Wednesday 14 January 2009


This morning I was giving SK a lesson on "motivation' while driving him to school. Why can't he motivate himself to revise his school work daily instead of waiting for everything to pile up before the exams? Or since he likes badminton/Tae Kwan Do so much, why don't he speak to the teacher in charge to see if there is an opening this year?

Coincidentally, when I got to the office, I read a doctor's quote in the papers "Always think outside the box and look for ways to improve and develop. Never accept the status quo."

I quite like what he said. I count myself as a rather motivated individual yet I can't seem to motivate my kids very much. If only YK had worked just a little harder for his exams, he is capable of doing much better. He seems rather contented with the way things are.

I begin to wonder if motivation comes from within oneself. My colleague's son is very matured for his age and is highly self-motivated. He knows what he wants in life and works very hard to achieve his goals, all without his parent's supervision and guidance.

On the other hand, my best friend and her husband are very proactive parents who motivate their kids alot. They're constantly pushing them to excel in school and in sports, always organising activities to keep the family engaged and involved.

I wonder if I should do more to motivate my kids because obviously gentle nudging hasn't worked. Then again, I'm not saying that I want to be them to be super achievers but I believe that by being self-motivated, they will do everything better within their own capacity.

I can appreciate everyone has a different personality but I cannot condone sloppiness and indolence. People who give up too easily gets my goat too. I was an average student who wasn't as bright as my brothers and best friend but I did alot of self study at home to make up for it.

In school, I could never comprehend what the teachers were saying but back home, I would pore over my notes until they made sense. Because I used to fare poorly in math, I did every single question in the 10-year series, not once, but several times before the GCE O levels. Even though I didn't bring home straight As, my parents knew I did my best. That's what matters most. Till today, mum still says I'm the diligent (not the most intelligent) one.


Anonymous said...

Yep I agree with every word, but you have one fault that we all had...they think they have time. We adults can look back in hindsight and say "if only we had done this and this, but we didn't use time properly...and now it can't be changed"... And somehow...this goes for adults too... just telling someone something never seems to change that person...they can only change if they've experienced it... *sigh* will we never learn??? LOL!

WaterLearner said...

Yozz Blur,

I can understand that as their mom, you have the responsibility and concern to see that they put in efforts to succeed in our society. But hey ... boys tend to mature later than girls you know. I remember that when I was taking the O Levels, I also treated the then 10 years series as my bible. I made myself go through every question a few times, too. While I was doing that, the boys were still finding time to play basketball or play computer games.

I might have done slightly better in my O Levels, but when they get determined to work hard when they got into poly's and the JC's there's nothing to stop them! As I look through the class list of contacts today, it's the boys that have made it to be Regional Sales Directors, or even posted overseas in China or Regional Finance Controllers. And I was scoffing at them for playing when I was doing the Ten Years' Series!! It's sometimes hard to say if it's the rabbit or the tortise that will win the race :-)

mooiness said...

There's definitely a fine line between being happy with the simple things in life, and a lack of ambition.

And what price would you pay for your child's happiness? Cram school, extra tuition and sports may make a parent feel like they are not limiting a child's potential, but it may rob a child of their childhood.

I don't envy your task of having to choose a balance. It's very difficult. :)

J@n!ce said...

Its always the case when we realized that we have missed those times when we should be sitted on the desk & revise..... only to realized that it is all too late. I hope your constant motivation could inspire your kids to be more diligient.

Wow, you complete all the 10 yrs series. Thinking back, its really so scary & stressful rite? That's the real academic world :):)

Btw, be over mine to see my new blog layout !! :)

Amel said... parents never really pushed us to excel at school. All they ask is that we finish our studies on time since they can't afford paying for an additional year's fee.

I found myself being motivated at school at subjects I LOVE best. There were times I did really great on some years and there were times I was only average. Then at the university I got good grades since I really liked the subjects (I mean, in High School and Junior High and Elementary School, you get SO many subjects and some of them may not be your fave, right?).

Meanwhile, my bro always had average grades until he was in High School. Then he soared and soared. He was motivated by a tutor and then at the university he was motivated by a girl he liked. That girl had EXCELLENT grades at uni.

I think different people find different motivations and they grow at different paces in life. So don't worry about your kids. It's pretty hard to motivate teenagers, but they'll find their way. :-)))

I remember what my friend said about raising her kids. She said that she didn't really care about their grades (meaning she doesn't really push them hard in terms of school grades), because the most important thing is that they can really have a balanced life. Thus they can be balanced human beings. :-)))

Nick Phillips (15/03/1967 - 04/11/2022) said...

Motivation! Sometimes I need tons f it just to wake up in the morning!

Chowmahalla Palace

During our week in Hyderabad, some of the places we visited include the Mecca Mosque, the Charminar (the icon of Hyderabad), Sufi Shrine, Bi...