Part Five of the series on the Methodist Welfare Services highlights programmes and services on parenting. We continue to witness the life journey of a couple, Jin Han and Susanna, as the former reminisces in a love letter to his beloved wife.
MY DEAREST WIFE Susanna, By the time Charis was nine years old, I thought we had gone through everything a couple could ever expect to experience. By the grace of God, we were able to weather the storm in our marital relationship early in our marriage because of the strength of our love for each other; and learnt the valuable lesson of saving for a rainy day after my retrenchment from work. On top of that, we managed to help Mother through her hip operation and recuperation in a nursing home and survived a period of frantic search for a student care centre to look after Charis after school hours.
Through all this we realised the importance of our network of friends in church who, time and again, served as our guardian angels, guiding and leading us to the right people and places during our times of need.
As I was reflecting on this one day after we found a student care centre, I wondered if Charis would ever have a sibling. We waited for fi ve years to have her after all and can wait another few years for a second child. And what should greet us on our 14th wedding anniversary? The news that we were going to be parents again! We were ecstatic and expected Charis to greet the news with excitement as well. But sadly, our little girl was not thrilled at all.
As days passed and your stomach became more obvious, we saw how badly affected Charis was. Our usually cheerful girl became sullen and moody and hardly spoke to us. She would lock herself in her room the moment she entered the house and refused to join us for our usual weekend walks in the park nearby. Even her school teachers expressed concern at the change in her behaviour and falling marks. When our last-ditch effort to speak to her heart to heart failed, we turned to her godmother for help.
Once again, our dear and wise friend, Margaret, did not disappoint us. She pointed us to Covenant Family Service Centre which operates a parenting hotline. We were relieved finally to understand Charis’ insecurities and we also received tips on how to help her accept the arrival of her new sister. We also felt we needed to learn more than basic parenting skills.
So we were grateful to read in our church bulletin that the Methodist Children and Youth Centre was offering a Positive Parenting Programme. Needless to say, we found the sessions enlightening and practical and we felt more confident to raise our children. To top it all, Charis softened up and became excited at having a baby sister.
Mel Lee is the Senior Executive (Communications) of the Methodist Welfare Services.
MWS Family Service Centres
These centres offer professional advice and support to families in distress. Core programmes include casework
and counselling, information and referral, preventive and developmental programmes.
* Covenant FSC Tel: 6272-8558 Fax: 6283-6361
* Daybreak FSC Tel: 6756-4995 Fax: 6752-4709
* Kampong Kapor FSC Tel: 6299-7662 Fax: 6294-2116
* Sembawang FSC Tel: 6754-7050 Fax: 6754-0112
* Tampines FSC Tel 6787-2001 Fax: 6787-4459
Editor’s Note: The final part in the story of Jin Han and Susanna will be published in the August issue of Methodist Message. Although theirs is a fictional story, it reflects many of the situations encountered by our centres. Any similarities to actual persons, places or situations are purely coincidental.