A question as simple as “Tell me about your first childhood toy” could bring you closer to your partner. This, along with many other useful tips and insights, were shared during I Love Children Time for Love Again event on 19 October 2019.
Held at Furama RiverFront Hotel, the event was attended by about 100 couples, where most of them were keen to find out how they can keep the spark alive in their marriage with kids on board.
During the ‘Secrets to a Thriving Marriage’ talk, Gary Koh and Joanna Koh from Focus on the Family Singapore went in-depth to talk about how couples can meet their spouse’s emotional and sexual needs, communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and parent as a team.
The accomplished husband-and-wife duo also shared about the three Ts that kept their marriage thriving: Talk, Touch, and Tease. In addition, they shared three tips to improve the dynamics between husband and wife. Joanna talked about how the baby is the “product of your love”, and Gary added that everything in a marriage is “love-making” and shared tips on non-sexual ways to keep the marriage flame burning outside the bedroom. Finally, the couple also emphasised the importance of reviewing and renewing the relationship with each other.
They were later joined by President of I Love Children, Joni Ong, and Chief Executive and Education Ambassador of Maple Bear Singapore, Patricia Koh for a panel session. There were many questions from the audience that revolved around conflicting parenting styles. Joni shared that she found it useful to split roles in the family according to their strengths – mutual trust and respect is key to conflict prevention. She said: “In my family, I decided that my husband takes care of the finances. Meanwhile, he decided that my strength is in educating the children and my husband respects me for that."
Patricia also chimed in, sharing that her spouse and herself learnt to be united when it comes to parenting. Unity is crucial in teaching their child to obey and respect them equally, especially if one spouse is more lenient with the child than the other.
For parents who may feel overwhelmed during the initial stage of parenting, Joanna assured the audience that parents will have more time for their career and personal interests as their child matures and become more independent. Adding that striking a balance between caring for one’s spouse and child is akin to “an art more than a science”, she said: “We have found that when couples prioritise the marriage relationship, the whole family thrives – including the children. Consider each other’s strengths, and think about how you can use these to meet your child’s needs.”
Whether it is a couple photoshoot or one with their children, it was apparent that love is in the air when young couples and families huddled tightly together at the photobooth station. At the end of the session, the couples left the event ballroom with expert guidance to navigate through parenthood and marriage – all while keeping the spark alive.