BY MICHELLE MENG
Michelle shares her experience of being in the organising committee of a parenting talk conducted over Zoom in August last year. When I was asked to be part of the organising committee in the Parenting Teens Talk 2020, I was hesitant because firstly, I didn’t know if I had the adequate experience, as a mother of one kid, to engage other parents and secondly, I was unsure on how I could manage the commitment amidst my busy work schedule. Moreover, the mode of the talk was subsequently changed to a webinar format due to Covid-19, I was even more hesitant because of the many uncertainties.
But I prayed and trusted God to lead me through this new wave of responsibility. And I enlisted the ever supportive and reliable husband to join in the organising committee; just to make the work lighter.
While there were plenty of parenting webinars being offered, this series had a Christian emphasis to it; which I thought would pique the curiosity of many parents. The committee members were also challenged to use the series as an outreach to non-Christian friends. Personally, I felt encouraged and invited a neighbour and ex-colleague to attend.
The 3-part series consisted of a 45-minutes live talk, a short Question & Answer segment followed by small group discussion in the break-out rooms. During the first two sessions, Reverend Jonathan Wong and his wife, Karen shared valuable insights on bringing up teenagers; touching on topics like parenting goals, improving communication, building trust and relying on God’s strength. The final session was helmed by Ms Chew Yin Xi from Focus on the Family. Her lively and engaging presentation on “Plugged-in Parenting” was an eye opener to many parents. We learnt new digital lingo such as shook and woke and picked up practical tips on leveraging technology and media to communicate with the teenagers.
The small group discussions provided a safe environment for the participants to share their parenting woes. I enjoyed my role as a group facilitator because the participants were very forthcoming in their sharing. I even had to remind myself to end the discussions on time!
My main takeaway from this series was the goal of establishing a good and life-long relationship with our children without which it would be difficult to engage and connect with them when they were older. Even though my son was still a couple of years away from the “official” teenage phase, I found the motivation to review my parenting journey and focus on what would help to build a good relationship with him now. Lastly, our role as Christian parents and raising a second generation of believers, was to point them to God and allow God to lead them through this journey called life.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
This June, COR would be partnering Focus on the Family (Singapore) again for another webinar series called “Raising Future-Ready Kids” where we would discuss on mental health and suicide prevention in children. Join us on 19 and 26 June and learn tips on how we could be the first and last line of defence for our children’s mental well-being.
Michelle Meng is a member of COR’s Saturday Praise Service (SPS).