Helping Parents Discuss Difficult Topics with Children, Health News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Now that the primary school leaving exam is over, the next big discussion parents need to have with their children is about academic outcomes and choices for the future.
A group of volunteers from the Youth Mental Well-being Network will organize workshops on communication skills to help parents in such discussions with their children.
There will be three sessions this month and two next month, with slots for 250 parents per session.
The program includes 1.5-hour online workshops with take-home exercises for families, where they will use Bramble, a free mobile app powered by artificial intelligence, to facilitate conversations.
The workshops draw on communication skills and expert theories, and use strategies such as role play to help parents talk to children about difficult topics, including academic expectations and dealing with disappointments.
Families will then use the Bramble app at home to practice these skills through guided conversations – the app provides helpful prompts and words to help parents find the right language to connect with their children.
A total of 654 parents participated in a previous round of six workshops, where the team of volunteers worked directly with parent support groups from 35 elementary schools to reach those in need.
Bramble general manager Chew Chia Shao Yuan, 25, said the motivation behind the workshops was to reach more parents, as those who need help may also be those least likely to ‘look for some.
The previous series of workshops dealt with exam stress issues, particularly in the run-up to this year’s PSLE, which ended last Wednesday.
Mr. Chew Chia, who is a leader of the volunteer group, said he hopes parents will come away with concrete skills to support and validate their children, and problem-solve together with them, by incorporating these skills into their life and their relationships.
The 14-person team is now asking the public for help as part of the Youth Mental Well-being Network’s call to action.
Mr Chew Chia said he aims to get more parents to join the movement and have more conversations with their children about stress, and more users to use the Bramble app and provide feedback on it.
The group is also looking for people to connect the group with the leadership of more primary schools.
Mr. Chew Chia added, “Our hope is to implement the program for all primary schools in Singapore from January to March next year.”