'It was my last resort': Eelyn Kok's relationship with son suffered because she had to play bad cop

Eelyn Kok has played many roles over her acting career, but being the bad cop at home might just be the toughest one.

In a recent interview with Lianhe Zaobao, actress Eelyn revealed that being strict with her nine-year-old son, Zane, was painful for her but necessary because she wanted him to learn proper manners.

“It was my last resort. At the start it was very painful and I felt my son was more distant with me,” the 44-year-old said.

However, she stands firm that this was the right decision.

She added: “I know it was right for me to set the rules. My son knows that I am his mother but he also regards me as a friend, all while knowing what lines cannot be crossed.”

Part of the rules she set for her son are related to being polite and respectful of elderly.

Citing their visits to his grandfather’s home, Eelyn recalled how she tells her son to greet his grandfather the moment he steps through the door.

“Politeness is very important,” she told the Chinese publication. “It must be taught from an early age and it’s better if parents take the reins on it.”


Aside from being well-mannered in front of elderly, Eelyn also ensures her son cultivates good habits in their day-to-day lives.

According to Zaobao, upon returning home, Zane must inform Eelyn of his arrival and cannot simply slink into his room. 

Additionally, when he’s gaming, even if his eyes can’t leave the screen, he must still acknowledge his parents if they’re talking to him.

But perhaps because of her stringent requirements, her son seems to have quite a knack for debating.

Eelyn said of her son who’s in Primary 4 this year: “He’s really good at refuting what I say, just like my husband.

“There are times where he’ll suddenly ask me a question that’ll leave me stunned and also rebut the things I say. It makes me think to myself, ‘When I was in primary school, did I have such a sharp tongue?'”

Back to school

Zane isn’t the only one in the family who’s hard at work learning in school, however.


Eelyn shared that she is making use of her SkillsFuture credits by taking a course on business analytics at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. The course has been underway for two months now, Zaobao reported. 

Speaking on the difference between acting and studying, Eelyn said that it takes her two or three days to memorise one script after acting for so many years.

But she doesn’t retain what she memorises and constantly switches her focus to whatever role comes next.

“What you learn in class should always be stored in your mind,” Eelyn said. “The memory skills used are different.”

She also added: “My love for acting hasn’t diminished. But my many years of experience have made roles easy to learn, unlike when I was a rookie and acting was difficult.

“Maybe that’s why I’ve enrolled in this course – as a means of looking for a new challenge.”

ALSO READ: Yvonne Lim celebrates birthday without kids, gets surprise from Taiwan friends like Vivian Hsu, Alyssa Chia



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