My first 3 years of being a mother put me on a steep learning curve. I often wondered if I was doing things right for my child. But if there’s one thing I learnt from all of it, it’s the power of learning from other parents. Knowing that there are others walking the journey with me, made me feel reassured. If you haven’t experienced the power of collective learning and problem-solving amongst parents and caregivers, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. For a start, you could explore the Temasek Foundation WiseJourneys Programme by Families for Life. These are facilitated online sessions for parents and caregivers of children from birth to 36 months old. They create a safe space for you to connect with other parents, share, learn, and grow together. You’ll also get to discover some handy research-based parenting tips for raising happy and healthy children. Read on to find out all about it!
The Power of Shared Parental Experiences
C.S. Lewis once said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…’” That’s exactly what shared parental experiences feel like. Parents just like us have shared that they stopped feeling alone in their parenting journey once they started connecting with other parents¹.
This is especially important for first-time parents and caregivers of children from birth to 36 months old as this is usually the age where children are not able to articulate their needs very well. When my child was at this stage, I often found it challenging to understand him. This left me feeling rather helpless and alone.
Thankfully, after reading up on the benefits of shared parental experiences, I took the effort to build a social network of parents similar to me. Feeling understood and having people to turn to for advice has definitely helped me to become a happier and more confident parent. And being a happy parent is key to raising happy and healthy children!
However, it may not be so easy for everyone to go out there and look for parents to network with, and that’s exactly why Families for Life started the WiseJourneys programme in partnership with Temasek Foundation. WiseJourneys was created as a learning stream designed from research findings and tips by Temasek Foundation which aims to equip parents in a constructive and research-based manner!
The WiseJourneys Programme – Facilitated Online Sessions for Shared Parental Experiences
There are 3 different WiseJourneys programmes available for parents and caregivers of children from birth to 36 months of age. The best part – registration is completely free! Each WiseJourneys programme consists of 4 facilitated online sessions for you to learn parenting tips to help you through your parenting journey.
The sessions will be guided by a WiseJourneys facilitator who will lead parents like us through enriching and informative discussions and conversations. They will also share how you can apply some of their research-based parenting tips in your daily lives.
Don’t worry, the sessions aren’t going to be passive and lecture-styled. It’s going to be really interactive, personalised and a whole lot of fun! During the sessions, you will hear and learn from other parents. In doing so, you will reflect and grow as a parent yourself. At the end of the sessions, you walk away with a host of shared parental experiences, parenting tips for raising happy and healthy children and will be part of a supportive community of parents to share, learn and grow (or even organise weekend playdates together!). Sounds good?
Here’s what to expect from each of the WiseJourneys Modules:
WiseSelf: Mindful Parenting
This programme is for parents and caregivers of children from birth to 36 months old. It will introduce you to the concept and practice of Mindful Parenting, and provide you with simple and practical parenting tips to apply in your day-to-day life. There will be talk on self-awareness, emotional regulation, stress management and responsive caregiving. Some of these may be difficult or uncomfortable topics that you don’t typically discuss at playdates, so here’s the perfect opportunity for you to do so!
WiseSpeak: More Than Words (I)
Tired of trying to decipher your baby’s crying? When is it hunger, when is it a full nappy, when is it just crying for the sake of it? This programme will give you useful insights into the world of infant communication, long before words are in the picture. It targets parents and caregivers with children from birth to 9 months old. You will learn that there’s actually a lot going on in your baby’s mind. Learn to read your child, discover ways to engage them meaningfully and nurture language development and strong relationships in this early stage.
WiseSpeak: More Than Words (II)
Targeting parents and caregivers with children aged 24 to 36 months old, this programme will help broaden your understanding of language development and communication in toddlers. This programme will shed light on the implications of language learning for your child’s development beyond the usual focus on academic skills.
Parents, if you’re starting out on your parenting journey, don’t try to do it on your own for it’s a long road ahead. Join other new parents to experience the power of shared parental experiences and to learn alternative parenting tips and tricks! It helped me so much in my parenting journey and I’m sure it will help you too! Visit the WiseJourneys page to find out more about the facilitated online sessions. Remember, the right support system will double your joy and divide your parenting struggles, leaving you confident and reassured!
This article is brought to you by Families for Life and supported by Temasek Foundation. Visit familiesforlife.sg for ideas, tips, and useful resources to provide a supportive environment for children to develop into happy, healthy and resilient individuals.