Are we stressing our kids too much?

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.

Are we stressing our kids too much?

Postby tianzhu » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:02 am

Are we stressing our kids too much?
The stabbing rampage in Tokyo may be a timely reminder for parents for stop for a while and ponder whether or not we are going too hard on our kids.

http://www.todayonline.com/articles/258836.asp#
June 11, 2008

The distraught mother of the suspect behind a stabbing rampage in Tokyo that left seven people dead collapsed to the ground in grief as his father offered a heartfelt apology.
"We are terribly sorry for the people who lost their lives and were injured by what our son did," said the 49-year-old father of suspect Tomohiro Kato.
"No matter how many times we apologise, we cannot apologise enough," the father added, bowing deeply and repeatedly before television cameras in front of their house in the northern town of Aomori late Tuesday.
"I still can't say what exactly I could do (for the victims) as my mind is a mess."
Kato's mother, 53, wiped tears away with a handkerchief, then collapsed on the ground.
To respect the parents' privacy, media agreed to pixelate their faces and not give their first names.
The father, clad in a short-sleeved chequered shirt and black trousers, has previously been identified as a banker.
Media reports have said their son, who in the course of a few years went from studying at Aomori's top high school to working at an auto parts factory, would beat his own mother as he failed to live up to her expectations.
In Japan's deadliest crime in seven years, Kato drove a rented two-tonne truck Sunday into Tokyo's crowded district of Akihabara, which is the hub of Japan's comic-book and video-game subculture.
He swerved the vehicle into pedestrians, jumped out and ran into the crowds brandishing a survival knife in one hand and a smaller knife in the other. He wounded 17 people before he was overpowered by police.
Four of them died from stab wounds and three others were killed by the truck.
Kato is in custody of prosecutors, who could press charges that would lead to the death penalty.
The private Nippon Television network reported that Kato tearfully told investigators he wished "somebody could have stopped me" as he went on the stabbing spree.
Kato kept a chilling account of his journey to Akihabara by posting online messages from his mobile telephone from behind the wheel of his truck.
He earlier posted hundreds of messages revealing his anger and loneliness as he failed to find friends or a girlfriend.
On the eve of the rampage, Kato wrote over the Internet "I had been forced to play the good boy since I was little," according to the tabloid Sports Nippon.
He said his parents would sometimes complete his homework for him.
"I was perfect in my studies as I got prizes for what a parent wrote or drew," he reportedly wrote.
"As they wanted to brag about me to other people, they would finish everything up to make me look perfect."
The killings have shocked Japan, which has one of the world's lowest crime rates.
The government on Wednesday called a meeting of eight cabinet ministers to discuss whether to tighten controls on knives. Kato was reportedly carrying five knives when he went on the rampage.
"We have learned there are so many kinds of knives available," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said before convening the meeting.
Japan strictly controls firearm possession. — AFP
The distraught mother of the suspect behind a stabbing rampage in Tokyo that left seven people dead collapsed to the ground in grief as his father offered a heartfelt apology.
"We are terribly sorry for the people who lost their lives and were injured by what our son did," said the 49-year-old father of suspect Tomohiro Kato.
"No matter how many times we apologise, we cannot apologise enough," the father added, bowing deeply and repeatedly before television cameras in front of their house in the northern town of Aomori late Tuesday.
"I still can't say what exactly I could do (for the victims) as my mind is a mess."
Kato's mother, 53, wiped tears away with a handkerchief, then collapsed on the ground.
To respect the parents' privacy, media agreed to pixelate their faces and not give their first names.
The father, clad in a short-sleeved chequered shirt and black trousers, has previously been identified as a banker.
Media reports have said their son, who in the course of a few years went from studying at Aomori's top high school to working at an auto parts factory, would beat his own mother as he failed to live up to her expectations.
In Japan's deadliest crime in seven years, Kato drove a rented two-tonne truck Sunday into Tokyo's crowded district of Akihabara, which is the hub of Japan's comic-book and video-game subculture.
He swerved the vehicle into pedestrians, jumped out and ran into the crowds brandishing a survival knife in one hand and a smaller knife in the other. He wounded 17 people before he was overpowered by police.
Four of them died from stab wounds and three others were killed by the truck.
Kato is in custody of prosecutors, who could press charges that would lead to the death penalty.
The private Nippon Television network reported that Kato tearfully told investigators he wished "somebody could have stopped me" as he went on the stabbing spree.
Kato kept a chilling account of his journey to Akihabara by posting online messages from his mobile telephone from behind the wheel of his truck.
He earlier posted hundreds of messages revealing his anger and loneliness as he failed to find friends or a girlfriend.
On the eve of the rampage, Kato wrote over the Internet "I had been forced to play the good boy since I was little," according to the tabloid Sports Nippon.
He said his parents would sometimes complete his homework for him.
"I was perfect in my studies as I got prizes for what a parent wrote or drew," he reportedly wrote.
"As they wanted to brag about me to other people, they would finish everything up to make me look perfect."
.
The killings have shocked Japan, which has one of the world's lowest crime rates.
The government on Wednesday called a meeting of eight cabinet ministers to discuss whether to tighten controls on knives. Kato was reportedly carrying five knives when he went on the rampage.
"We have learned there are so many kinds of knives available," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said before convening the meeting.
Japan strictly controls firearm possession. — AFP


