In many ways, I have the DNA of a tiger mom stamped all over me. There are dozen of areas where I simply cannot keep my hands off when it comes to Sonshine's schooling. One of which is his academic results.
I have no qualms about sending him to school knowing that he is going to get a scolding because he has forgotten to pack his bag or due to an incomplete homework. I can also easily allow him to pepper mistakes all over his homework and let him get corrected by the teacher. But when it comes to graded work, I morphed into a different parent. I keep myself up to date on his test dates, the percentage weightage and scrutinise every mark Sonshine is given or not given. I ensure that he gets ample revisions before each tests. I scream bloody murder at him over some careless mistakes and horror of horrors, if he doesn't bring home the full marks. So what happened to all that talk about letting him fail and learn? I confess with both hands punching into the air, I dare not allow him fail his tests. It will mortify me and send me panicking like a headless chicken in a coop. But how come I am ever so willing to let him commit mistakes in some areas but not in others? I stump myself too.
Perhaps it's because I am aware of his potential. I want him to perform at his maximum capacity, no less. If he is capable of a certain grade, be it A or B or C, then he jolly well bring it home. Anything less than what he is capable of is unacceptable to me. You may 'tsk' at me for expecting full marks from him, but in my defence, his school papers are relatively easy. In fact, they are way below standard. For now, I know he is capable of bringing home that full marks, and that's why I am hound at him even for that missing 1 mark.
The thing is, I want him to cultivate the right attitude in the task he is given. I want him to learn that he has to put his best efforts in his work and reach his fullest potential. I don't want him to settle for anything less than what he is able to achieve. I don't want him to think mediocre effort, and hence mediocre result, is okay. That's why I burn with anger and get down hard on him if he brings home less than acceptable results.
Since we stepped into this primary school journey, I also learnt that it not always the smart students who are at the top of the game. It is mostly the hardworking ones. The former is confident of his own abilities hence becomes complacent & less meticulous. While the latter knows very well he is lacking and hence puts in the extra effort. I don't want Sonshine to just limit himself to what he is capable of. I want him to understand that one needs to work hard in order to reap the results. That's why I pushed him alot to revise for his upcoming tests and what nots. Truth is, quite often, I suspect he can do without the practise. But I don't want to let him know that. I want him to think that it is because he had put in extra effort to revise and that's why he can score well.
I don't think I'll put on the same demands on Doll because I know her learning abilities are not that of Sonshine's. I would accept less than a full marks from her because it takes alot more from her to achieve that than her brother. As long, as she brings home her best, it is all well with me.
Or perhaps, I am just kidding myself. Perhaps, I belong to the kiasu parents who wants her child to be the best and not lose out in the rat race. Perhaps, when the time comes, I will be the same tiger mom to Doll.
I so yearn to not be academic driven. It eats me up and I hate morphing into an angry monster over that pathetic one mark. But the flesh is certainly very weak. However, what is encouraging is that I am less anal this year than I am last year. Perhaps, I would be even more chill next year and the year after, and the year after? I certainly hope so. Check back on me, 3 years later, will ya?
*kiasu- someone who is afraid to lose out in the rat race (my own definition)