Wednesday, 9 September 2015

finding the right attitude...

It's nice when your day begins with an article in the paper that you can relate to. Of course with my early morning coffee in hand, this article- Taming the kiasu mother in me got me hooked on. I related to every bit of it and placed myself in the writer's shoe.

Am I really a 'kiasu' mother? Friends (who don't live in Singapore), the term 'kiasu' means- afraid of losing out, afraid of not getting the best, etc. I think we all (I mean mother's in particular), have a bit of the 'kiasu nature' in us. We always want the best for our kids, want them to succeed, be ahead in class, worry if they are not part of some group activity. I wonder if that's the right approach. Did our parents sweat so much about us? Or did we just go with the flow?

Lately I have had a similar situation at home and that's probably why this article got me hooked on.My 8-year old was a bit low the whole of last week. She was put into some challenging situations in her language class. She being the perfectionist, anything mediocre normally disturbs her. For the first time she felt, she was not excelling and was lagging behind compared to the rest of the class. Her work sheets were incomplete and she was nervous to go to her language class.

As a mother, I was concerned about her mood and her emotions. But least worried about how she fared at class. Maybe that had to do with my childhood- I never excelled in class and was never made to feel inferior because of that at home.

As a mum, the easiest thing for me to do was to front-end this on behalf of her. But then I wondered- for how long am I going to do this? A day needs to come when she needs to raise her hand in class and tell the teacher "I don't get this". For her to realise, that not being the best doesn't mean you fail. That even mediocre people can be successful. I would rather have her learn a lesson of being honest to yourself, be compassionate rather than get the best of grades. Surely this is easier said than done as we tend to measure our kids success with the grades they get rather than the intangible qualities we can equip them with.

This seemed to be more of a lesson for her to accept mediocrity and not always live in the glory of success. For her to understand that it was about giving anything 'her best' and not really being 'the best among all'. This needed a lot of patience from us. Along the way I may see her fail but somewhere I may be teaching her to accept failure. It was more about teaching her to have the right attitude rather than the right aptitude...

And then one day, she finally front-ended the problem herself- well firstly she doesn't call it a 'problem' anymore. She looks at it more like a challenge today and is finding her own ways to deal with it. She has accepted her shortcomings and wants to work on them. And proudly tells me, " Now I don't hesitate to raise my hand in class and say I don't understand."

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