Addressing Challenges of Contemporary Families
CFF – DFL conducted a Shared Parenting Lunchtime Talk at global investment house, Schroders, on 25 October 2017, as part of its Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Month.
Participants gathered to glean insights from Trainer/Co-founder of CFF, Mr Edwin Choy, to address challenges faced by contemporary families. These include competing priorities; the need to juggle schedules; and unclear roles between men and women, either as husband and wife or father and mother.
Strategies for Connecting with Your Spouse and Kids
A Shared Parenting approach can help spouses build stronger partnerships. It offers strategies for dads and mums to work together so that they do not feel alone in the parenting journey. The session provided Schroders employees with practical tips to strengthen parent-child bonds and how to juggle roles as spouses, parents, and employees more effectively.
One tip participants found useful was the importance of creating a buffer zone between work and home; because this can help fathers and mothers reframe relational expectations, release work-related tensions and frustrations, so as not to bring this into family life. The talk offered suggestions such as taking a slow walk from the train station, detouring through a park, going to the gym or having a cuppa, to reframe priorities before reaching home.
Parents who find themselves sandwiched between the busyness of work and running a household also learnt that daily rituals such as exercising or going for a walk together and 15-minute chats at breakfast; will grow intimacy and appreciation for one another, beyond their roles as parents.
Husbands were advised to love their wives because this builds a solid foundation for bringing up children.
Edwin also reminded the group to tell their children that they are special and irreplaceable. This is vital because each child needs to hear how much they are valued. It is unfortunate, that too many family conversations revolve around a children’s homework, after-school activities, and academic performance.
Participants at the Talk
“I found the tip on spending one-on-one time with each child to be useful. I will try it with my children,” said Mr Teo Nguan Seng, Head of Portfolio Compliance, Asia Pacific.
“As a working mother, I appreciate the tip on creating a buffer zone between the workplace and the home, especially making sure that you return from work with the right frame of mind,“ said Ms Rivka Mellor-Bessant, General Counsel, APAC.
“Edwin was a fantastic presenter -knowledgeable and clearly able to link practical parenting advice with heartfelt stories relevant to all parents,” said Mr Marcus Hackett, Regional Head of Technology (left).
“The similarities between parenting and leadership struck a chord with people in the room. It made us reflect on how we relate to people, helping us to be more appreciative and understanding of each other. This is our first time organising a parenting talk. As more people attend such talks, it will influence the company’s culture,” said Mr Jamie Townsend, HR Business Partner, Operations and Technology (right).
“Strong families are intentional. They do not happen by chance…Decide today that your career is only as good as your family. Family is like a base camp for mountain climbers. If you want to climb mountains, you must have a good base camp, a place where there are shelter and resources, a place where you can nurture and rest before attempting to reach another summit.”Edwin Choy in Fathering Decisions for the New Year (www.fathers.com.sg)
CFF-DFL’s Shared Parenting Talk is designed to help contemporary parents reflect on their roles and responsibilities in the context of competing priorities between work, spousal and other family commitments. Topics covered include:
- Strengthening the Spousal Relationship
- Building Precious Parent-child Bonds
- Sharing in the Joys and Trials of Child Care
- Creating Space for Yourself as a Parent