Writer Of The Week

Madam Shirley Woon hopes Singapore will become more family-oriented, where parents are the main caregivers of their children, and children can play and discover their passion.
Madam Shirley Woon hopes Singapore will become more family-oriented, where parents are the main caregivers of their children, and children can play and discover their passion.PHOTO: COURTESY OF SHIRLEY WOON LI LIN

Who: Shirley Woon Li Lin, 49, housewife and in the final year of studies for a Master in Social Science (Professional Counselling).

My family: Married to a general manager. We have one son, 15, and one daughter, 11.

My home: A 900-sq-ft home in Dover.

My passions: Reading, listening to xinyao ( local Chinese songs) and supporting local artistes - many local talents are not given enough recognition - trying new food recipes, and writing.

I first started writing to the Forum page in...: 2000.

What I write about: Mostly on education and family.

Why I write: I believe in speaking and writing out my thoughts so I can help make things happen. Mother Teresa once said: "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to make many ripples." Writing, to me, is like casting a stone across the waters.

I read the Forum page because...: We come from different backgrounds, and each holds different perspectives of various issues. It is good to know what others think.

My wish for Singapore: To be more family-oriented.

We have become more mindful of material needs, so much so that parents are working too hard for them. We should encourage parents to be their children's main caregivers and not be dependent on helpers and childcare centres. Every child needs time with his or her parents.

Let our children have their childhood, to play, to explore and to search for their passion and discover their talent. Ten-year-olds are too young to be classified as gifted and non-gifted; 12-year-olds are too young to be streamed as Express and Normal students.

Give more recognition to people who work tirelessly to build the heartware of our society. Social workers and counsellors need to be recognised.

Have more empathy, be less self-absorbed and move out of the "I, me and myself" mentality.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2015, with the headline 'Writer Of The Week'. Print Edition | Subscribe