Nine in 10 parents 'happy about their ties with children'

Nine in 10 parents 'happy about their ties with children'
(From left) Mr Chua Weng Foo and his son Chua Jin Chou, better known as BigBro in the Dr Jiajia YouTube videos; Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Low Yen Ling; and keynote speaker and author Scott Steinberg at the parenting congress held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on 3 August 2014.

Almost nine in 10 parents here are satisfied with their relationship with their children, a poll by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has found.

The findings, released yesterday at the closing session of this year's Singapore Parenting Congress, were based on a sample of about 600 people who have at least one child aged seven to 18.

They were among more than 2,000 Singaporeans surveyed late last year on their views on family and marriage.

Eighty-six per cent of the 633 respondents said they were satisfied with their relationship with their children. Almost the same number (85 per cent) said they were satisfied with the state of their family life. The corresponding figures for children were not available.

This is the first time a survey has been done to look at such issues in Singapore.

Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Low Yen Ling said yesterday that she is heartened by the findings, as parenting has become more complex.

But she reminded parents not to use gadgets as a convenient form of babysitting.

"These days, it is common to see a family having dinner together, yet everyone is occupied with their electronic gadgets and hardly interacting with one another. This can be worrisome," said Ms Low, speaking at the congress held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Mrs Sarojini Padmanathan, a council member of Families for Life, a non-governmental organisation which promotes strong and resilient families, said the survey findings are a good yardstick of how parents perceive their relationship with their children, although it may not necessarily reflect their parenting skills.

"There is still a long, long way to go to close the gap in terms of family issues such as marriages breaking down and children going wayward," she said.

Housewife Doris Lee, who attended the event, said she would rate her relationship with her three daughters as a seven on a scale of 10. "I gave it a seven as they would share their ups and downs with me and keep me posted on their whereabouts without me asking them," said Ms Lee, 43.

Other parents like housewife Nivethitha Rajasekar, 33, felt she has a good relationship with her child as they spend quality time together - about four hours daily - and there are hardly any conflicts when they communicate.

The event, now into its 10th year, has seminars in English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil by local and international parenting experts. It aims to equip parents with better parenting skills.

Participants at the event were also told about an online tool that helps people understand their styles of managing disputes, and offer constructive advice.

About 3,000 parents attended the two-day event, which ended yesterday.

jantai@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on August 04, 2014.
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