A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)

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 Post subject: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:52 am 
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KiasuGrandMaster
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An Article taken from TODAY 25 Mar 2012
Quote:

A thing or two about expectations


by Lee Seow Ser todayonsunday@mediacorp.com.sg 04:45 AM Mar 25, 2012

I was quite intrigued by two rather contrasting experiences involving my children recently.

What appeared initially to be encounters on opposite ends of the spectrum turned out, quite interestingly, not so dissimilar after all, after I came to better appreciate what they shared in common.

I had registered my children in an on-the-spot art competition organised for young children as part of the fringe activities of a school's fund-raising carnival.

The buzzing atmosphere at the fun fair that day, however, made my husband and I contemplate forgoing our kids' participation in the competition (held in a mundane classroom setting). We'd rather they partake of the "marketplace" activities, play at the game booths, enjoy popcorn and climb the impressive military tanks on display.

Nevertheless, not wanting to appear fickle, we decided to let the children colour and draw in the competition anyway. As soon as they finished, we whisked them quickly outdoors to enjoy the carnival activities.

Later on, as we prepared to head home - we had not quite bothered with the contest results - I sought to retrieve our children's art pieces for keepsake but could not locate my five-year-old's drawing.

We were told that his work could have been shortlisted as a winning entry and moved to the prize-winning display board.

We gushed; he blushed. To the whole family's utmost surprise, the little lad won the third prize in the kindergarten category.

My husband and I kicked ourselves hard for underestimating our kids' abilities, even almost unwittingly denying the boy the joy and pride of receiving a bronze medal.

There was ... shall I say, something almost heroic, and quintessentially sweet, about that unexpected win.

He had just affirmed for himself the "I too can do it" spirit, and I sensed a budding excitement of his own potential building up, tugging at the boy's heartstrings. The boost to his self-confidence was priceless.

Contrast that with a totally different experience I had some weeks later with my elder son.

I had taken leave from work specially to participate in a mass run with him, organised by his school. I looked forward to spending an exciting early morning in the park, running alongside and cheering him.

He started off well and ran ahead of me. However, after a short distance, he suddenly stopped in his tracks and broke down in tears.

Concerned that he might be having difficulty breathing (he may be mildly asthmatic), I asked anxiously if he was in any discomfort. He was visibly stressed, complained of a stomach ache, and desperately needed the toilet.

Poor boy - how my heart went out to him! (You can imagine how he and his tummy and Mummy were all badly upset.)

I encouraged him to take small steps or walk if necessary to get to the finish line. And after what seemed like a long time - during which many of his schoolmates, including the girls who started the race later, caught up with and overtook him - he did, to my relief, complete the race; then bolted off instantly to the toilet.

The actual race experience, admittedly, was starkly different from what I had envisioned the night before when I gave him a pep talk, stressing the importance of good sportsmanship and having the will to finish the race.

I was thus slightly annoyed and a little let down by his remark - made, understandably, in a moment of great distress during the race - that he wanted to give up!

That night, as I reflected on the two separate encounters with my sons, I realised that the older boy's race finish, though far from being at the top of the pack, was no less heroic than his brother's "podium" finish.

I became conscious of the "mischief" at work: My own expectations had unfairly distorted the sense of pride that ought to have flowed from my six-year-old's feat in finishing the race in spite of the challenging circumstances. Conversely, my five-year-old's win was perceived to have tasted sweeter, simply because there was no expectation of any prize-winning achievement to begin with.

I really should be more mindful of the way I manage the expectations I have of my children, and not let parental anticipation overshadow or derail the sweet, joyful sentiments and experiential journey of a child's genuine exertions and endeavour.

The day after the run, my son's form teacher shared with the parents an insightful article, "I want my kids to fail", by Joshua Raymond. He believes parents should allow, even desire, their kids to fail; for that is how they will learn the skills needed to succeed in life.

The teacher felt the mass run had taught a valuable lesson and presented itself as a teachable moment.

Her sharing could not have been more apt.

And she could not have been more right - I, for sure, have learnt a thing or two about expectations, and from my children, no less.



