his own thoughts on what makes a marriage successful.

Singapore actor Christopher Lee has a softer approach for disciplining his son, Zed. (Photo: Yahoo Southeast Asia)
Singapore actor Christopher Lee has a softer approach for disciplining his son, Zed. (Photo: Yahoo Southeast Asia)

We’re all familiar with the old adage “Spare the rod, spoil the child”. Yet, Malaysian-born Singapore actor Christopher Lee confessed that he, and his wife Fann Wong, aren’t too hard on their son.

Lee, 52, has been married to Wong for 14 years, and they have nine-year-old Zed.

During an interview on 18 Jan for the local M18 drama series Kill Sera Sera, the veteran actor said, “He’s not naughty. When he does something wrong, we don’t discipline him in a very tough manner, because I know he is already very scared. He knows he did something wrong.”

What Zed is most afraid of, though, might surprise you.

“If I tell him, ‘Oh, you did this wrong and that wrong? Tomorrow, all the plans cancelled,’ then he’ll be very scared. We often use this phrase, ‘Cancel everything’,” Lee shared, with a laugh.

Lee considers himself to be lenient towards Zed in general, but will be stern when the situation calls for it.

“If he hasn’t done anything wrong, he has his freedom. He can do what he wants, as long as it’s nothing wrong or bad. But if he does something wrong, then that’s it. I’ll have a serious talk with him about it,” he said.

Lee added, “Perhaps I’ll be naggy, and will nag, and nag, and nag. This is my method. When he hears me nag in the future, he’ll be scared and won’t do dare to do it again. I remember the first time he acted up (at three years old), I used this method. I put him in the room, was face-to-face with him, and I nagged at him. Later, he became scared of the room.”

Christopher Lee’s secret to a successful marriage

In the show, Lee plays the husband of Hsuan's character, May Shaw. Their relationship deteriorates as Shaw throws herself into solving the mystery of their teenage daughter's death on the night of a leap day.

The show also stars Taiwanese actor James Wen, and local actors such as Chantalle Ng, Damien Teo, and Xu Bin.

Unlike the show, though, Lee’s marriage to Wong is going strong and they’re living their happily ever after. Just last year, Wong shared her secret to a successful marriage - be independent. When we asked Lee about his perspective, he concurred.

“I think it’s absolutely correct. I think both men and women cannot expect to rely on their partner to take care of them. Slowly, you’ll be too dependent on them. You won’t have a goal in life,” he said.

“For me, people should have life goals, whether you’re a man or a woman. That’s why from the beginning, when I married my wife, I didn’t want for her to become a housewife.”

He also felt that times have changed since his parents’ and grandparents’ generation, and hence, the relationship dynamics have to change accordingly.

Lee explained that for the older generation, the mother would be the homemaker while the father was the breadwinner. In his case, he barely saw his father because the latter would return after the children were asleep, and left before they woke up.

“So basically, the role of the father was to earn money and it wasn’t to take care [of the kids]. I don’t want it to be this way. Now, there are a lot of dads and mums who are hands-on. I like it that way,” he said, adding that he was taking of his son, alongside his wife, from the day he was born.

Looking forward to his teenage years

Another thing that is unlike the show? Well, raising a rebellious teenager. Although, the rebellious part remains to be seen.

“When I see other people’s kids being well-behaved, I hope my kid will turn out like that,” he remarked.

Nevertheless, Lee is “looking forward” to Zed’s teenage years. He said, “Seeing Zed grow up, I’m curious. I’m curious how he’ll be at Primary Four. I’ll also think about what he’ll be like at Primary Five.

“I do think about what he’s like as a teenager. How should I communicate with him? How will I live together with him? I’m anticipating it.”

And, of course, he’s thought about Zed taking his Primary School Leaving Examination.

“I think in Singapore, before your child is of the age to take his PSLE, other people will talk to you about it,” Lee commented.

“For my wife and I, our mentality is that exams are important, but we won’t put pressure on him before it’s time. Instead, I’ll use a gentle approach to ease him into it. Of course, we’ll do what needs to be done. But, I won’t use academic results to pressure him.

“I’ll tell him, ‘You do your best. I just want you to be happy.’ We want studying to be a happy thing, and not a stressful thing.”

He added with a laugh, “That’s my aim. Whether we can achieve it, I don’t know.”

All 12 episodes of Kill Sera Sera will be available for free on meWATCH. There will be three new episodes released every Monday.

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