We’ve been through the Singapore education system and survived it, maybe even thrived in it. But for some parents, grades take a back seat to cultivating their children’s talents.
Take former advertising veteran Calvin Soh, for instance. Asked to give a TEDx talk on urban farming, he let his son, Dylan – then, just 10 years old – do it instead, working with him on the script. Never mind that Dylan’s grades are, in the boy’s own words, “just pass”.
Calvin says: “I want them to see failure as a journey to success and not doom. There is no stigma around failure.”
I couldn’t agree more. That’s why our article, Secrets of Super Kids (page 66), isn’t about straight-A students who do everything perfectly. They’re normal children who, for the most part, struggle to balance schoolwork and their passion.
And the secret to their success is simple: Parents who support, not stifle, in the words of one mum. It’s tough to break away from the security of the system we know (“study hard, get a good job”), but I reckon that we need to for our children’s sake.
The world is changing so rapidly that the jobs they will have don’t exist today. What skills will they need to do something we parents can’t even imagine? Grit, for sure. Empathy. Creativity.
So, this Children’s Day, ask yourself if you are truly supporting or inadvertently stifling your kid.
And, by the way, what you think you say may not be what they actually hear. I think Diana Ser puts this point across well in our interview with her on raising bilingual children (page 70). Do you agree?
Stephanie Yeo Editor
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