It was full house as soon as it was publicised.

The focus group discussion on “Parenting The New Generation” held on 24 July 2004 at Hilton Singapore brought together 15 participants from the Sikh and non-Sikh communities to discuss ways of better understanding today’s teenagers and the challenges they face in society.

Led by Ms Gerardine Yap, Director, Yishun Family Service Centre, Singapore Children’s Society, the discussion saw the participants sharing their views and opinions on a diverse range of issues facing today’s teenagers, including academic and peer pressures, boy-girl relationship, internet age, health issues, suicide and parents’ expectations.

The consensus at the session was that it is important for parents and their teenaged children to understand each other. And to do this, it is vital for the communication channels to remain open at all times. At the same time, it is important for the parent to understand and respond to the needs and anxieties of a child growing into a youth. It is also important to develop a liberal attitude of parenting. For youths, it is crucial that they have at least one stable relationship. This could be a parent, a mentor, a friend or a relative. This will help them go through the child-youth transition period they are facing in life.

The session certainly provided very useful tips on managing and relating to the new generation. The initiatives discussed would inevitably lead to a mutually trusting relationship between parents and their children.

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