Monday, April 30, 2012

Kiasu parents in the making?

When EV was hibernating in my tummy, my boss 'recommended' that I send her to a 'good' school with affiliations through primary, secondary and junior college, so that it's easy for her to move along in her education.

When EV was one year old, a friend asked whether I had indicated my interest with certain kindergartens.

During my first visit to Popular after EV was born, I saw titles and titles of enrichment (read: assessment) books for pre-nursery, nursery and kindergarten, including books for teaching grammer at K2. I got overwhelmed beyond my imagination.

I read articles about what a child is expected to know when they reach K2, eg writing simple sentences, knowing a certain number of English words & Chinese character. And I perspired with stress.

Is this what a parent in Singapore is expected to go through? Is a child's paper chase to start even before he starts primary school?

When I read this in yesterday's Sunday Times, I got a confused sense of dayshavoo and apprehension, all at the same time. I started phonics lessons at home with EV when she turned two, and recently some Chinese, and have plans to send her to piano and swimming lessons in future. We even lined up to ensure EV is enrolled in the kindergarten of our choice. So yes, we have displayed our kiasu-ism, just like any other parent. And our rationale? We want to give her a head start, a good foundation.

Yet at the same time, I dread the thought of going overboard. I want EV to enjoy her childhood, to have fun and just enjoy life, for she will have years to mull over assessment books and extra lessons when she gets to primary school. Simply, I want her to be a child, to be carefree and not be weighed down by unnecessary stress. And I believe this is a dilemma faced by many parents.

The challenge then is for us to create a balance for EV. To make sure that her childhood is full of fun, while doing what is necessary to prepare her for the future. This is an extremely delicate task. Will we end up sending her to preparatory enrichment classes when she's in K2? I certainly hope not. But we will definitely do what's best for her, as all parents would, in ways that best suit her.

In the meantime, I'm going to display a little bit of that kiasu-ism, and do some research on what other fun learning activities to do with EV this week. ;)


  1. Parents always want the best for their kids no doubt about nothing wrong with that.

    Btw, I moderate a FB group for Singapore Mom Bloggers and would like to invite u to join us...we have 100+ mom bloggers on board on the group at this moment. Do add my profile on FB as your contact, so I can add u to the group - its a private group on FB, so u can't find it on FB if u do a search. This is my profile -

  2. Thanks for dropping by Rachel. See you on FB!


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