Train the kids to handle failure? Let them be raised by the Dad

A few weeks back, I attended a parenting talk by David Seah, Family Life Educator and Counsellor, engaged by my kids’ school for parents. The topic was on IQ, EQ and AQ. I really took away some very interesting points that made me think hard about our parenting style at home. He said,”If you want your kids to have adversity quotient (the ability to deal with failures), let them be raised by the father.”

Before you go all out to protest against this seemingly racist statement like how we mothers felt at the talk initially, you must give a chance for the humorous speaker to make his stand.

1) Mothers are protective by nature

Have you seen mothers throw up babies in the air for fun? Usually the image of fathers doing it will surface when you think of it. In fact, we mothers are good in churning out academics due to the fact that we are competitive by nature. Think of how we react to exam results vs the fathers. Once the child comes back with less than 100 marks, mothers’ first reaction is probably to furiously flip through the pages and scrutinize those questions with marks deductions and then do a fast calculation and conclude that without such CARELESS MISTAKES, the child could have gotten so and so marks. So well-observed and that’s ahem saying about me too…

When our child runs or cycles or moves at fast speed, or any actions that risk falling on the pavement, we are the ones who shouted instructions from behind like “Watch out for the pillar!”, “Beware of that little dog’s tail in front!” Fathers are rarely the ones who shouted warnings or maybe they do, under their breath. But you get it, the Fathers are usually the cool ones. They are less inclined to fret over small injuries. Similarly, kids’ cry harder when they see Mothers rushing to their aid than when they see Fathers strolling towards them.

2) Fathers are natural risk-takers

Get Dad to be involved more if you wish to instill some toughness and the ability to handle adversity in your child.

I guess this is hard for mothers like me to teach adversity toughness. When I saw how my son at the age of 1.5yo, my hubby allowed him to walk up and down the overhead bridge by himself with him being an arm’s length away, I almost freaked out but decided to cross my finger and watched in fear. I trust my hubby to be taking controlled and supervised risk but I definitely would not risk it myself. I am often been chastised for doing too much for the kids. Hence, I certainly agree that with the Dad around, Continue reading

5 Reasons Why My Kids Do Not Have Tuition

I know this topic on tuition is going to have 2 camps on it. Hence I need to put a disclaimer that this is not a post to say having tuition is a bad thing but what I feel how a child’s precious life should be. If needed, I may send my kids to tuition, but, it must meet some consideration criteria before I will do that. I will address my take on this later.

My eldest, Missy 10 is in P4 and No. 2, Master 8 in P2 and No. 3, Master 3 going to pre-school soon. From birth till now, all 3 of them have not had any enrichment classes and I hope to keep it this way for as long as it is possible.

There are many parents who send their children for tuition or enrichment classes at a tender age. There is no right or wrong. These parents usually want their children to have a head start in life and be high achievers in their adult life. It may be for the reason of learning things ahead of other peers. It may be due to some children need tuition for extra academic assistance or just want to be ahead in the syllabus than others. And it could be due to the reason that some parents do not want to leave to chance and cannot imagine failure to happen to their children.

For me, I feel that a child’s life, which I am defining here as the category of zero to 16 age of life, is too precious to spend too many waking hours on academic stuff. Formal education can last for about 16 years from P1 to University. Some spent 20 years of their life in academic. Our Missy 10 spends about 6 academic hours in school + 2 hours of extra academic classes which totals to 8 hours on studying, and I have not added the time she spends on homework and assessment. If a child goes for tuition after school, that would mean spending another 2 more hours, not inclusive of the school homework and tuition homework that a child will need to do when he / she gets home. Oh, and the travelling time. Nowadays academic pressure is everywhere and our poor children are subjected to all these stresses at a tender age. They should be enjoying their rightful childhood, doing simple things like play. I wonder how these children will look back in life with not much memories of being a child except going for tuition and studying.

5 reasons that I am putting off tuition for as long as possible.

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