It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes. At a time where couples both work and grandparents may not live under the same roof, community support matters even more for parents to raise happy, well-adjusted kids.

Mr Martin Chok, a member of the MSF’s Alliance for Action on Strengthening Marriages and Family Relationships (AfAM), shares how AfAM brings stakeholders, community partners and Singaporeans together to find ways to strengthen marriages and families.

Parenting tips at your fingertips

As a community-based outreach group, AfAM focuses on three ways to help parents build strong bonds with their children.

The first is to provide timely and accessible resources to parents throughout their parenting journey. The second is to impart parenting skills through evidenced-based parenting programmes. Lastly, parents of schoolgoing kids will be encouraged to look beyond their child’s academics and pay greater attention to their social and emotional development.

Martin highlights that there are plenty of resources available online for local parents. The Families for Life Parenting portal , for instance, offers practical advice for young couples new to parenting.

Another go-to site for parents here is Families for Life, a treasure trove of a website packed with parenting tips and stories, as well as activities and events suitable for 3-gen families.

Parenting positively

Mums and dads looking for parenting support offline also have plenty of community resources to lean on. They can sign up for the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) and Signposts programmes supported by MSF and run by trained counsellors and other parenting support providers at our local schools.

Based on the best available current research, these programmes equip parents with different degrees of support and techniques to meet a variety of parenting needs. In fact, 85% of parents who have gone through Triple P found the programme a boon when engaging their school-going children. Not only did they experience greater parenting satisfaction, but their children also benefitted, with lower emotional distress scores and a drop in problematic behaviour.

Parenting holistically

Another big benefit of such parenting programmes is their focus on developing a child’s psychological, social and emotional competence. Through such workshops, parents (and grandparents!) get an opportunity to update their parenting skills.

Such a holistic parenting approach is vital, given today’s complex growing-up environment. With greater awareness, parents can better guide their children in many areas – from how to resist social pressures, to developing their young ones’ talents in non-academic areas. It also equips parents with the soft skills needed to give their kids healthy emotional development.

AfAM’s key focus now is to get the word out to the community: There’s a wealth of resources out there for parents to tap on. These include support for vulnerable families like single parents, at-risk families such as those in marriages involving minors, as well as those which have experienced family violence.

No matter which profile or stage parents are in their parenting journey, Martin emphasises, there will be help and support readily available.

The content of this article was adapted from an interview on CAPITAL 958 with Mr Martin Chok, Member of the MSF’s Alliance for Action “Parenting Together” focal area and Assistant Director, Central-East Cluster, Care Corner.

Families for Life is proud to be in support of MSF's Alliance for Action on Strengthening Marriages and Family Relationships (AfAM).