Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Was it Kiasu-ism

Is it natural for parents in general to feel the heat when it comes to our kids' education? I am a delinquent parent but I am beginning to feel it now that Little Man's registration for Primary One is done. Contrary to what I've always believe in and try to adhere to - "learning through play" method of teaching my kids, I am now piling up on the workbooks (Oh! I so dislike myself for doing this) all in the name of preparing Little Man for P1 (read: kiasu-ism at its best - for me, that is!).

 I've even contemplated, researched, discussed, suggested to the hubs about sending Little Man for this and that enrichment classes to get him prepared for the Chinese language. Looking at the desperate ways we try to interest/excite Little Man with the language at home, it doesn't seem to get us anywhere thus far. He's still in the mode of "I am english, I speak only English"... arrgghhh!

Little Man is comfortable speaking mandarin with his teacher in school, while he's not very fluent with the language but he has no qualms about speaking it with his chinese teacher. He's been doing well in his 听写, recognizing chinese characters reasonably alright and is still interested in pulling chinese books out from our home library from time to time. With that, the hubs said he will do just fine in school. So am I jumping the gun here? Is my worry unfounded? Should I really be concerned?

I really ought to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Did I react the way I did about Little Man because I've come across and heard of many parents who have sent their kids for various enrichment classes and doing exceptionally well and fully prepared for formal education and I expected him to do better so that it could give my ego a boost? Or did I hope that he wouldn't need to struggle with the subject when he's in formal education?

Just the other day, my good friend Rachel, shared in her Facebook status about how we tend to conform to the social standards and expect our children to do likewise. We then chatted about it at length during our brunch yesterday. While we do not have any conclusion, we do agree that academics is essential and we ought to guide our kids to do their level best. But as parents ourselves, we need also to be aware of our kids' abilities and not follow the Joneses and expect our kids to be the next Einstein or to be better than so-and-so's kids.

The children need the space and time to grow at a pace that they can manage. To push them so that they could meet the expectations of their parents and the people around them is like how we try to pull a butterfly out of the chrysalis prematurely. The truth of the matter is, I should guide my kids to have proper attitude towards learning and putting in their best in whatever they do. Honing the proper habits and discipline towards school work and not pressurizing them so that we could conform to the social standards.

Above all, I should put my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father as I manage the kids' needs. For He is the one who has set the path for my children. I shouldn't live in fear and worry, rather I should work in tandem with Him as I go along in this journey of growing and learning with my children. So many aspects in parenting to be concerned about but I really need not rely on my own strength. For His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).


Homeschool @ sg said...

So hard right? If we take on the 'let things be' approach, it essentially means we do nothing even if we know our kids are under-achieving. Yet every good parent will want to help their child either by signing up for tuition, buying assessment books or teaching them ourselves. Personally, if my kids are not fully maximizing their potential (note I didn't say how they fare against their peers), I think i'll do what I can to help them achieve their best regardless if it's a 45 or 100 marks. To me, its important that they reach to their fullest potential. I guess, it crosses line to being 'kiasu' when we push our kids to over- achieve what they can do & we push them solely to 'get face'. I think the key here is to know our kid's abilities AND limitations. :)

Rene said...

LoL ... when I read your post I can hear myself asking them same. My girl is in P1 right now and I can totally understand what you mean.

I guess it is normal for parents to have all these questions about whether or not to send our kids to enrichment. And if not, are we failing them in some ways? Especially in Chinese where we have heard how grueling it can be down the road.

I don't know if I am doing the right thing, but I have so far adopted the take-one-day-at-a-time attitude. So long as she is able to handle her school work/tests, I'm happy to stay far away from enrichment centres. I just want her to have a care-free and happy childhood for as long as possible. I always believe that children who are happy and loved learn best.

That's my five-cent's worth! =)

Greetings! said...

Homeschool@Sg, yes, it's important to observe and realize our kids' strengths and then hone/nurture it accordingly. Having said that, I still wouldn't try to push but let them develop as we go along we just fan the fire of interest to just help them edge forward a little according to their pace :)

Greetings! said...

Rene I agree with you totally :)