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The parenting struggles of ‘oppas’ in their 50s

Posted April. 15, 2024 08:08,   

Updated April. 15, 2024 08:08


"When you reach the age of 50, life can become a bit mundane, but then, 'voila,' a child emerges out of nowhere and reignites my boring life. 'My Dad is Blooming in Midlife' isn't just a growth journal for kids; it's a growth journal for those of us who became fathers later in life."

Singer Shin Sung-woo (57), who will appear with his seven-year-old and two-year-old sons in the Channel A entertainment show 'My Dad is Blooming in Midlife(unofficial),' scheduled to premiere on Thursday, shared his thoughts on his appearance. Actor Ahn Jae-wook (53) and singer Kim Won-joon (51) will also appear on the show with their children. The average age of these ‘older dads’ is 53.7 years old. They candidly reveal the joys and challenges of raising their children, who are average at 4.8 years old. The three met at the Dong-A Digital Media Center in Mapo-gu, Seoul, on Saturday and joyfully engaged in conversation.

The 'oppas,' or older brothers in Korean, who captivated the entertainment industry in the 1990s, now reveal their daily lives as 'half-century-old dads.' Shin Sung-woo, once a beautiful and handsome rocker nicknamed 'Terius,' now sings cute nursery rhymes to his first child, Taeo. Ahn Jae-wook is so exhausted from feeding his two children three meals a day that he almost collapses at the table. Kim Won-joon is similarly exhausted from raising two daughters.

They're dads before they're stars. "I may be on the fancy stage, but my struggles as a father are no different from anyone else's," said Ahn.

“The show doesn't highlight my 'effortless' style; it reveals a lack of effort in my style. When I was giving my child a bath with my frizzy hair, and suddenly my second child, Yejin, gave me a surprise kiss... she doesn't usually do that," said Kim. “My embarrassed and happy face was captured on camera.”

Many fans want to preserve the illusion of celebrity indefinitely. However, they decided to appear on the show to create the most beautiful memories with their children. “I thought it would be a record that I could look back on with my children in 10 or 20 years,” says Kim. “Especially since my friends, who I've been close to since I was single, were on the show, I was drawn to it like a magnet.”

“I liked that it was a memorandum of the evolving relationship between parents and children, unlike other parenting shows that focus solely on the cuteness of children,” says Shin.

Despite their similar ages, their parenting styles couldn't be more different. Ahn has an eight-year-old daughter and a son five years younger, while Kim has two daughters, aged seven and three. “I thought Sung-woo was a free spirit, but I was surprised to find out that he emphasizes manners and etiquette for his children,” Kim Won-joon said. “Jae-wook is a cynical but sweet dad.”

They gather to have deep conversations after putting their kids to bed. Hosts Kim Yong-gun and Kim Gu-ra offer advice as 'senior dads.' “Kim Gu-ra also became a father three years ago, so we have a lot of empathy for each other," Ahn remarked. “Mr. Kim Yong-gun is like a father and life teacher to all of us," Shin said. "His detailed advice will resonate beyond TV.” 'My Dad is Blooming in Midlife' airs at 9:30 p.m. every Thursday.

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