Ms Katherine Goldstein rightly pointed out that social support for parents is an often overlooked need in modern-day parenting (Forget presents. New parents need social support; Dec 22)
The average everyday parents are often stretched for time and energy as they balance the responsibilities of work, home, and other commitments. On top of that, the digital age brings along new stresses for our children and family relationships. In such a landscape, parents can continue to find better solutions and experience greater social support through parent communities.
As a parent, I find my best answers related to parenting not from the Internet, but through asking questions in the various parent communities I am in. I look to my neighbourhood stay-at-home mum’s group for cooking and schooling advice. The counsel of a faith community that shares my values guides me on how to raise children according to our beliefs. I also turn to fellow parents of teenagers for us to share and listen to one another’s struggles, and for mutual encouragement.
Beyond receiving timely and time-tested parenting help, organised parenting-resource groups can give parents much needed social and emotional support.
At Focus on the Family Singapore, we resource existing parent communities by providing expert help in the form of a family coach and research-informed parenting resources. At the ParentEd Dialogues, parents can learn from fellow parents who are going through similar struggles and receive support from Family Coaches who continue to journey with the parents, answering any parenting-related questions they might have, beyond the dialogues.
Secondly, we also ensure that more needs can be met by training parents to start their own communities in their workplace or other spheres of influence. Effective facilitation from parent mentors can provide parents a safe space and a positive learning environment that helps parents share and grow.
As a society, we need to ensure that discussions in our parent support groups and communities go beyond the daily check-ins on our children’s timetables and upcoming tests but also support one another simply because we are fellow parents.
We may not have all the solutions to parenting challenges or stresses that our children are experiencing today. But as a community, we can support one another towards raising a generation of healthy and resilient kids.
Focus on the Family Singapore
Learn practical handles to nurture your unique child with other intentional parents at the ParentEd Dialogues.
© 2020 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.