Exclusive Interview: Actor Allan Wu Talks About Parenting And How He Is Helping His Daughter Get Into An Ivy League School

Deepshikha Punj
·8-min read

Allan Wu juggles many roles at once. He is one of the busiest actors in Singapore, a much sought-after host, a popular VJ, and a fitness guru in his own right. But perhaps Wu’s most important role is that of a doting dad to his two kids — Sage, 17, and Jonas, 15.

The self-professed Tiger Dad is unapologetically hands-on and never shies away from pushing his kids to follow their dreams. And now he is sharing the secrets to his unique parenting style in a tête-à-tête with theAsianparent.

The Singapore-based Chinese-American actor discussed with us how he motivates his children—both athletically and academically, and how he is training his daughter for an Ivy League admission later this year.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview.

Allan Wu On His Unique Parenting Style, His Daughter’s Future, And His Upcoming Projects

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TAP: What is your philosophy on parenting?

Wu: When it comes to parenting, I don’t believe there is an absolute right or wrong way to go about it. A lot of it is dependent both on the relationship of the respective child and parent in addition to the personality of the child.

For example, if the parent is able to assess that his or her child is very self-motivated and organised, then there is less of a need to adopt a “helicopter parenting” approach.

On the other hand, if a child seems to be a bit more passive and under achieving, then the parent could consider taking a more substantial role in guiding the child to reach his or her full potential.

Even with this in mind, I do believe it is still ideal to spend more time with children when they are younger before the age of 10 because that is when they are the most formative and most malleable to shape and guide.

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TAP: Being a celebrity who seemingly has it all, how much importance do you give to money parenting?

Wu: I don’t think kids need to understand the value of money at a very young age because they will inevitably find out all about it sooner or later.

However, I do think it is important to share with children that while it is important to make money, it is not the most important thing in life.

And if a child is a bit more curious as to earning his or her own buck, then I think it is a good idea for them to take on a part-time job when they are a teenager as long as it doesn’t interfere with their school studies and other commitments.

TAP: Your daughter Sage has become a rising star in basketball. When did you find out about her talent and how are you nurturing it?

Wu: Since Sage was young, I have always made an effort to expose her to various athletic endeavours such as swimming, running, and now basketball. I even taught her to ride a bicycle and in-line skate when she was young.

I have always believed it’s important for parents to spend as much time as we can with our children. Furthermore, if we can teach them the value of staying active and healthy, then that’s even better.

By participating with Sage in various sports, I was able to assess which sports she might excel at, and it turned out that she was quite good at swimming, running, and basketball. From there, we can start to assess a child’s interest and passion in the sport.

Only if the child is on the same page to train consistently and want to get better does it yield a positive relationship and results.

Today, Sage has realised that she doesn’t enjoy competitive swimming and track as much as when she was younger so she is focused only on basketball. And while I would have loved to see her continue in those other two sports too, I also know it’s important to respect their interests and wishes so I am just happy that she still enjoys playing basketball.

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TAP: Sage recently channelled her artistic talent towards creating a series of stickers to raise money to support victims of the Yemen Humanitarian Crisis. Please tell us a bit about this.

Wu: Sage has always enjoyed drawing at a very young age and exhibited quite a lot of talent in that area too. At school, I think she became aware of the Yemen Humanitarian Crisis so decided to help by channeling her own artistic talent to raise funds to support the cause.

I believe there is nothing better we can do when we can use our talents and abilities to help others, and I think Sage really enjoyed the entire process of taking on this project all by herself.

TAP: You are working to score a place at a prestigious university for your daughter Sage. How are you doing this?

Wu: Sage and I just recently embarked on this journey with Crimson Education. While we are relatively new to the entire process, Sage seems to be enjoying her meetings with her university admissions strategist.

We could have actually started sooner; I had learned about Crimson Education much earlier after it was recommended to me by a friend who used their services for their own daughter.

After looking into it, I knew that Crimson seemed like the right fit for Sage-but it needed to be something that she decided on her own. However, Sage really had no interest until her classmates told her about it, and then she was curious to learn more.

From there, we both learned more about Crimson Education and the services it provided so Sage and I decided to work with them. At the moment, Crimson Education is helping Sage figure out what subjects and topics she enjoys in school and then consulting with her on a recommended path over the coming years to hopefully stand out in her field of choice.

Depending on Sage’s personal interests and strengths, they will also guide her in shaping her extracurriculars so her unique proposition stands out in a sea of university applicants as a compelling candidate for top universities.

And when time does come for Sage to actually apply to universities, they will be there to advise her on the most optimal way to complete this stressful ordeal.

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TAP: Sage is just starting her first year of the International Baccalaureate program at SJI. She also seems interested in a wide array of subjects and has shown competency in areas such as Math, ComputerScience, Biology, and Physics. Aside from academics, she has demonstrated a talent and passion for graphic design and sports. What is your vision for your daughter?

Wu: I would like to simply see Sage happy in whatever she ultimately chooses to do. In this day and age, we have almost too many options in anything and everything we would like to do as a profession.

Therefore, I just hope Sage understands the gravity of her choices and experiences now so she can discover what she really enjoys doing and eventually make a life and career out of it. I really don’t know exactly what she would like to do at this point, and I am quite certain she doesn’t know herself yet.

But when she does find out, I believe she will be happiest if she is able to harness her talent with her passion, and I look forward to finding out what this will be one day.

TAP: Are your kids fiercely independent? How do you handle that as a dad?

Wu: Honestly, I had quite a difficult time initially when I realised that they got older and didn’t need me around as much. However, I now see it as a blessing that they are able to keep themselves organised and entertained.

As much as I would still love to be a significant part of their daily lives, I understand that this is their time as a teenager to explore the world on their own terms, and I will be there should they need more guidance.

We were all in the same position once as a youth and reminding myself that has really helped me to let them go do their own thing.

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TAP: What’s next for Allan Wu?

Wu: I just wrapped up a new Chinese drama called “Ghosted” which will be coming out later this year on Channel 8. Depending on the pandemic, I look forward to returning to China to work on a few projects.

One of them is the third season of “The Day I Ran China” which is broadcasted in over 42countries on Discovery Channel and another would be an adventure competition format similar to”The Amazing Race” concept.

Until these project days are confirmed, I will continue to work with my marketing company “The Film Dispensary” as we work with various business clients including Singapore’s leading robotics company called OTSAW.

And as I have for over three decades, I will continue to find time to work out and stay active because I believe we will only get the most out of life when we are healthy and happy.

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Allan Wu’s Fitness Secrets For His Family

The post Exclusive Interview: Actor Allan Wu Talks About Parenting And How He Is Helping His Daughter Get Into An Ivy League School appeared first on theAsianparent - Your Guide to Pregnancy, Baby & Raising Kids.