Child, if you are seeing this, I recommend that you scream for your dad/mum and get him/her to read this article RIGHT NOW. This can reduce your workload anywhere from 0 to 100%. Disclaimer: results are not guaranteed and if your parents scold you for trying to chicken out of doing homework, then too bad.
I know what you are thinking right now. What is this article that my child wants me to see so desperately?
Well, this article is just a continuation of the Tiger Mom debate, started in 2011. Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of it – even your child has. And I have just taken it upon myself to be the saviour of all overworked students in Singapore. So read on to see how I will change your mind (or maybe not, if you are the typical Asian parent who won’t admit you are wrong).
According to Amy Chua, the first widely recognised Tiger Mom – but definitely not the first to force their kids to sit at the piano for 4 hours straight, deny sleepover and boyfriend requests, and obsess over the number of As their child got at PSLE, O levels and A levels—there are a few reasons why Asian parents in general are so strict on their child.
1. You believe that academic achievement reflects successful parenting
Admit it. It was never about your child. It was always about you. Being a parent is a full-time job, and the number of As your child got is your only KPI. Come CNY, all your relatives are waiting for your report, and if your child fails even one subject – gasp, hell no—you lose face. (Child, of course I am exaggerating here. But the next time you have a fight with your parents for not getting an A for Maths, this will make a good comeback to their I-am-increasing-the-number-of-your-tuition-classes-for-your-own-good talk).
2. You believe that nothing is fun until you are good at it
That’s why you spend hours drilling simple Maths concepts into your child, and send him to way too many tuition classes. To enjoy something, you have to be good at it. And to get good at anything, you have to put in the hard work. But is this really true? Your child sucks at DOTA – even you can see that—but no amount of expletives his friends throw at him can stop your child from having so much fun at his desk.
3. You are fortunate enough to be able to impose your standards on your kids
Unlike your poor western counterparts, you don’t have to struggle with your own conflicted feelings about how your child turned out fine despite being an unknown actress living together with her drug-dealer boyfriend because hey, she at least comes home once a year for Christmas. You are given permission by society to voice your disapproval. Calling your child out on laziness, unrealistic goals and promiscuity won’t have you labelled as a backward redneck who is out of step with mainstream society. But do watch how you speak your mind. Sometimes, the deepest wounds are invisible ones.
4. You genuinely believe in your child
Western parents think of their child as water balloons – too much pressure and they burst. You on the other hand, see your child as graphite. Under the right amount of pressure, he or she will turn into beautiful, shining beings who are resilient and sought after. (Again, this is an exaggeration, but hey, I am trying to make a point here.)
This transforms your parenting approach. You send your child to the best schools, because you know he or she will adapt to the environment and come out more confident and well versed from it. You push your child to take up different enrichment classes – piano, drawing, dance – because you know there are hidden talents in your child just waiting to be discovered. You scold your child for not getting an A on his Maths test because there is absolutely no way he won’t be getting an A. You know your child is too smart for that B. The only explanation must be that he is slacking off. And knowing that he is capable of so much, one of the worst things you can do for your child is to let him give up.
Never mind that a few decades back, you were bringing back the same horrible results that you are now scolding your child for…
Genetic mutation does occur, right?