PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

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PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby KSP » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:01 pm

Foo Jie Ying | The New Paper | Tue Aug 21 2012

http://www.edvantage.com.sg/edvantage/n ... ldren.html

SINGAPORE - On weekdays, he stayed up late to complete his homework and past-year exam papers.

On weekends, the Primary 6 student would be whisked off to other non-academic classes.

This was his schedule to prepare for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).

Dozing off on car rides was his way of catching up on sleep.

This went on for nearly a year, before the boy broke down and went hysterical, said psychologist Daniel Koh.

It was only then that the 12-year-old's parents realised that they had pushed him over the edge.

By then, it was too late.

Every child reacts differently to exam stress, said Dr Ken Ung, a senior consultant at Adam Road Medical Centre.

It could be in the form of unexplained insomnia, stomachaches, and headaches. In more extreme cases, it could drive children to cutting and scratching themselves, he said.

Yesterday, The New Paper reported that a Pri 6 boy apparently wrote a letter saying he was stressed out by the coming PSLE exam before he went missing for three days.

The boy was found on Thursday and reunited with his family.

Mrs Bernadette Lim, 43, admits to giving her son too much stress when he was in Pri 6 last year.

She arranged for a tutor for every subject that year although he did not have any problems with his school work.

"He was always an above-average student," said the housewife.

"But I wanted him to do better to get into a top school."

Only when he refused to go to school did she realise that something was wrong.

Now, instead of engaging tutors for her son on her terms, she checks with him regularly to make sure he is coping well in school.

While stress is inevitable when it comes to major exams like the PSLE, child psychiatrist Brian Yeo said parents should be conscious of the message they are sending to their children.

"Some parents unconsciously stress out their children with their thoughts, actions and behaviour," he said.

One such instance is comparing the child with other children.

"You may not overtly say so, but the child is affected."

Singapore Children's Society's youth services director, Dr Carol Balhetchet, said parents need to manage their expectations.

She cited an example of a boy who did well enough in PSLE to get to a secondary school that was slightly above average.

His parents, however, wanted him to retake his PSLE so that he could get into a top school.

"I think that's very unfair," said Dr Balhetchet.

Tinkle Friend Helpline Coordinator Goh Li Shan came across a mother who cried when her son got an aggregate of 251 for PSLE.

"She was expecting him to obtain much higher marks, so 251 was considered low to her," said Ms Goh.

She noted, however, that such parents are in the minority.

Different perspective

To help parents battle this stress, Dr Yeo tries to show them a different perspective when it comes to exams like the PSLE.

"While it is important to do well in school, at the end of the day, PSLE is a bridge to the child's next stage in life," said Dr Yeo.

"It is okay so long as you can do sufficiently well to enter the next stage."

To make sure children do not burn out under exam stress, Dr Ung emphasises the importance of balance.

"Stress comes when balance is lost. If the kid is working hard, he or she should be allowed down time to play hard and relax," he said.

Dr Balhetchet agrees. She saw no point in depriving children of the freedom to do what they want.

"We might as well put our children in little prisons, give them books and put in some food," she said.

Pupil misses PSLE oral exam because of train delay

A train delay on the North-East Line (NEL) on Friday morning made one pupil miss the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) oral exam.

Delays lasted as long as 50 minutes, in both directions.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Education told The New Paper that candidates would not be disadvantaged or penalised for being late if their delay was caused by the disruption. "Candidates who are late for oral examinations due to public transport service disruptions can take them on another day," he said.

SBS Transit has apologised for the delay. It was due to a power fault, which was caused by a broken stainless steel bolt, in the north-bound tunnel between HarbourFront and Outram Park stations, it said in a press release yesterday.


Get The New Paper for more stories.

KSP
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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby dolphinsiah » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:04 pm

Every Child is different and Special...

Not everbody can be CEO/Doctors or lawyers.....

If the Child is good in academic , it will be good to help them obtain higher grades ....

If the Child is under performing , let them go to another learning path....

I believe all parents want their children to be happy in learning, not stress....and unhappy.....

To me ,no need to be always No 1 or all A *.....

Remember Children in Singapore will be very soon considered "Endangered Animals-very soon going to extinct..... :sad:

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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby concern2 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:15 pm

One could be training a kid in extreme ways for sports and Olympics and be reprimanded by the public for child abuse. Yet, those sufferings are visible, unlike mental and psychological torment like these, which often hurt the child in ways that are not any less traumatic.

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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby KSP » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:38 pm

dolphinsiah wrote:Remember Children in Singapore will be very soon considered "Endangered Animals-very soon going to extinct..... :sad:


coz only the very best can survive......

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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby laughingcat » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:11 pm

So sad to hear this.

Personally it is parents need that need to be "educated" in handling stress. Sometime inevitably will pass on their own stress to the child.

