Occupation: Family dentist
Children: Knox, 8, and Luca, 4
Hobbies: Golfing and traveling
As a husband, father, and business owner, Dr. Paul Nguyen understands the importance of balancing work and family time. He dedicates time to his boys so they can do everything they enjoy together, including riding bikes and scooters, swimming, and golfing on their new golf simulator. Dr. Paul is a devoted, compassionate, and hands-on father, providing guidance and support to his sons throughout all of life’s experiences.
WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
DR. PAUL: I’m usually the first one to wake up, so I wake up and get ready for work. Then the kids wake up. My wife stays home and takes care of them, so they start getting ready for school, and I help her get them ready for school. I leave for work around 7 a.m. I get to work a little bit earlier to get everything situated, and we start seeing patients at 8 a.m. I leave at 5 p.m. to get home. By then, the kids have been home for a couple hours, so they’re usually ready to play outside. They like to ride bikes and scooters, and we have a swimming pool, so we swim a lot. At 6:30 p.m., we’ll start getting ready for dinner, and it’s winding down after that, getting them bathed and ready for bed and watching TV or playing Mario Kart together. That’s usually the day until we get them down for bed. Afterwards, I like to work out and practice golf. I have a home gym, so I’ll work out at night because I’m not a morning person. I bought a golf simulator because it was so hot outside, and having a golf simulator at home allows me to play a little bit of golf and get some practice.
HOW’S GOLFING GOING?
DR. PAUL: It’s challenging. You wouldn’t think hitting a ball with a stick is that hard, but it is quite challenging. I love it, and I find that it’s a social sport. I’m almost 43, but I have friends of all ages, and that’s one thing that we can do together. It’s something that I’m trying to get my kids into as well. My youngest one, Luca, he’s always been the sports kid, so he naturally picks it up. If I’m trying to use the simulator while they’re still awake, he’s usually in there hitting golf balls with me. Knox is more of the science one, but we put him in golf camp this summer, and he really enjoyed it, so he’s starting to pick it up.
WHAT ARE THE JOYS AND CHALLENGES OF PARENTING?
DR. PAUL: The joys are just seeing them happy, seeing them grow, and seeing them develop their own personalities. They’re very, very different. Knox is into science, and he’s the more studious one. Luca likes sports and is a natural athlete. It’s fun to see them develop their own personalities and what they like. The challenge is having the patience. You hope to teach them all the good stuff, making sure they learn their manners and respectfulness, but at the same time, it’s humbling. You realize that they’re still kids and they still want to have fun. They don’t have all the understanding that you have, so it’s definitely bringing the patience every day and understanding them.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PARENTING STYLE?
DR. PAUL: I’m very involved. I make sure we spend a lot of time with them. After work, it’s family time, so I make sure I’m present and there for them. I’m loving; I want to make sure that they always feel loved. I try to do as much for them as I can.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO AS A FAMILY?
DR. PAUL: We have a beach house in Perdido Key. One of the things that attracted us when we bought it was the distance. It’s a quick trip on the weekend, so we pick them up from school on Friday and head out, and my kids love it. Disney is also a big thing for us. We like to take trips with my family when we can. My family always goes for Christmas, so we divided every other Christmas with my wife’s family and every other Christmas at Disney with my family.
HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN ALIKE?
DR. PAUL: Knox likes science and that was obviously something I was really big into becoming a dentist. Luca is more into sports, which I’ve always liked, too. They’re really big with family, so they love being at home and spending time with us. I find with having two boys that they like the same things I did growing up.
WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOTS?
DR. PAUL: We went to Utah last year. Another thing about being a dentist is I have to keep up with my continuing education, and I try to keep it a family affair when I want to take a trip somewhere. Last year, I did a course in Utah, and I took the whole family. It was really cool. Knox really likes dinosaurs and they have a cool museum out there with a lot of dinosaur things, so they enjoyed going out there. We’re going again this month, and this time, I’m taking my mother in law and her husband. They’ll get to spend time with my wife and kids while I’m in class. My wife and I like Dallas. If we’re able to take a quick weekend trip without the kids, usually we’ll try to go to Dallas for the weekend. We just like the big city, which is a little bit different than here. They always have something to do.
WHAT IS A KEY TO SUCCESSFUL PARENTING?
DR. PAUL: Making sure you are there. It is easy to be distracted, especially with work. I’m a business owner, and it never stops, right? So it’s just making sure you find that balance where you can kind of turn work off and make sure you spend quality time with the family and the kids. It goes by so fast, and making sure you’re there for them is really important, especially if there’s something bothering them or they have questions about something. Also teaching manners and respectfulness is a huge thing that I find gets lost really easily with some others.
ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER PARENTS?
DR. PAUL: Spend time with them and be supportive. It’s easy for us to dictate a lot of times and not listen to them, but they have a lot of insight, so it’s very useful to be able to listen to them and see the world from their eyes. ■
My favorite TV show is…Homicide Hunter.
My favorite dessert is…chocolate chip cookies.
My favorite food is…steak and Vietnamese and Lebanese food.
My favorite holiday is…Christmas, but Halloween is getting up there.
My guilty pleasure is…golf.