Families form the basic foundation of a society. And in Singapore, the construct of a family is that of a marriage between a man and a woman. However, this traditional view of family is continually being challenged. Join Sharda and her guests Yuen Chee Onn (DADs for Life), Alvina Chin (MUMs for Life) and CityJo Carson in this episode of SG Now, as they discussed the challenges to the family institution in Singapore.
Faced with ever-increasing pressures from other countries on what constitutes a family, Sharda questioned how these beliefs might affect families in Singapore. “What I read, and what I hear about what’s happening overseas, does worry me. I don’t want this to be happening in Singapore,” shared Carson. He was concerned about the trend of couples cohabiting, having children and only considering marriage years later.
On whether cohabiting posed a threat to the family institution in Singapore, Chee Onn believed that the avoidance of marriage was a reflection of a fear of commitment by couples, and what marital commitments entailed. However, if couples were raised by parents who could assure them that they would be supported through their marriage, that would alleviate part of the fear of marital commitments.
“It’s still a trend that’s going to grow because it is this concept of – it’s my life, it’s my right,” shared Chee Onn. Alvina echoed Chee Onn’s sentiments and added that cohabiting presented other legal issues in Singapore.
“Freedom of speech also implies freedom of action – you do whatever you want, whenever you want. I don’t agree to that,” added Carson. He felt that there should be a sequence to life; namely, marriage and commitment to build a family.
Alvina, who has three teenagers, shared that another challenge she faced was catching up with what her children were up to – their lingo, interests, etc. She believed that there must be deliberate efforts from parents to maintain connection and understand their children.
“As parents, we should be growing with our children and not the other way around,” advised Chee Onn. He encouraged parents to try to keep up with their children by constantly upgrading and equipping themselves with new knowledge to handle their children as they grow.
Want to know what other parenting advice Chee Onn dished out to Carson? Watch the episode to find out.
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