Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I chewed her up

A friend posted on her FB wall that

" It took a 5 year old little girl to remind me that when a kid is shouted at by an adult their heart beats faster, it hurts their feelings and they get scared."

And a few hours after her posting, I did exactly what she was trying to warn us against doing. I hang my head in shame.

Let me tell you what ate me.

Partly it's the stress of the upcoming exams.
Partly it was because she lost marks where she shouldn't have at all.
Partly its because the school streams the children based on their results.
Partly it's her nonchalant attitude.
Partly it's because the hubs said the marks wasn't that bad.

I think every parent feels the stress when the exams are coming, some more than others, and I am in the latter. What do you expect? As a SAHM that's my KPI!! can you blame me?

This child of mine lost marks where she shouldn't have at all. When answering comprehension questions, she couldn't even get the child's name correct. And the name appeared in the paper. Is it so difficult to copy the name correctly, I asked her. She said she couldn't see the word proper;y properly. That resulted in a different set of fears arising in me. Has the effect of her medical condition started rearing its ugly head?? (Poor eyesight leading to blindness - I hope not, and I refuse to believe it has. I rather think it's just her "tidak apa" attitude. Or am I like an ostrich trying to stick my head in the sand. I don't know, and I don't want to know!!) The fault too lies with the school. Why cant they let the main character in the passage have a name like 小明, instead they had a name which had like 20 strokes in it (which I couldn't even read, but then again I don't read chinese).

There's been a lot of talk about upcoming changes to the education system in Singapore recently. I cant wait for the changes. But the schools must walk the talk, and parents must follow suit. In my child's school, they haven't had any examinations at all for the the primary 1s and 2s since they started school. Only small bite-sized topical tests. And now at the end of P2, they are giving them a "major exam" and they will be streamed to classes based on this exam. And in this school, the best children get the best teachers. Hence the stress, => to get your child into the best class!!

(This exercise scares the shit out of me as I had a bad experience with my oldest child when she was in P1. She was diagnosed as a child needing learning support within 3 weeks of starting school. The problem was : she just wasn't used to doing exam papers as she had never done one before that big test they gave her unannounced. She had attended a kindergarten that emphasized play. Luckily hubs and I took the stand that we didn't want her self esteem affected by attending those learning support classes. AND she proved her teachers wrong by topping her whole cohort for 3 years running {after mastering how to do exam papers} with perfect scores for all her exams!!

This child of mine always tells me: "It's ok mum!" when she sees me all worked up about the mistakes she makes or when I tell her she needs to learn certain things. OK, I can be quite anal about it, but her attitude really affects me. She keeps making the same mistakes!! Many like her for her attitude, BUT a type A character JUST CANT TAKE IT!!

And the hubs just looked at the scores and said the scores looked alright to him. I cant believe it. He didn't even look thru the paper to see how she lost her marks and he said it was OK!! It's not about the absolute marks. It's the relative marks. Just like the PSLE. It's based on the bell curve. If you are scoring 75 when everyone else is getting 95, you are not going to get into one of the good classes. If you are losing marks unnecessarily, it's not OK. And when the comprehension passage says the lady lost her purse, it's not OK to say she lost her wallet!! She got 2 questions wrong because she changed the purse to a wallet!!

AND it really didn't help me when her two siblings told me that I over-reacted, and little sister's marks weren't that bad!! OK, looking back I may have over-reacted (ok I did). After all those mistakes were in the Mock test. BUT I had to make a point to the little one so that she doesn't make those same mistakes again. NOT in the ACTUAL exam next week.


iml said...

You are not alone. I ranted when the similar situation happened with my youngest. She was lost. I should not have done so. I should have been more constructive and see how to salvage the situation instead. Her PSLE score was not Wow fantastic but she got into the 2nd class in the secondary sch affiliated to the primary. Over the years she has matured. Have faith in your child. Some are late boomers.

Yan said...

SAHM, I fully understand your feelings - for I went through that, exactly the same with my girl.

It were heartaches after heartaches... Then one day, I brought it to the Lord, and He said, Let go, she is my child too, just like you are mine.

With tears (yes, still right now), I changed the role. I let the hubs monitor her report card. He took over to coach her...

She turned out with 5As in her SPM, not the perfect 10 that others are getting.

Then, she finds herself fitting in well in Aussie's education system. There are still some failures - but I know she is not perfect, just like I am not perfect. She is God's child, imperfect she may be, the Lord loves her just like He loves the imperfect me.

I hope this helps, we all have different child though.

Happy parenting, dear.

stay-at-home mum said...

Thanks ladies, I know I must learn to let go and take it as it comes. But somehow it is extra difficult with this child as I have been told that this one will have to earn her living using her brains given her medical condition, and I somehow feel she cant afford to fail in anyway. It's painful, really painful when I see her "stumble" like this.

Stardust said...

Sorry about not coming over for long..

I remember mom also faulted me on mistakes like these when I was little. The exact mistakes I can hardly recall, but I do painfully remember her reaction to my mistakes. She wasn't kinder, and sadly, her attempts just don't see me anywhere near top. The tiger mom thing doesn't work for everyone huh.

I'd like to believe in D, who has such bright genes from parents, and great siblings to look up to. :) It's naturally mother of you to chew her up. She should have realized that people make mistakes, consequences attached.

She's your 3rd, if the top 2 excel, so will her. :) Your faith will work in her favor. Bless your caring heart.

Hey, I like 小明 too! :D

doc said...

only the mock test & you've whipped up a storm?

your eldest is so perceptive - it's really alright! as the other ladies have commented, every child is different & some are late bloomers. somehow, for some reason, fathers generally see this in a different perspective. i too know all about tiger mums because i'm married to one!!

my own kid brother has always lived in my shadows & my mother (another tiger mum?) used to berate him "giddy goat." how demeaning is that? but now, he's a VP at DBS. not so "giddy goat" after all, huh?

so, don't sweat the small stuff. have faith in D's ability - nurture & encourage, & all will be well, you'll see!

stay-at-home mum said...

Thanks Doc and stardust.

Guess I am not a tiger mum if I didnt do it?? Anyway, we are now awaiting her year end results. Lets see if she "woke up".

Mumbles said...

I can totally understand. My son is home schooled, which means that, once a year, I have to administer a nationally normed exam to prove to the state that he is progressing as he should. This past year, he went into it so nonchalantly it terrified me. I have him a "practice test," and he blew five out of seven questions. Just not paying attention. I yelled, I cried, I did everything I could to impress upon him that this is IMPORTANT, this isn't just some joke. After my explosion, he took the practice test again--ten out of ten correct. When he took the real exam, his scores were amazing. So I don't think you screwed up--I think that sometimes kids just don't grasp the long-term implications of not trying their best on exams.