Whenever I see young primary school children in my home country Malaysia, I felt a little heartsick. I don’t see the “sparks” in their eyes. The enthusiastic to learn and explore new knowledge were not there anymore. Their mission of going to school becomes so robotic, - spelling, exams, homework...
Our children go to school because they are obligated to. Not because they want to. Not because it is fun. In addition to the homework stress, our children face other pressures like term exams, mid-year exams. Parents are worried for their children and it creates more fear in our children. Some parents even apply for annual leave to provide extra last minute lessons to their children prior to exams. The pressure becomes greater. When the results are out, the children are penalized for not able to score high marks despite the “stress” they had gone through.
Just look around us, our classmates in the old days, did the best student of the year did the best in the corporate world? Did the best student of the year happen to be the one with the highest salary?
The answer is usually NO! So, why do we enforce on our kids to score best points all the time?
In the course of making our kids academic driven, they tend to develop the fear to lose, they become arrogant, not willing to share fearing others will overtake. Failure is totally unacceptable to them. When they fail, they do not know how to handle; they can't face the fact that they didn't do well.
Unfortunately in life, we can’t expect smooth sailing boats all the time. There are bound to be failure. Hence, it is far more important to build our child with strong character rather than merely academic driven. Failure should not be penalized but forgiven for as long as they tried their best.