Lee Seow Ser is a mother of two young boys


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:56 pm 
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OrangeBelt
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Thank you for sharing. I totally agree! I have noticed also that the more one expects the deeper and painful the disappointment especially from our kids. I am also guilty of expecting too much from my DD that I am always quick to jump when she makes mistakes in her work or fail to remember her Chinese words. This in turn causes her to keep saying she is not clever or she is not a good girl whenever I over chastise her for being wild. This article reminds me I should try my best to not over expect from my kids. And if they do manage to do well then its my bonus !


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:27 pm 
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BlueBelt
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Nebbermind wrote:
An Article taken from TODAY 25 Mar 2012
Quote:

A thing or two about expectations


by Lee Seow Ser todayonsunday@mediacorp.com.sg 04:45 AM Mar 25, 2012

I was quite intrigued by two rather contrasting experiences involving my children recently.

What appeared initially to be encounters on opposite ends of the spectrum turned out, quite interestingly, not so dissimilar after all, after I came to better appreciate what they shared in common.

I had registered my children in an on-the-spot art competition organised for young children as part of the fringe activities of a school's fund-raising carnival.

The buzzing atmosphere at the fun fair that day, however, made my husband and I contemplate forgoing our kids' participation in the competition (held in a mundane classroom setting). We'd rather they partake of the "marketplace" activities, play at the game booths, enjoy popcorn and climb the impressive military tanks on display.

Nevertheless, not wanting to appear fickle, we decided to let the children colour and draw in the competition anyway. As soon as they finished, we whisked them quickly outdoors to enjoy the carnival activities.

Later on, as we prepared to head home - we had not quite bothered with the contest results - I sought to retrieve our children's art pieces for keepsake but could not locate my five-year-old's drawing.

We were told that his work could have been shortlisted as a winning entry and moved to the prize-winning display board.

We gushed; he blushed. To the whole family's utmost surprise, the little lad won the third prize in the kindergarten category.

My husband and I kicked ourselves hard for underestimating our kids' abilities, even almost unwittingly denying the boy the joy and pride of receiving a bronze medal.

There was ... shall I say, something almost heroic, and quintessentially sweet, about that unexpected win.

He had just affirmed for himself the "I too can do it" spirit, and I sensed a budding excitement of his own potential building up, tugging at the boy's heartstrings. The boost to his self-confidence was priceless.

Contrast that with a totally different experience I had some weeks later with my elder son.

I had taken leave from work specially to participate in a mass run with him, organised by his school. I looked forward to spending an exciting early morning in the park, running alongside and cheering him.

He started off well and ran ahead of me. However, after a short distance, he suddenly stopped in his tracks and broke down in tears.

Concerned that he might be having difficulty breathing (he may be mildly asthmatic), I asked anxiously if he was in any discomfort. He was visibly stressed, complained of a stomach ache, and desperately needed the toilet.

Poor boy - how my heart went out to him! (You can imagine how he and his tummy and Mummy were all badly upset.)

I encouraged him to take small steps or walk if necessary to get to the finish line. And after what seemed like a long time - during which many of his schoolmates, including the girls who started the race later, caught up with and overtook him - he did, to my relief, complete the race; then bolted off instantly to the toilet.

The actual race experience, admittedly, was starkly different from what I had envisioned the night before when I gave him a pep talk, stressing the importance of good sportsmanship and having the will to finish the race.

I was thus slightly annoyed and a little let down by his remark - made, understandably, in a moment of great distress during the race - that he wanted to give up!

That night, as I reflected on the two separate encounters with my sons, I realised that the older boy's race finish, though far from being at the top of the pack, was no less heroic than his brother's "podium" finish.

I became conscious of the "mischief" at work: My own expectations had unfairly distorted the sense of pride that ought to have flowed from my six-year-old's feat in finishing the race in spite of the challenging circumstances. Conversely, my five-year-old's win was perceived to have tasted sweeter, simply because there was no expectation of any prize-winning achievement to begin with.

I really should be more mindful of the way I manage the expectations I have of my children, and not let parental anticipation overshadow or derail the sweet, joyful sentiments and experiential journey of a child's genuine exertions and endeavour.

