People who attended an introductory talk on the parenting of teenagers say they are looking forward to the programme.
The Alpha Parenting (Teenagers) Course offers a good refresher programme for parents, said Mr Philip Yeap, adding that he looks forward to the sharing of insights with other parents.
Mr Yeap was one of 30 people who attended the introductory session held at the Church of St Ignatius on April 13.
Other participants echoed his views. Madam Cecilia Kwok, mother of a teenage child and two children in their 20s, said she hopes to improve her parenting skills. It is not too late for her to attend such a course as a mother’s role is forever, she added. The Church of St Ignatius is believed to be the first to start the course within the diocese.
According to course coordinator Sandra Hung, the parish wanted to “cater to the needs of the parents” and to help them see if what they are doing is right.
The programme lasts five Friday nights with the first session scheduled for April 20.
The Alpha Parenting course has two different tracks – one for parents with young children from up to 10 years old, and the other for parents of children from 11 to 18 years old.
The course was released late last year by Alpha International, which promotes the Alpha Course aimed at helping people learn about the Christian faith, said Mr Derrick Chee.
Mr Chee, chairperson of the archdiocese’s Catholic Alpha Advisory and Coordinating Team (AACT), said the parenting course aims “to promote good parenting skills among Christians or non-Christians in a modern society”.
“The long term aim is for parents to teach children or teenagers to be responsible, to make good choices and have a healthy independence in their lives.”
The course helps parents learn more about their children’s physical and emotional needs, how to set boundaries, and how to build healthy relationships, said Mr Chee.
The course is also suitable for non-Christians, he told CatholicNews. It is not limited to parents, as grandparents and youth ministry leaders who wish to understand family dynamics can also attend it.
During the programme, participants view videos on specific topics. The videos include street interviews, interviews with professionals as well as with parents and children. Group discussions then follow.
Mr Chee said the Church of St Ignatius would start the Alpha parenting course for children in July or August.
Mrs Sharon Seth, a Methodist, who was at the introductory talk at the invitation of a Catholic friend, said she intends to sign up for the programme after liking what she had heard.
Meanwhile, the Family Life Society (FLS) is exploring working with AACT.
The Catholic Prayer Society is organising the parenting course for children on Mondays, May 14-July 23, 12.30-1.30pm, at 206/208B Telok Ayer Street. To register, email email@example.com.
More information on the parenting course can be found at http://www.relationshipcentral.org.sg
By Darren Boon