In a parent’s life, the demands of life, work, parenting, and marriage seem to peak concurrently and clash frequently. Considering today’s time-starved world, how can parents build essential skills that can help them manage such pressing demands? Where can they go for “enrichment classes” for parents?
This question, among others, gave birth to PARENTed — a holistic, digitally-enabled parent coaching initiative by Focus on the Family Singapore. It was officially launched at the charity’s annual Partnership Dinner by Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee on Wednesday, 18 April 2018.
PARENTed is designed to flourish in workplaces, preschools and other organisations that desire to help their people tackle the demands of parenting. A dedicated family coach will journey alongside parents in these naturally-occurring communities, and will leverage on digital and social media to empower participants with up-to-date knowledge and age-relevant resources, anytime and anywhere.
This move towards guided parent communities is driven by the belief that every child deserves to be parented well while every parent wishes to be the best they can be.
It is common knowledge that Singapore’s children and youth are stretched, stressed-out, and depressed. A 2017 Channel NewsAsia report stated that “children as young as 5 [were] seeking help for depression and family problems, among other issues.” While stresses can arise from multiple sources, family issues or lack of parental support are the most common reasons cited by youths who seek help.
CEO of Focus Singapore Joanna Koh-Hoe said, “Parenting today is particularly challenging with technology and culture accentuating generational differences and competing for our children’s attention as well as their hearts and minds.”
She continued, “PARENTed comes from the desire to equip every parent with the skills to parent their children well. As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. By relying on digital and face-to-face delivery methods, we are able to foster that ‘village’ and provide the support that parents need.”
Its pilot run commenced in March 2018 with Focus Singapore working with OCBC Bank to form their first parenting community. Madam Chan, a participant with a 17-year-old son, shared, “We struggle with communicating with our teenage son as he’s more withdrawn. Through PARENTed, I’ve discovered his love languages, enabling me to relate better and convey my love more intentionally to him. Sharing our challenges in a parenting community has also helped me to appreciate that I’m not alone in this journey.”
Partnership Dinner: Raising Family Champions
Focus on the Family Singapore’s Partnership Dinner is held in appreciation of corporate and community partners that have contributed to raise family champions and supported the organisation’s work in helping families thrive. It also serves as a platform to inspire others to band together and strengthen families throughout communities, workplaces, schools and homes.
In 2017, the organisation reached over 45,000 people; parents and children formed more than half of this community. Programmes like Family Care, Date with Dad and messaging campaigns like Celebrate Marriage are meant to strengthen relationships in families across all walks of life, in Singapore.
At the fundraiser, the non-profit organisation also presented Family Champion Awards to corporations, communities and individuals who have shone in their work of championing for families.
The four recipients recognised this year are Perennial Real Estate Holdings, Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary), Citi-YMCA Youth Project Team Solidarity, and Mr Tan Book Chok.
Focus on the Family Singapore hopes that this recognition will raise greater awareness of the need for family-friendly policies and culture in Singapore.
© 2018 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.