Question: How do you know when your child has reached their limits and is no longer a willing participant?
Answer: When you spend time with them and have a deep understanding of your own children.
That was the message Minister of Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing recently sent across to all parents on the red little dot. Speaking at a session with The Straits Times Mr Chan stressed on the importance of parental involvement in their child’s education and overall wellbeing.
He added that parents must endeavour to understand their child’s strengths and weaknesses and offer them a listening ear.
Chan Chung Sing Calls On Parents To Bond More With Their Kids
Image source: Facebook / Chan Chun Sing
In a Facebook post about his chat with ST, Mr Chan shared that one of the things the students shared with him was that their parents supported them in “setting realistic goals and expectations.”
So he called on parents to take the time to build a bond of intimacy with their children. He also suggested ways of how parents can do this more efficiently and effectively help their children.
Instead of immediately jumping into “solution-seeking mode” whenever their children come to them with problems, Mr Chan says parents should listen to what they have to say first.
The participants during Mr Chan’s session with ST all agreed about the importance of parental involvement in a child’s education and aspirations.
Even if it’s simply listening without offering advice or judgement, it greatly helps in moderating a child’s stress levels.
Avoid pushing them far past their limits
How can parents tell when they’re putting too much pressure on their children? An example Mr Chan shared is to imagine a child doing something they were asked to do, but did not enjoy it.
The minister explained, “We need to really spend time to have a deep understanding of our own children – to know what they are comfortable with, and where they might be reaching their limit, beyond which it’s not healthy for us to keep pushing them.”
Knowing more about your child’s strengths and weaknesses
To further understand the ways to avoid pushing a child’s limits, Mr Chan stressed on looking into their strengths and weaknesses.
“Then we’ll work on something else that really affirms them on their areas of strength, and we find some other time to come back to areas where we think they might want to work on,” he added.
The Importance Of Parental Involvement In A Child’s Education And Future
Image source: iStock
During the session students shares that while most of them confide in their friends about their problems, the importance of parental involvement in their goals and education is not lost on them.
For instance, Sophia Lai, a student from Queensway Secondary school shares, “Sometimes we just want to vent our feelings… and sometimes when we confide in our parents, if they’re able to just hear what we have to say and encourage us, then it’s good.”
Another student from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Andrea Gracia Andradi says, “Instead of expecting their children to meet their own expectations, I think it’s very important to emphasise that what’s most important is that they do their best and they put in their best efforts.”
Mr Chan agreed, adding that “It is important to have open and in-depth conversations with parents to set realistic goals and expectations for themselves.”
As a father of three, Mr Chan also spoke about the importance of parental assurance to children – that their love is not conditional on their achievements.
“It seems quite trivial, but it’s important for our children to know that, so that they know that we are not constantly trying to judge them, constantly trying to measure them – especially measure them against someone else,” said Mr Chan.
We couldn’t agree more!
What Singapore Parents Actually Think About MOE’s Mental Health Literacy Push
How This Mum-Of-One Is Helping Students Deal With Mental Health Issues