Managing your child's expectations

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.

Managing your child's expectations

Postby acforfamily » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:48 am

Wonder whether this topic should be under 'motivating your child'?

My son is a real enigma. Sometimes, I feel that he is very complacent and needs to be pushed to perform, other times, he sets goals so high that I am afraid he will be de-moralised when he fails.

Being a very self-confident child and knowing friends in GEP, my son is aiming for GEP too. He says it as a matter of fact that he wants to go to a certain GEP school because 'so and so' is there, there are a lot of things to learn etc. However, he is the type to give up something when he finds that he is not 'top of class'.

I was struggling on how to manage his expectations ( in case he does not get through) and at the same time, ensure that he does his best for the GEP screening.
( There are many views on whether a child should be 'streamed' into GEP, I think there are merits to the program though I will not 'train' my child to get into GEP. )

How do I tell a child that he may not be 'good' enough to get into GEP? In the end, I settled for "getting into GEP may mean a lot of interesting lessons and fun (but also maybe more homework?) but not getting in does not mean you are 'stupid' ok"

Will be glad to get some advice from fellow parents on how you manage your child's expectations.

acforfamily
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Postby sashimi » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:41 pm

I think that expectations are about thinking (far) ahead, and for children this act does not come often. Children think more about the now than the future, unlike adults who have an endless capacity to worry far far into the future. As such, you will understand when I say that it's often US adults who are the ones setting up high expectations, though I won't deny that some kids do have a propensity to have them as well. Similarly, kids forget them more easily than we do, so the impact is not as hard on them (say, if they fail to meet the expectations). Again, it has all to do with how far one thinks into the future. Kids are also much more adaptible to changes in life than we tend to give them credit for.

I think that for your child, if he has very compelling reasons to get into GEP (even if just for social reasons), you should - in all practical reality - help as much as you can. Simply to avoid the potential crash if expectations are not met.

If the reason for it is not compelling, then I think as the adult, we have to be less stressed by it; just be more matter-of-fact about it. And offer alternatives - if cannot get into GEP, no worries, can also go into... (something else just as enjoyable).

For the record, I was in the GEP, 3rd batch. Given a choice, I will go back in time and go to express instead. The programme during that early time did not suit any of my "unique gifts" (and I do believe I am not untalented). I don't think GEP is for every genius or prodigy out there. It might simply be better to perform well in the ordinary classes than be stressed out by high expectations in the GEP - see it's the expectations game again. :)

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Postby Fluffy » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:49 pm

[Editor's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

I have a son in Sec 1 and a daughter in P5. My son was a GEP student. During the 1st 3 primary school years, my son was not specially trained to prepare for GEP or neither top in his overall exam. In fact, I had no idea whatsoever about GEP program. The only significant difference is my son loves maths since young due to his father's influence who loves to play maths games with him. He loves to read due to my influence. Hence, there was no pressure when he took his 1st Screening test. He claimed both round of GEP tests were difficult. To our surprise, he got selected. I was very reluctant to let him immersed into the program after finding out the never ending projects and difficult curriculum. However, he pleaded with me to let him try for 1 year. At the end of 1st GEP year, I request to withdraw him as almost every other day I received calls and notes from his subjects teachers that he never seems to be able to hand up his work on time or forgotten about his worksheets and project datelines etc. He did quite badly in P4. Sometimes, he daydream and unattentive in class which has been a common complaints since P1. It was only when the GEP Head refused to let us withdraw claiming that he has high potential and after advice by the school's Student Developement Head to bring him for psychological assessment that we discovered he is an Asperger's Syndrom child who has sensory integration disorder and executive function disorder. Recently, we also discovered he has Irlen syndrom too. His path in GEP is not easy due to his condition but his teachers and GEP Head were very supportive and make changes according to the recommendation of the psychologists and therapists. Throughout the 3 years in GEP, my son never feel any pressure but we parents were the ones constantly worrying. He is a very mild temper person and take things real "cool". I know of other GEP kids who cried over results etc but never my son. Despite his condition, he ended his Pri school life with 3 offers from RI, HCI and NUSH. He is now very happy in RI and doing fine.

My daughter is not in GEP. She was selected for the 2nd round and failed to make it. My daughter unlike my son is a more deligent and discipline student who has high expectation of herself. She idolised her brother and wants to follow his footsteps despites knowing the midnight oil he had to burn for his projects because he often did not know the dateline till later due to his condition. Although she understands the vigorous demand of the program, she was determined to get in. She was devastated and depressed during the 1st half of P4. We and the teachers have to counsel her so that she could understand that it is not the end of the world if you stay in main stream. In fact, if she work hard and be consistent, she will do as well as those in the GEP. In fact, there are a percentage of GEP graduants who have no confirm offer from any sec school last year or only 1 offer. Very often, these are students who either have poor attitude and a few were known to have had expensive and rigorous GEP training before taking the screening tests and later have difficulty coping with the strenous demand of the curriculum. Now, my daugher has renewed her confidence and we encourage her to do her best.

My sharing is to remind parents not to place too much expectation on their children or prepare them for the GEP tests. It is very important is to show them concern and care. We must always tell them we still love them despite whatever results they have gotten as long as they truly have put in their best efforts. GEP does not guarantee any students an easy path to acheive their goals. It is only a process to help students who has the potential and ability to fulfil the MOE's "giftedness program". Although a student may not be in GEP, everyones has their own giftedness and talent in the eyes of the parents. And I believe my daughter is gifted in her own way.

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Postby acforfamily » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:51 am

Fluffy wrote:She was devastated and depressed during the 1st half of P4. We and the teachers have to counsel her so that she could understand that it is not the end of the world if you stay in main stream.