http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2BNe ... 38926.html

May 19, 2008

India exam pressure leads to wave of student suicides
NEW DELHI - IT'S exam season in India - and it's also suicide season when students buckle under parental pressure to get high marks and into a top university for the golden chance of a high-paying job.
Newspapers carry tragic daily reports of youngsters who have killed themselves or taken what Indians euphemistically call 'the extreme step' because they fear the shame of a bad report card.
On a single day last month, the Times of India reported two teenage boys in New Delhi hanged themselves at their homes. One was falling behind in his studies and the other was afraid of an English exam.
A final year Bachelor of Commerce student hanged herself in the commercial capital Mumbai apparently because she was not prepared for her economics paper and did not want her family to feel ashamed.
A grade 12 student from Surat in western India hanged herself and another threw herself before a moving train in Allahabad in northern India, the paper reported, adding there were other suicides that day too.
'Teenage suicide (over exams) is a national disaster,' said psychiatrist Samir Parikh of Max Healthcare, a leading New Delhi private hospital chain.
In 2006, the most recent year for which official figures are available, some 5,857 students - or 16 a day - killed themselves due to exam stress.
Police say thousands more suicides go unreported because parents want to keep the cause of death a secret.
Competition to get into higher education in the country of more than 1.1 billion people is fierce with stratospheric averages needed to obtain the few places available in India's 'Ivy League' colleges.
For instance, the cut-off average mark to pursue an undergraduate economics degree at Delhi University's top commerce college last year was 97.8 per cent.
'Unsurprisingly only a small fraction of the 500,000 school leavers each year will make it,' said Mr Sunil Sethi, columnist for financial daily Business Standard.
India has just a couple of dozen top-notch 'branded' colleges, seven Indian institutes of technology and six of management. Together they take only 16,000 undergraduates each year.
In the last few weeks since the start of exam season, there have been a string of suicides in India's capital by students as young as 12.
'Over the years the kind of marks students need to get into 'good universities' has really started touching the roof - they need 90, 95 per cent averages,' psychiatrist Parikh said.
Also 'parents have big expectations and give undue importance to exams and for children the marks are benchmarks of their self-esteem. The combination can be fatal'.
Many hang themselves from ceiling fans - ubiquitous in India's hot climate - but others set themselves alight, consume pesticides or drown themselves.
One 17-year-old left a suicide note saying he was ending his 'life because the pressure has started to get to me and I cannot take it any longer', concluding poignantly: 'I love my family and I hope they will understand.'
While the global teen suicide rate is 14.5 per 100,000, a 2004 study by the Christian Medical College in the southern city of Vellore reported 148 for girls and 58 for boys in India.
The girls' rate is higher because many fear being married off if they flunk, experts say.
Educators criticise the exams for stressing memory work over reasoning.
'We must make exams in such a way it does not bank on memory but emphasises thinking capability,' said scientist Yash Pal, who headed India's recent curricular reform steering committee.
Tutors are called in and parents take time off to coach their children through exams. 'Memory pills' are devoured, nutritionists are consulted for the best 'brain food' and newspapers devote sections to tackling exams.
'You can't imagine the pressure,' said student Renu Chanda, 17, who has just done her finals.
On top of the finals, there are the university tests. Some students take half a dozen or more exams to try to get into big-name institutions.
A 2006 study of 231 teenagers by Anuradha Sovani, a clinical psychologist at the University of Mumbai, showed that the students were more frightened of exams than accidents, earthquakes or bomb attacks.
'Somehow we think high marks are the only way our children are going to succeed in life,' said Ms Anita Gupta, a mother of two sons and a daughter.
Poorer parents make huge sacrifices to afford tuition so children feel an extra burden to succeed.
The ones who don't make it into top schools end up going to under-funded second-rate colleges or the booming number of private universities. But the disadvantage of private institutes is that standards vary so wildly many are not recognised by the government.
Families that can afford it send their children abroad with an estimated 160,000 Indians studying overseas each year.
And even when students get into good Indian colleges, the pressure does not end - with university suicides also regularly reported.
'We have to give youngsters - and their parents - the life skills to know marks are not everything in life,' said psychiatrist Parikh. -- AFP

tianzhu
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Postby kaitlynangelica » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:49 am

the problem is how to strike a balance. You can't bochap them either. And you shouldn't stress them out too much either.

I think a lot of the problem lies in the fact that parents treat their children like trophies.