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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby Peony » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:22 pm

I've seen how a very bright young boy slowly diminished into a dull "slow" one due to all study and no play. Sadly the parents never learnt that it was his "all study & no play" that was slowing him down mentally & physically and as his grades went down, made him study even more!!! Hence he is now a shadow of his old self. I feel very sad whenever I see him, recalling him as a precocious preschooler. I recall his downhill slide began as the obsessed parents wanted him, the eldest son, to enter a top secondary school.


Anyway, that instilled in me how important a balanced life is. A stressed child is like a broken child... Heartbreaking.

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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby kiasu parrot » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:53 am

Peony wrote:I've seen how a very bright young boy slowly diminished into a dull "slow" one due to all study and no play. Sadly the parents never learnt that it was his "all study & no play" that was slowing him down mentally & physically and as his grades went down, made him study even more!!! Hence he is now a shadow of his old self. I feel very sad whenever I see him, recalling him as a precocious preschooler. I recall his downhill slide began as the obsessed parents wanted him, the eldest son, to enter a top secondary school.


Anyway, that instilled in me how important a balanced life is. A stressed child is like a broken child... Heartbreaking.



all study can slow down a child mentally? how? why are so many parents forcing children to study more than they should be if so...

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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby Peony » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:38 am

kiasu parrot wrote:
Peony wrote:I've seen how a very bright young boy slowly diminished into a dull "slow" one due to all study and no play. Sadly the parents never learnt that it was his "all study & no play" that was slowing him down mentally & physically and as his grades went down, made him study even more!!! Hence he is now a shadow of his old self. I feel very sad whenever I see him, recalling him as a precocious preschooler. I recall his downhill slide began as the obsessed parents wanted him, the eldest son, to enter a top secondary school.


Anyway, that instilled in me how important a balanced life is. A stressed child is like a broken child... Heartbreaking.



all study can slow down a child mentally? how? why are so many parents forcing children to study more than they should be if so...


Am no expert, and all observations and research I do is for the benefit of my own personal way of raising my DD.

But if you do a simple google, you will find studies that show a combination of factors affect so called "good acadamic" results e.g. good nutrition, physical activity and sufficient rest.

"Studying" is sedentary, and without physical activity, the mind and body slows down. Again my disclaimer, that I am no expert and you can do a simple google to scan through the numerous indepth research.

As to "why parents are asking kids to study more if so... " perhaps they do not know this. I've even heard of parents complaining that some preschools don't teach enough - the kids are only playing. They don't realise that the child learns a whole lot more through play than through "traditional" perception of studying.

The brain also needs breaks to absorb - you can even do a search on youtube for simple demos on how the brain works and the most effective ways to study.

I have been researching on how to develop my child holistically since she was born and the simple truth I live by is that a happy well-balanced child will do better than a stressed one.

Peony
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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby BeContented » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:18 am

Peony wrote:
kiasu parrot wrote:
Peony wrote:I've seen how a very bright young boy slowly diminished into a dull "slow" one due to all study and no play. Sadly the parents never learnt that it was his "all study & no play" that was slowing him down mentally & physically and as his grades went down, made him study even more!!! Hence he is now a shadow of his old self. I feel very sad whenever I see him, recalling him as a precocious preschooler. I recall his downhill slide began as the obsessed parents wanted him, the eldest son, to enter a top secondary school.


Anyway, that instilled in me how important a balanced life is. A stressed child is like a broken child... Heartbreaking.



all study can slow down a child mentally? how? why are so many parents forcing children to study more than they should be if so...


Am no expert, and all observations and research I do is for the benefit of my own personal way of raising my DD.

But if you do a simple google, you will find studies that show a combination of factors affect so called "good acadamic" results e.g. good nutrition, physical activity and sufficient rest.

"Studying" is sedentary, and without physical activity, the mind and body slows down. Again my disclaimer, that I am no expert and you can do a simple google to scan through the numerous indepth research.

As to "why parents are asking kids to study more if so... " perhaps they do not know this. I've even heard of parents complaining that some preschools don't teach enough - the kids are only playing. They don't realise that the child learns a whole lot more through play than through "traditional" perception of studying.

The brain also needs breaks to absorb - you can even do a search on youtube for simple demos on how the brain works and the most effective ways to study.

I have been researching on how to develop my child holistically since she was born and the simple truth I live by is that a happy well-balanced child will do better than a stressed one.


Can share your research? Just some simple pointers :)
While my kids seems to have a pretty ok life, I find their relax time seems too heavy on electronic gadgets.

BeContented
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Re: PSLE stress takes its toll on some children

Postby pinky » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:22 am

read before that kids as young as 6 were referred to child psychiatrists at IMH
for treatment :sad:

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