The Family Life Skills workshop is a series of psycho-educational workshops on various issues related to parenting. The workshops aim to help parents build better relationships with their children. The first run was conducted at WHFSC from 8 March to 7 May 2016. A total of five sessions were conducted focusing on communication, parenting styles and improving relationships with their children/youths. The workshops consisted of interactive games and activities, coupled with sharing of knowledge for the parents and children to improve their communication.

The series of workshops were conducted by facilitators who have experiences working with families. Throughout the workshops, the parents and youths participated actively and had fun while learning. They were able to pick up skills on improving communication with one another. The parents also became more aware of their parenting styles.

During the first session, there were concerns about how some youths viewed themselves and the disconnection with their parents and/or their social interactions with their friends. It was heart-warming to provide a platform for them to share their hopes of fostering a healthier relationship with the significant people in their lives. In the second session, it was observed that the parents were enthusiastic to learn more about the different parenting styles and the possible implications on their children.

The families were participative and enjoyed the activities during Sessions 3 and 4. They took away learning points on different types of communication and the important ingredients that make up effective communication - trust, respect, listening. The importance of 2-way communications (clarifying, feedback, explaining etc) was highlighted to the participants. During the artwork activity, the parents and youths worked together to create a scrapbook while bonding through the activity. The parents and youths were motivated to learn and improve their communication towards building better relationships with each other.

The subsequent run of workshops will be focused on relevant topics for the clients at Whispering Hearts FSC. These workshops are open to the existing clients from the family service centre and the community at large. Information about these workshops can be found in the Viriya Community Services website and newsletter, as well as from the centre itself. We look forward to meeting the participants in the forthcoming workshops! Watch out for the announcement!