How true, and this is what I am trying to prepare my son for. I do not want him to get demoralised if he does not get in. I certainly agree with you that parents should not drill / prepare their kids for GEP screening as they will only suffer later.

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Postby Joy » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:03 pm

Hi Fluffy

Thanks for sharing and I have pm you.

rgds

Fluffy wrote:[Editor's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

I have a son in Sec 1 and a daughter in P5.

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Postby millan » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:47 am

Fluffy wrote:[Editor's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

I have a son in Sec 1 and a daughter in P5. My son was a GEP student. During the 1st 3 primary school years, my son was not specially trained to prepare for GEP or neither top in his overall exam. In fact, I had no idea whatsoever about GEP program. The only significant difference is my son loves maths since young due to his father's influence who loves to play maths games with him. He loves to read due to my influence. Hence, there was no pressure when he took his 1st Screening test. He claimed both round of GEP tests were difficult. To our surprise, he got selected. I was very reluctant to let him immersed into the program after finding out the never ending projects and difficult curriculum. However, he pleaded with me to let him try for 1 year. At the end of 1st GEP year, I request to withdraw him as almost every other day I received calls and notes from his subjects teachers that he never seems to be able to hand up his work on time or forgotten about his worksheets and project datelines etc. He did quite badly in P4. Sometimes, he daydream and unattentive in class which has been a common complaints since P1. It was only when the GEP Head refused to let us withdraw claiming that he has high potential and after advice by the school's Student Developement Head to bring him for psychological assessment that we discovered he is an Asperger's Syndrom child who has sensory integration disorder and executive function disorder. Recently, we also discovered he has Irlen syndrom too. His path in GEP is not easy due to his condition but his teachers and GEP Head were very supportive and make changes according to the recommendation of the psychologists and therapists. Throughout the 3 years in GEP, my son never feel any pressure but we parents were the ones constantly worrying. He is a very mild temper person and take things real "cool". I know of other GEP kids who cried over results etc but never my son. Despite his condition, he ended his Pri school life with 3 offers from RI, HCI and NUSH. He is now very happy in RI and doing fine.

My daughter is not in GEP. She was selected for the 2nd round and failed to make it. My daughter unlike my son is a more deligent and discipline student who has high expectation of herself. She idolised her brother and wants to follow his footsteps despites knowing the midnight oil he had to burn for his projects because he often did not know the dateline till later due to his condition. Although she understands the vigorous demand of the program, she was determined to get in. She was devastated and depressed during the 1st half of P4. We and the teachers have to counsel her so that she could understand that it is not the end of the world if you stay in main stream. In fact, if she work hard and be consistent, she will do as well as those in the GEP. In fact, there are a percentage of GEP graduants who have no confirm offer from any sec school last year or only 1 offer. Very often, these are students who either have poor attitude and a few were known to have had expensive and rigorous GEP training before taking the screening tests and later have difficulty coping with the strenous demand of the curriculum. Now, my daugher has renewed her confidence and we encourage her to do her best.

My sharing is to remind parents not to place too much expectation on their children or prepare them for the GEP tests. It is very important is to show them concern and care. We must always tell them we still love them despite whatever results they have gotten as long as they truly have put in their best efforts. GEP does not guarantee any students an easy path to acheive their goals. It is only a process to help students who has the potential and ability to fulfil the MOE's "giftedness program". Although a student may not be in GEP, everyones has their own giftedness and talent in the eyes of the parents. And I believe my daughter is gifted in her own way.




Hi ,

my son is gg for the psychological test at child guidance clinic, just to check what kind of question will they be posting to the parents during the 1 hr interview. I am not sure which clinic your son goes to but I guess it should be quite similar.. I have 4 kids and the eldest who is 14 is gg for the test and I really cannot remember all the facts , knowing that they want to find out more background of him. Thks

millan
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Postby starlight1968sg » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:30 am

Besides pulling hair, biting fingers' nails is also a sign of under stressed (?)

starlight1968sg
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Postby starlight1968sg » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:58 pm

insider wrote: Behind the 'glamour' of 'elite' schools is this bunch of mentally ill children...

PS: The moment one ever visits a psychiatrist and diagnosed with certain disorder/s, their insurance premiums are likely to increase and future jobs maybe affected. So, parents of bright kids may want to buy insurance for their kids when they are as young as possible (coz don't know how these bright kids will turn up to be). My insurance agent advised me to buy another life policy for my daughter before she enters the workforce coz she is likely to be in a 'high risk' career of dealing with bacteria research = once she states her occupation in the future, her premium will be loaded. OT a bit here coz that's what comes into my mind...

So sad, everybody sees the bright and promising aspect but dont know what actually going on behind the scene! :cry:

As for insurance, I think one needs to declare if the occupation changes from a low-risk to high risk nature, else it may be considered as void ???

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Postby financial_guru » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:47 am

insider wrote:...Oh is it? I thought that declaration only applies to yearly renewable policies (such as Personal Accident / Hospitalisation) and not life / endowment kind of policies? I better go reconfirm coz am considering to buy one for my daughter before she really starts work (meaning if have to declare change of occupation subsequently, then sorry she has to buy for herself later instead of forking out from my own pocket now...)
...


Insider: Term insurance policies do not need to worry abt change of occupation. Only applies to personal accident plans.
Private Shield plans also don't need to update occupation change also.

By the way, there should be no need to buy life insurance coverage for your daughter if she has no dependants. The purpose of getting life insurance is to leave a sum of money to her dependants so that they can survive financially.
Unless you're expecting her to partially provide for you :)

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