Saturday, November 13, 2004

Children overloaded by their own parents 

In his article in The Straits Times today documenting a discussion between schools, parents and the community on education, Warren Fernandez points out the role that parents have in maintaining the right sense of priority in their children and not overloading them with work.

During the discussion, a mother had argued that parents send their children to tuition to keep up with others. They send their children to swimming and piano lessons as parents and students compared what medals and awards each child won.

A teenager had the presence of mind to respond that “for those piano and swimming awards, kids don’t really compare these things. It’s their parents who make them do it.”

Apparently the rest of the group agreed with her as they applauded her for that remark. But was it really a revelation to the rest of those present? Somehow, I doubt it. I suspect that what the teenager did was merely to say what most of the rest probably knew but did not say either because they were themselves guilty of the same or were being polite to those who were.

It is no secret that much of what many children do today is actually a manifestation of their parents’ ambitions. The children effectively become extensions of their parents egos — the children’s achievements become extensions of their parents achievements.

While the educational system is hardly free from blame, parents must share the responsibility for overloading their own children and not lay all the blame on “the system”.


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