Education Eye: Beware of pushing your kids too hard

Catherine Stoker
Catherine Stoker
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A Singapore parent told me recently that the ‘Tiger Mother’ culture is so strong that government posters have appeared on advertising boards announcing, ‘Please allow your child to play at least two hours a day’.

However, a recent study by Pearson found that the UK is lagging behind the educational attainment levels in some parts of Asia due to a less ambitious culture for parents to drive their children’s achievements.

Should we be setting the bar higher, challenging and expecting children to achieve more, rather than accepting what some might call adequacy?

In my opinion, children perform at their best if parents instigate a happy medium.

Aim high, without pushing so hard children become disillusioned and switch off or feel that their childhood has been stolen.

Developing social skills and emotional intelligence are as important as the highest academic qualifications.

The ability to communicate effectively is just as valued by potential employers as exam grades.

Replacing with academic tuition too many opportunities to play and socialise with peers, will in my opinion not allow a young person to develop into a well-rounded individual.

Education should be a partnership between school and home.

By taking an interest in homework, encouraging reading by finding books on topics they enjoy, conversing about current affairs, going to museums and art galleries, arranging tuition in tricky subjects, parents can offer valuable input to enhance attainment.

No parent should hand their child over to the school age 5 and expect to see a fully ‘educated’ 18 year old delivered at the end.

Engage the right type of preparation so they don’t feel like a rabbit in the headlights when entering an exam room, have mastered the study and exam skills to optimise attainment.

Step back from school gate hype.

Consider your own position carefully and then do your own thing, as you feel appropriate for your individual child.

Jumping on the bandwagon may well end in tears.