Forum: Support parents in building a safe and nurturing space for kids

I agree with Mr Jonathan Lim Boon Seng's view that while parents can do their best in raising their children, we need a whole-of-Singapore approach in providing them with an environment that promotes healthy values and strong character as they grow up (Ensure content of Pink Dot live stream is suitable for children, June 26).

There are areas where we can rely only on the authorities to support our efforts.

I am a father of a young child, with another child on the way. Like many fathers of young children, I do my best to be involved in my child's life.

As we watch videos together, I am often surprised to see the kind of content that is available to our very young. Even popular cartoons can contain inappropriate content like bullying or violence.

Despite her young age, my daughter and I discuss what we watch as part of our bonding time. This is how I teach her "to eat fish". For now, I remove the fish bones before offering the fish to her, but at some point in her life, I should not do that any more.

Until such time when she is developmentally ready to identify what is unhealthy or inappropriate, it is my duty as a father to protect her and ensure that she learns how to do so in a safe environment.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said: "We urge all parties to be respectful and civil to each other, and avoid stridently pushing their priorities and boundaries, especially now when we need, more than ever, to maintain unity and harmony in society." (Pink Dot organisers' light-up call does not flout the law: MSF, June 25.)

I believe space should be given for demonstrations, but that they should remain where the law has allowed them (Hong Lim Park, for example) and not spill into neighbourhoods through displays visible to the public (even something as seemingly innocent as pink lights).

I hope the ministry can clarify what the boundaries are, and what the consequences are when they are crossed.

I appeal to MSF to actively support the work of parents in building a safe and nurturing space for our children through reviewing and strengthening its laws and policies with other ministries.

Clement Ee Kwong Rong

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.