Challenges of Christian Parenting: Parenting Conversations at Wesley Methodist Church

Are you having difficulties communicating with your teenage children? Is your child going through a difficult season in life? What are some of the challenges Christian parents face today?

Being a parent is one of the greatest gifts God gives to us and one of life’s best privileges. But at times, as the kids grow up and parents start to grapple with communicating with their children, it can also seem like a frightening responsibility for many parents.  

On the other hand, our Generation Z and Generation Alpha children today live in the noisiest time in the history of humanity. Everywhere we turn, from phone notifications to social media, we are constantly distracted by noise—by AI (artificial intelligence), through apps, videos, live streaming, blogs, images or messages.  

This is why parents today face greater challenges than ever in raising their children as the world continues to evolve technologically, amid increasing mental health concerns across all ages and endless stress about academic and job achievements. Digital natives like our children have to start navigating through a host of ‘noise’ from a very young age. It is increasingly harder for them to separate truth from fake news, fact from fiction and right from wrong. 

In response to these complex challenges, the Family Life Ministry at Wesley Methodist Church organised an inaugural Parenting Conversations panel on 26 November to help parents have some practical handles and insights into raising their children in this noisy, chaotic age.  

Insights into parenting by panellists 

A total of 150 parents turned up for this heart-to-heart panel, where parents hear from five notable panellists and ask questions relating to parenting. The panellists were Mrs Lee Hui Feng, Mrs Aw Meng Yin, Ms Wendy Chua, Ms Vivienne Ng and Rev Michael Tan, and each came with a wealth of experience in their capacity as an educator, school counsellor, psychologist, ministry worker and most of all, as a parent. Moderated by Rev Raymond Fong, they gave their perspectives on some of the questions the parents had sent to Family Life Ministry in advance.  

Some topics the panellists addressed included:

-How do you think we can navigate the stresses of Singapore’s education system without compromising each child’s and parent’s unique temperament?

-How do you bring teens back to the faith?

-Kids nowadays talk about panic attacks nearing and during exams. What can they do?

-What do you see as the biggest not commonly discussed challenge for parents today?

and LGBTQ questions.  

The panellists, who have seen their children and many of their students or patients thrive eventually no matter how they did academically, shared some takeaways: “A child’s PSLE score does not define the person. How he performs eventually depends on how hard he works going forward,” said educator Aw Meng Yin. “More importantly, as parents, we just have to love our children for who they are, affirm them and build their self-esteem, and the rest will fall in place.”  

Another educator, Lee Hui Feng, shared from her anecdote that children need their own time and space to grow: “As parents, we must adjust our way of talking to them according to their personalities and their life stages,” said Hui Feng. “I appreciate the opportunity to share my parenting and educator experiences with the parents at Wesley. I am very heartened to see so many of our parents coming together with open hearts to learn how to reach out to [the] young.” 

A clinical psychologist of 32 years, Vivienne Ng, said many parents have complex journeys raising children. Parents do not have to feel they are struggling alone in this arduous and trying stage of life: “We share similar issues in parenting, and these issues, although might be very hurtful to bring up, are important to discuss.” 

(L-R) Mrs Aw Meng Yin, Mrs Lee Hui Feng, Ms Wendy Chua and Ms Vivienne Ng

Wendy Chua, an education psychologist, gave practical handles to parents with difficulty communicating with their children. She shared that it was important for parents to focus on the children, make time for them and join them in activities they enjoy: “When my kid did skydiving, I went for it too. When they exercised, I did it too. These became shared activities and will eventually be shared memories.” 

Ms Wendy Chua on the topic of engaging children through shared activities

A youth’s perspective 

Parents at the event did not only receive helpful insights and perspectives from the professionals. Before the event’s closing, the parents also heard from Natania Leow, a 19-year-old SMU (Singapore Management University) undergraduate and ministry youth leader from Wesley. She wanted parents to know that sometimes the children reacted so negatively to their parents’ words because: “We take everything you (parent) said to heart because we love you.” (Read a teenager’s message to parents by Natania Leow

Natania Leow sharing from a youth’s perspective

While the first Parenting Conversations discussion panel is over, parenting is an ongoing journey that will never end, and parents have to keep on working on their parenting conversations with their children with, hopefully, lots of Godly wisdom. It may be hard to predict what changes the next ten years will bring to our children’s lives or the local education system, but our children’s values and identity rooted in the gospel and Christ will never change. May we continue to keep our faith as parents and children, and “trust that God will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents as God has promised in Malachi 4:6a,” said Rev Michael Tan, a father of four grown-up sons. 

May we also continue to see parenting as part of our own discipleship. 

As Caryn Lim, a working mother of three children, aged 13, 18 and 21, who attended the discussion panel shared: “I am reminded to be encouraging despite the children’s slip-ups and not to adopt a ‘I told you so’ attitude.”  

Read also: ‘Regardless of the way we act, we love you’: A Christian Teenager’s Guide for Parents

Did you miss our inaugural Parenting Conversations discussion panel? If you would like to participate in any future talks or workshops conducted by Wesley’s Family Life Ministry, please look out for announcements on our Wesley publicity channels or our Wesley Family Life Ministry webpage. 

Do you feel like a failure as a parent because your child is struggling? Every parent knows the pain, fears, struggles, frustrations and unrealistic expectations of raising children. Are you a teenager or youth stressed by family, relationships or academic issues? Everyone goes through valley moments in life. You are not alone, and you do not have to struggle alone. God accepts us the way we are and desires to walk with us on the journey to healing, reconciliation and wholeness. Here at Wesley, we are committed to walking with our parents, children, youth, young adults and everyone needing a friend or guide to help strengthen families and our inter-generational Church. If you are struggling and would like to talk to us, please get in touch with Wesley Counselling.

About the Contributor

Share This!

Related Posts

Alpha Workplace

In the bustling 111 Somerset office, 11 participants, facilitators, and hosts overflowed into the corridor for weekly sessions. The group’s size and their hunger for truth signified a plentiful harvest field. Over 12 sessions, God’s work was evident, with a participant finding salvation early in the Alpha course.

Read More »

How to work wholeheartedly for the Lord (re-integrating faith with our work)

Kara Martin, author and lecturer, emphasises integrating faith and work. Her teachings affirm that work isn’t just for earning and self-actualisation, but also a means to serve God. She interprets Colossians 3:17 and Romans 12:1-2 as guiding principles for living a life of worship. She encourages viewing work from an eternal perspective, serving Jesus, and practising fairness.

Read More »

At the Forefront of Faith and Technology

On its 1st anniversary, Digital Wesley collaborated with a digital visionary to host CW3’s first Global Conference: All Generations on 2nd March 2024. CW3, a nonprofit, aims to unite Christians in the virtual world.

Read More »
Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get fresh news from Wesley Methodist Church as they come.

Stay Connected
Scroll to Top