The day after the run, my son's form teacher shared with the parents an insightful article, "I want my kids to fail", by Joshua Raymond. He believes parents should allow, even desire, their kids to fail; for that is how they will learn the skills needed to succeed in life.

The teacher felt the mass run had taught a valuable lesson and presented itself as a teachable moment.

Her sharing could not have been more apt.

And she could not have been more right - I, for sure, have learnt a thing or two about expectations, and from my children, no less.



Lee Seow Ser is a mother of two young boys



:goodpost: good article

Thanks for sharing, that's what i told dh that it is good to let kids to experience failure so they have right mentality n learn the skill to succes in life..


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Thank you for sharing. It's quite the same. It's constantly on my mind how I should be encouraging of failure, than berating why you so careless, etc.

I was initially worried when DS started to get his spelling wrong over silly mistakes. But then, now I just tell him, so now you know how to write it - that's what this is all about.

(yet, as a parent, I will still gnaw my knuckles quietly - just so he dun see it).


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:06 pm 
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KiasuGrandMaster
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Oh, how true this is about one's expectations! And it is usually the first born who kena - and the expectation level just gets lower with the next child born. Correct or not?


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:55 pm 
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OrangeBelt
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Indeed, we should always be mindful to manage our expectations of our children.

When my dd was in Primary 1, we had high hopes on her performance. She was doing so well in all her tests ,so there was the expectation that she would probably be top 3 in her class. When the final semester results came out, she came in fourth position. Her disappointment was so much that she cried.

At that juncture, as her parents, we realized that we have so stupidly given her too much expectations. We did not prepare her otherwise. Though we assured her that she already did very well and what was important was that she did her best. My dd, however felt that she had disappointed us.
Subconsciously, we had imposed our expectations on her without even realizing it. It was a good lesson for us. As parents, we should be more conscious not to give unnecessary pressure to our kids with our expectations. What counts is that they are putting in their best efforts and that should suffice.


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:51 am 
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concern2 wrote:
Oh, how true this is about one's expectations! And it is usually the first born who kena - and the expectation level just gets lower with the next child born. Correct or not?

raise hand raise leg agree. :sweat:
my dh said i have not much expectations of ds2 as if i see him no up. :skeptical:


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:33 am 
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BlueBelt
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Thanks so much for sharing!

I was the culprit of having too much expectations of my #1. Can't forgive myself of actually thinking that she is so stupid. I feel so lousy, how can I give up on her? ? ?

I'll tend to feel so happy whenever the younger ones said something funny.

Sigh.....I really have to change my mindset and expectations.


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:09 am 
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KiasuGrandMaster
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Thanks for sharing!

I think besides managing our expectation for our children, we should instill in them the resilience - to know how to rebounce back immediately after each disappointment.

Cheers !


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 Post subject: Re: A thing or two about expectations (TODAY 25 mar 2012)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:24 am 
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OrangeBelt
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Thank you very much for sharing. It was very timely. I am in the midst of trying to adjust my expectations (academic) on DD. I used to get into an over-drive mode and chide her for making ''preventable'' mistakes in her homework and insist that she corrects them before handing it up to her teacher. I am learning to let go, trying not peek at her homework so much and let her go make the mistakes she was meant to make and do her corrections as due.

Here's a little joke to share.

DD brought back a super hard to do comprehension. She finished it and showed it to me. I looked at all her answers and they looked pretty wrong to me.

So out of 5 questions, I made her correct 2 or 3 of her answers. 1 week later, that particular comprehension came back after DD's teacher marked it. She got almost all wrong, except for 1 question. Those that I asked her to amend, they were marked wrong! Of course, it meant that my answers were wrong too! And on her corrections, I noticed that some of the correct answers were what she had written in the first place, prior my demanding her to change them.

I felt that I have sabo(ed) my own DD. :wrongmove:

With that, I have learned my lesson. Only intervene when the real need arises. Other things, let them do it on their own. If they fail, they learn from it. If they do well, they take the credit for it. It's what it should be in the very first place. Maybe an overdose of 'kiasu-ism' made me do what I did.


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