What is wrong with my son?!!!

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

What is wrong with my son?!!!

Postby JJJmom » Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:30 pm

I'm so disappointed when I received his SMS on his scores today.

He has not been performing well since P4 and he is definitely not stupid! His exam time table is very well scheduled this year, with enough time for him to revise and prepare well for every subject.

He is P5 this year and we gave our best to provide him with any help he needs to do well for coming PSLE. We gave him group tuition, we gave him 1-1 tuition, my hb sat down to revise with him, we tried to talk sense into him, we tried to motivate him and reward him with expensive toys he desired, I scolded and caned him...but all these don't seem to work at all!

What is wrong with my son?!!! He is my middle child, but mid child syndrome is not a good excuse for him not to do well academically! We love him as much as the rest, or what is wrong with us as parents?

I'm at a loss now, words cannot expressed my disappointment. Should I cane him tonight?

JJJmom
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Postby EN » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:07 pm

Dear JJJmom

I can understand how upset you are. But please don't start caning your son for his school result.

When my child did not do well in school, I would sit down to reflect what need to do better, gather feedback from my kid what is lacking & what help is needed & together we start afresh. I will only have the talk when I'm no longer angry/upset & we have a one to one talk without the child feeling intimidated.

If a child has put in considerable effort in preparing for exam but did not do as well, I'm sure the child will be extremely upset. Your anger & caning will just make the child feel worst.

Some kids do need time to grow and mature. Some kids are not academically inclined but they might developed skills that will serve them well in their adult life.

Please do reach out to your kid with sympathy when he most need it.

EN
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Postby BlueBells » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:08 pm

No, you should not be caning him. It all boils down to parental expectations. As parents, we should always be keeping our expectations in check as well.

Points to ponder:

1. He is not stupid (and please, don't ever use this word on your kids, regardless of the situation), but perhaps the pace of learning has been a little fast for him to understand / grasp the concept behind the teachings, so much so that for all the tuition and 1:1 guide that you have given him, he is still unable to fully grasp and understand the concept behind it, and therefore, unable to score.

2. Has his revision schedule been too packed, so much so that he has no personal time to do what he likes?

3. Have a chat with his teacher along the way, whenever you feel that he has reached a bottle neck instead of waiting for the usual teacher-parents meeting. It helps alot.

4. Use positive words for encouragement and chiding. Instead of saying, "you are being careless for this sum", say, "if you can be a little bit more careful here..."

Finally, if you have put in your best, and your son has also put in his best, then let the matter rest. No use crying over spilt milk and getting yourself too upset over this.

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Postby JJJmom » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:28 pm

Dear EN,
You're right, I will scold him and cane him when I'm still angry. I tried to reason out with him when I calmed down.
He is afraid of me when I talk to him seriously. He don't open up to talk, I do the talking most of the time. He will listen and fell asleep, next day back to square one again :(
He will fool around with me when I talked to him in a lighter mood, I ended feeling frustrated :(
I constantly remind him to do his revision, he has plenty of time to revise for this exam.

Dear Bluebells,
He is not stupid, and he understands everything in the text when he revised.
I remembered he told me he felt stressed up during exam period, ahhh....that could be the cause! But how to help him to de-stress?
The daily school work is packed enough, I pity my children sometimes. But what to do? I'm kiasu parents too, it pains me to drag him to tuition but I have to.
He loves online gaming only. But allowing him to play will drive his result poorer, it's proven! And the school cautioned us online gaming is addictive and mind toxicating. I don't allow him to play during school days, only in June and Nov holidays.
Common sense parenting. Yeah....stress, must constantly remind myself to use nice words, positive attitude, no scoldings and canings, only negative consequence. Think I have no common sense...hee

Thanks Ladies, I feel better now. He is safe tonight, no caning.
I will keep trying to give my best though, stay positive! Ha!

JJJmom
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:41 am

JJJmom wrote:Thanks Ladies, I feel better now. He is safe tonight, no caning.
I will keep trying to give my best though, stay positive! Ha!


Hi JJJmom, if a child remains the same or worse even after all the punishment you administer, you can be sure that all that "motivation" is at best ineffective, and at worse compounding the problem. So why continue using that method?

As parents, our greatest challenge is to grow our children into thinking adults - and as someone said in this forum - give them a fishing rod to fish for themselves instead of serving them the fish. Children don't respond when we tell them what to do. They respond when they see us doing it ourselves.

What I suggest is that you reverse gears totally. Don't punish him. Instead, bring him out for dinner, saying that you just want to celebrate the completion of yet another year, but not the results. Don't talk about his results or lessons learnt. He himself feels bad already, and is expecting you to repeat what has always been said to him. Surprise him by not talking about it at all. Believe me, kids are more afraid when parents don't do as they expect.