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Postby lizawa » Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:39 pm

I think a lot of the problem lies in the fact that parents treat their children like trophies.


This is happening everywhere, especially prominent in Asia.

We are having fewer and fewer children, so we give all the best to our kids. We are afraid they will lose out if we do not prepare them enough for schools and for society later in life. We give them some pressure, hoping to stretch their potential, without realizing what is the threshold.

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:17 pm

In ancient times, young boys go through rituals or "proving grounds" before they can become "men". Some of these rituals result in death. Perhaps the education system has replaced this practice in a more "civilized" manner. It is really sad.

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Postby kiasimom » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:30 pm

I have to agree that we are stressing our children more as compared to other countries.
But we are in Singapore.
Singapore wants to be Number 1 in almost everything.
The education system here is much tougher and we are "forced" to push our children harder.
We don't have Hanyu Pinyin and problem sums when I was in P1 and I only get to use the computer when I am in Secondary.
I miss those days when my parents tell me :" As long as you pass, I am happy." My parents do not set goals for me and to them it doesn't really matter if I am in the Top 3 as long as I pass my exams and advance every year.
But if I were to say the same thing to my children, I know in time to come, they will suffer.
They are exposed to Hanyu Pinyin and difficult sums much earlier than I do I dare to say 99% of the Singaporean primary students are IT savvy.
So unless the education system changes, I think our children will have to keep up with time.

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Postby tamarind » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:36 pm

But if I were to say the same thing to my children, I know in time to come, they will suffer.


Suffer in what way ?

No car, no condo when they grow up ?

I spent all my youth studying, and I was among the top students in primary school and secondary school. However, I do not own a car now and I do not stay in a condo. My handbag costs less than $50. I would not say that I am suffering, but I am certainly not living a life of luxuries.

Doing well academically will not guarantee that they will get very high paying jobs in the future. In fact, my SIL who failed most subjects, earned much more money than me working as a banker. It takes a lot more than good academic results to be successful in your career.

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Postby mummy of 2 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:44 pm

tamarind wrote:
But if I were to say the same thing to my children, I know in time to come, they will suffer.


Suffer in what way ?

No car, no condo when they grow up ?

I spent all my youth studying, and I was among the top students in primary school and secondary school. However, I do not own a car now and I do not stay in a condo. My handbag costs less than $50. I would not say that I am suffering, but I am certainly not living a life of luxuries.

Doing well academically will not guarantee that they will get very high paying jobs in the future. In fact, my SIL who failed most subjects, earned much more money than me working as a banker. It takes a lot more than good academic results to be successful in your career.


Totally agree. Academic results is not the only factor determining success in life. In any case, we also need to spell out what we mean by success in life, is it only measured in monetary terms? I think that is a rather narrow definition. There are many paths and routes to success, no matter how you define it.

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Postby Emelyn » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:46 pm

tamarind wrote:
But if I were to say the same thing to my children, I know in time to come, they will suffer.


Suffer in what way ?

No car, no condo when they grow up ?

I spent all my youth studying, and I was among the top students in primary school and secondary school. However, I do not own a car now and I do not stay in a condo. My handbag costs less than $50. I would not say that I am suffering, but I am certainly not living a life of luxuries.

Doing well academically will not guarantee that they will get very high paying jobs in the future. In fact, my SIL who failed most subjects, earned much more money than me working as a banker. It takes a lot more than good academic results to be successful in your career.


Tamarind, I totally agree with you.

My 2 cousins ...only finished Secondary School.....well.... they each have a few landed houses and a few condos, drives Mercedes and BMW.

Me ? I scored all As in my Uni and Masters course.... but only have 1 house..and a Chevrolet.....

Yes. Academic Success doesn't mean success in career.....

But... just to highlight that..... we are happy in our lives..... !

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Postby buds » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:49 pm

tamarind wrote:It takes a lot more than good academic results to be successful in your career.


mummy of 2 wrote:Totally agree. Academic results is not the only factor determining success in life. In any case, we also need to spell out what we mean by success in life, is it only measured in monetary terms? I think that is a rather narrow definition. There are many paths and routes to success, no matter how you define it.


Emelyn wrote:Yes. Academic Success doesn't mean success in career.....

But... just to highlight that..... we are happy in our lives..... !


I agree with you ladies.. :celebrate:

buds
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Postby Guest » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:03 pm

buds wrote:
tamarind wrote:It takes a lot more than good academic results to be successful in your career.


mummy of 2 wrote:Totally agree. Academic results is not the only factor determining success in life. In any case, we also need to spell out what we mean by success in life, is it only measured in monetary terms? I think that is a rather narrow definition. There are many paths and routes to success, no matter how you define it.


Emelyn wrote:Yes. Academic Success doesn't mean success in career.....

But... just to highlight that..... we are happy in our lives..... !


I agree with you ladies.. :celebrate:


You are the contented minority.....if there are more of "yous" then perhaps the stress will not become so bad in Asia.
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