Kiss 92 DJ Shan Wee On Fatherhood, Solo Parenting And Dating Again
The Kiss 92 DJ talks about being a boy-dad, managing sibling rivalry and his upcoming novel.
You may know him as the fun and quick-witted host of the mid-morning show on Kiss 92, but Shan Wee is more than just a DJ. The 38-year-old also thrives as a published author and as a solo parent to his two sons.
We recently spoke with the Irish man and learned about how he manages his time pursuing his interests in writing, getting on with his day job, all the while raising his children, Ciaran, 8, and Ruan, 6.
When asked what type of parent he would describe himself, the dad-of-two said he is “more of a relaxed parent.”
“I’m certainly not a helicopter parent. Like, ideally, I would love it if the boys played by themselves, especially because they are very, very clingy,” Shan Wee said. “So anytime they’re playing by themselves, with each other or with friends, I’m more than happy to let that happen.”
Though that may seem a bit too relaxed for some parents, Shan said he doesn’t claim to be a super fun parent, either. According to Shan, he’s also not always about the grand gestures when it comes to parenting and often follows a routine when it comes to his kids.
“You know, there’s the routine of getting them ready for school, driving them to school. There’s the routine of a shower, followed by stories, followed by bed. To me, that’s what being a dad is: being able to do those things and do them well. It’s not the big gesture days, but it’s really doing the same thing 100 times and doing it well each time.”
But Shan also shared that it’s not always fun and games.
As with many parents, the radio jock also faced some unprecedented struggles during the circuit breaker period when “things [became] a lot more challenging” on the parenting front.
“In particular, trying to do home-based learning with them. You know, sitting at this dining table trying to get my eight-year-old to do schoolwork was absolutely unbearable at times.”
Despite this, Shan said being a parent is about finding joy in doing the most mundane things with his kids.
Shan has been taking turns with his ex-wife in “solo parenting” his two boys since getting divorced three years ago.
“So it’s been three years where we’ve lived this unusual life where my two boys live with me for one week and then switch the following week,” Shan revealed.
Shan said, having been able to keep a friendly relationship with his ex-wife has allowed him and his sons adapt to this arrangement.
“It’s impossible for me to tell the true consequences for the boys when they grow up, but as far as I can see, they live a happy life. And so I’m quite proud of that,” Shan said.
And this “unusual” arrangement inevitably required the 38-year-old to be a hands-on dad.
According to Shan, this has allowed him to “know the ins and outs” of raising his two boys.
“I’m now aware of, you know, the five love languages and it applies not just to romantic partners, but children as well,” Shan said. “For example, Ciaran is a very ‘physical touch [kind of] person. So if he was upset, he literally needs to be held and hugged. Whereas my younger one, Ruan, responds more to words of affirmation. So he’s more the one you would talk to, and praise verbally. These are the things I learned along the way.”
And when it comes to sibling rivalry, Shan said it’s all about “minimising the conflict and competition at home.”
According to him, the struggles often stem from him being fundamentally different from his kids and finding it difficult to relate to them.
“I was a very calm, obedient, studious child. I was easy. My mom had it easy with me,” Shan shared. “Whereas my eldest son is not like that at all… I remember, especially in the early years, feeling a bit disconnected, just because you’re like, “Why are you like this? I wasn’t like this. Be like me!” Shan quipped.
So his parenting hack to “make life easier”? “Try to find things that you and your children both like. That can help create a bonding time for you and them,” Shan shared.
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And for new dads, especially those who are just about to become dads, Shan said practice does help. “I think it’s actually important to get some experience. Before we had our first baby, we happened to have a friend who had young children, and she needed quite a bit of help. And, you know, we really hung out a lot and literally, caring for those children for some days, helped me feel confident,” Shan shared. “It made me look forward even more to being a dad.”
Shan also advises expecting parents to look for peers who are having kids at the same time.
“They may not be any of your first-hand friends. But you might find someone you went to school with, or some colleague of yours may be in the same boat. And I tell you, it makes life a lot easier when they have other kid friends to run around with, and for you to have other parents to relate to.”
Dating, Writing Again
And while career and parenting may already have Shan’s hands full, Shan has gone back to dating and writing again.
Though he didn’t share much about his dating life citing as to how “it’s been so recent,” Shan seem to have made his relationship Instagram-official after he shared a photo of him and a woman—both are seen reading—following a series of posts promoting his new book.
Speaking of his book. So much has happened since the launch of Shan’s first foray to publishing: 99 Rules for New Dads. In just days, Shan is about to release his first fiction novel.
A far cry from his first book on parenting, Shan’s second piece is a crime novel: The Short Life Of Raven Monroe. The book, which is now available for pre-order, is a crime thriller about a woman who seeks the true motives behind a 16-year-old murderer’s deeds. It is set to be released on 8 December.
According to Shan, while writing crime is totally different from his character—not having read a lot of crime novels, too—he said it was something he really wanted to try.
“It has always been an aspiration to write more… Although it’s very different from the first one, I do like the final product and seeing it out there,” the author-DJ said.
When asked what else is coming up for Shan Wee, the author, he said: “I just want to put up this book and see what happens with it. I mean, I’ll be happy just to see it on a shelf you know. That’ll probably be enough for me.”
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