Over the next 2 weeks, do something to improve yourself, something you have never done before. It can be to start on a regular exercise programme, or to learn a new skill, like a language. If he ask you what you are doing, say that you are doing it to improve yourself. Explain to him how even at your age, you have to study or work hard just to bring bread home to the family. Life is a continuous learning experience, and there are always tests along the way to challenge our resolve. It is only when we overcome these challenges that we can emerge to become better versions of ourselves. Now you can bring up the fact that not doing well in his previous exams only give him the opportunity to improve himself significantly, if he is prepared to work hard. Challenge him to work with you - if you can pick up that skill at your age, then he should be able to work hard and do better in his exams.

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Postby sunflower » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:58 am

ChiefKiasu wrote:
JJJmom wrote:Thanks Ladies, I feel better now. He is safe tonight, no caning.
I will keep trying to give my best though, stay positive! Ha!


Over the next 2 weeks, do something to improve yourself, something you have never done before. It can be to start on a regular exercise programme, or to learn a new skill, like a language. If he ask you what you are doing, say that you are doing it to improve yourself. Explain to him how even at your age, you have to study or work hard just to bring bread home to the family. Life is a continuous learning experience, and there are always tests along the way to challenge our resolve. It is only when we overcome these challenges that we can emerge to become better versions of ourselves. Now you can bring up the fact that not doing well in his previous exams only give him the opportunity to improve himself significantly, if he is prepared to work hard. Challenge him to work with you - if you can pick up that skill at your age, then he should be able to work hard and do better in his exams.


Ha, ha… this was exactly what my hubby did to motivate my girl before the exams. He sat down with her to set goals for which both of them would like to attain: my hubby to learn and play 10 songs on the guitar by end of the yr while my girl to achieve a certain range of marks for her various subjects.

It did excite her initially to plan and sit down for some serious work but after the novelty wore off, she slackened and needed to be reminded of her goals. On the other hand, my hubby tried his best to practise his guitar after work nearly every night, to encourage her and to show her that the learning journey is not something to be taken lightly and that perseverance and determination are needed to achieve goals.:)
Last edited by sunflower on Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby hquek » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:26 am

Hi JJJMom,

It may not be he doesn't understand the subjects - you will know better in his daily work. Could it be due to stress during exam? I blanked out during my o level prelims and forgot everything - it was a really scary experience. Had to compose myself before things came back to me.

If so, caning/reprimanding will only increase the fear of exam in future.

Perhaps you can try to communicate with him more - don't focus on exam, it's past. But try probe if he faces such problems when it's time to put pen on paper.

Probably you may like to focus on exam techniques and how to overcome the fear of such with him first.

Hope things work out!

hquek
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Postby mummyoftwo » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:49 pm

Hi, i fully understand how you feel. My son is only in P2 and his result is not good at all. I was thinking to myself that he's only P2 with this result, what happens when he is in P4, 5 or 6.... I have also tried all ways - soft, hard etc but doesn't seem to work. When i've seen his papers, mostly it's careless mistakes and some questions were even been revised with him....

I've told him that he has to read carefully the questions and not just skip it through but i don't know if it's a boy's thing......... As what others said, we can only tried to do our best, but it might not be the best or the right way....

mummyoftwo
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Postby jedamum » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:57 am

mummyoftwo wrote:I was thinking to myself that he's only P2 with this result, what happens when he is in P4, 5 or 6....

Sometimes, such worries are not necessary (as much as i want to tell myself this too!). Because there may be instances that a kid who doesn't do well in a easier paper, tend to score when the standard gets tougher. This is because for an easy paper, a lot is tested on being careful and detailed while a tougher paper award marks for solution to solve the questions.
That's why sometimes I prefer that the paper is tougher. :wink:

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Postby yat23yat23 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:36 pm

i thot i was the only one facing this problem. my son is in P2. he failed his maths paper in P1 and he failed again this year. his Eng and MT marks are not that good either. i'm upset because i know he can do better and i had hoped that he would perform better than last year.

all his form teacher can say is he needs to be more focussed. when asked how the school can help, she just gave me tips on how i can "train" him to be more focussed.

i've decided to pull my son out from his tuition centre. he was there since P1 and no improvement at all.

my husband doesn't know of the results yet cos the report book hasn't been given out. i'll have to make sure that my husband doesn't over react. we both had put in a lot of effort when it comes to his studies and prayed for him as well.

every night, i ask myself: what i should do to help him; what have i not done correctly; if he can't pull through P1 & P2, how is he going to pull through till P6.

i'm attending a talk tomorrow about the various learning disabilities in children. i hope to learn something from it. i'm quite keen to do an evaluation but i know that it is expensive and not a one-time thing.
i definitely can't afford the cost.

yat23yat23
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