OPENING ADDRESS FOR ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MUHAMMAD FAISHAL IBRAHIM, SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT AT THE FAMILIES FOR LIFE: RAISING RESILIENT CHILDREN SEMINAR, SATURDAY, 25 MAY 2019
Families for Life Council Chairman Mr Ching Wei Hong and Members
Mr Lai Chin Kwang, Chief (ActiveSG), Sport Singapore
Our Esteemed Panel of Experts, Colin and May Schooling
Parents, Ladies and Gentlemen
1 Good afternoon. I am heartened to see so many parents here today at the Families for Life’s “Raising Resilient Children Seminar”, a new and meaningful initiative organised by the Families for Life Council, in partnership with Sport Singapore.
2 Today’s seminar kicks off FFL’s Parents Learn And Play or P.L.A.Y. for short, an annual outreach programme to support parents of tweens and teens. P.L.A.Y. encourages parents to adopt an active and hands-on approach to raise resilient and confident children. Being an active parent requires a conscious effort amidst our busy work schedules and other family commitments, but it is a necessary role if we want to inculcate positive values in our children.
3 As a parent to two children myself, I understand the parenting journey can sometimes by challenging. That said, I believe many of you would agree that parenthood is an equally fulfilling and rewarding journey, especially when we see our children grow and blossom into happy, healthy and confident individuals.
4 Today, we have experienced parenting experts in the community as well as Colin and May Schooling joining us at this event. I have heard some of the stories the Schoolings shared when bringing up Joseph – for example, May would call Joseph every single day when he was at boarding school in the States. Even though they are separated by distance, this daily phone call assured Joseph that he had hands-on parents who will always be there to support him. When Colin and May saw how Joseph would confide in them without hesitation, they knew that their efforts had not come to naught. I am sure there is much more to learn from the sharing session at this seminar and will help you in your efforts to becoming an active parent and role model to your children.
5 As Singapore families get smaller and the proportion of dual-income families increase, the challenge of striking a balance between work schedules and family life may arise. But remember, we as parents need not be alone in the parenting journey – our extended family can play a vital role as our support system. Grandparents and relatives like uncles and aunts can support the parenting journey by helping to shape the values of our young and sharing of family traditions or heritage. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. The importance of building and maintaining close intergenerational ties cannot be emphasised enough.
6 FFL has lined up an exciting calendar of activities for families to enjoy during the June school holidays, which include family P.L.A.Y. camps on 1-2 June and 8-9 June, and the Families for Life Celebrations on 29 June. I highly encourage you to carve time from your busy schedules and take these opportunities to spend quality time and create special memories with your family, both immediate and extended!
7 With that, I wish you a fruitful day ahead at the parents seminar.
8 Thank you.