More often than not, if you have kids who don’t listen (read disobedience) or who just generally misbehave and go against your grain, chances are you aren’t paying enough attention to your kid. Now you may think that you pay your kid(s) tons of attention or perhaps pay 10 hours of attention to one kid (already more than your other kids), but if that kid is still acting up, chances are he or she just needs more. It’s a difficult matter as parents are so busy all the time but that’s just what it is unfortunately.
How much attention does a child really need??? The honest answer is the more the better and that it is never enough. Does that make sense? There will come a time when they won’t need it any more, won’t want it any more, when their independence soars and their confidence rocks the planet.
My T1 is going through some behavioural issues at the moment. When I tell her to shower, I’m talking to the wall. I can ask and ask and ask about five times and it still does not happen. WTF. She’s 8, not 14…..
She does not live up to my expectations of her and so I am taking time to reflect.
For one, she probably feels that T2 is taking over and all attention is with her little sister. It is true since T2 is still little and requires more attention but the truth of the matter is, we love T1 lots.
Right now, she is struggling at school. Well, I wouldn’t exactly say she was struggling but she’s not top in class, how about that? Being 1-2 years younger than her classmates, she’s actually doing great as she already is more mature than most of them but somehow academically, she’s falling behind because she doesn’t put in the hours to revise. Doing Year 4 work, like it or not, if you want to get good grades, you HAVE to revise. Because you will not otherwise remember that the ancient Greek civilisation ran from 169BC to 800BC!! You will not know where Calcutta, Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Jaipur, Hyderabad is on the Indian map if you do not revise! Heck, to be very honest, even I don’t know where every city is!!! So, if you want above 90% grades (which is her benchmark but realistically, this is getting tough and understandably so because she is doing such advanced work. I blame the school for pushing her up and stressing me out!), one MUST revise………nuff said.
The next part is deciding how we want to raise our kids so what do we do with T1??? To me, the school is there for what it is – a place to socialise, interact with teachers and friends, be part of a larger community and participate in team work (sports day, concerts, classroom activities). What she learns really depends on the teacher (if the teachers are stimulating and inspiring) but at the end of the day, I told the Hubs that WE, as parents, must take responsibility for her education. And that is for her to grow her love of learning and to genuinely LOVE what she is learning, may it be at school or outside of school.
Learning becomes a way of life.
However, the Hubs has trouble accepting that he pays phenomenal sums of money just for her to……..socialise???
He asked if there were cheaper schools or mediums in which the same objectives be achieved. Sure, but at school, she does a good British curriculum and the lessons learnt are valuable lessons. Whether or not her subjects are delivered in the most inspiring fashion is yet to be discerned and so I take responsibility for that. She says she loves her teachers and the classes but that’s coming from an 8 year old – easy to please. After all, my aim is not for her to pass the exam (although I seriously hope that she would at least pass it for even if she hadn’t studied, her common sense and lateral thought can surely guess and bullshit her way to a pass, yes? Well, that’s how Mama always did it and sometimes got an A for it too!) or get 100% for it but to truly understand and learn about it, have a passion for it if her interests so piques, and take it further whichever way she sees fit.
The Hubs says she needs discipline. How can we just let her coast for the next 2 years in Primary School and watch her get just above average results??? She’s more than that! Oh, my Lord. Will you get over it already?! Exams and Grades prove nothing except that you have set aside precious time to memorise some facts!!!!
T1 is a loving, kind, creative and intelligent girl. Who cares about exams? She may have gotten second in class this year but so what? It means nothing. If she had competed with Year 4 students all around the world, she’d probably be in position number 125,394. But that’s OK. As long as she is happy and has a good head on her shoulders and most importantly, has something to contribute to the world, I’m happy. But heck, the school does stress me out.
I had a conversation with another friend today and she claims her son is just learning languages at Chinese School. He is really good at Mandarin and is improving at Bahasa and has English as his mother tongue. They draw a lot at home and he is happiest when he plays sports. As for academic subjects at school, who knows and who cares. What are they really learning from the Malaysian syllabus anyway??? She said that the stuff T1 was learning was so much more interesting, but this is exactly why parents of Malaysia, and even parents of the world at large, should take full responsibility in their children’s education. Do not leave your child’s education to the Government, and certainly not the Government of Malaysia!
As for T1 not listening, the moment I have to ask a second time, I leave the room (or house!) and that usually sets off an alarm signal to tow the line. But why?! Geez. These kids truly drive me bonkers.