> Never shatter your child’s confidence or joy by weighing his achievements against his peers’
Students are being labelled at an early age.
Even some as young as six who are just about to enter primary school have to sit for tests so that the school can stream them into classes based on their exam results.
It is not wrong to have competition. After all, it is important that children learn how to deal with disappointment and defeat.
But I believe that this ought to come at an appropriate age.
We do not need to instil the ‘kiasu’ attitude in children. Let children enjoy their childhood. They don’t need to grow up so quickly.
Let their days be filled with exploration. Let them play and learn how to work together in a team.
Let them discover, invent, imagine, marvel and create before they need to face the real rat race in adulthood.
Soon enough, they will have to compete against others, where it’s nearly always the better employee who gets the promotion, or the salesman with highest sales who gets the incentive.
If your child did well in a test, praise him for working hard. You don’t need to bring up that your neighbour’s son scored higher marks.
If your child did not do so well, work on it together. Set the benchmark against your child’s own ability, not others’.
Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Take a leaf from the book of comedian C.K. Louis, who once said: “The only time you look in your neighbour’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough.
“You don’t look in your neighbour’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.”
Teach your kids that the only reason you look at your neighbours is to make sure that they have enough, not to see if they have more than you.
Lydia Teh is a mother of four and author of nine books, including the latest, Cow Sense for Young People. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.