Thursday 29 May 2014

Grades are not everything

This morning, a young girl hurried past me with a report card in her hand. Oh, the mid-year exam results are out! I'm so out of touch these days.

Looking at her frowny face brought back memories of my own school years. I was never the top student and neither were my kids. They've never brought back report cards with stellar results but did I fret? Not really. In fact, some people thought I was too sanguine about their grades.

Honestly I would have been pleased if they came back with good grades but I can't penalise them if they're not wired to solve difficult math problems or master the Chinese language. Math had always been my archilles heel in school, yet today, I can do mental sums faster than anyone else.

So what if they did not make it to the top ten percent in class? Right from the start, I had never piled them with enrichment courses, music lessons or tuition classes. Their childhood was spent enjoying, appreciating and discovering nature. I knew they were smart in their own ways. It was plain to see that their talents lie in areas outside of the classroom. They were intelligent, observant and sharp. To me, that's more important than scoring As in school.

Naturally, they need a good education like everyone else and I have never denied them of that. Instead of being cooped up in the room studying, they had the opportunity to develop their passions and hone their skills.

Today, they are pursuing their favourite subjects and hobbies. They are so self motivated, they excel in what they do, without anyone prodding them.

Many parents are fixated on their child's grades. They fail to recognise that every kid is unique. They should not use academic results to measure their kid's ability for it will only demoralise themselves and their children. Instead, they should identify and help them develop their talents and strengths.

If you look around and see for yourself, you will find the 'so called' slow learners in your class are now successful in their own ways. Good grades do not equate to a good future if the person is not resourceful or resilient. You need to have faith in yourself and your kids.

For me, it has been a lonely journey as a single parent. Having to make all the decisions for the children, sometimes I wonder if I had done the right thing. But seeing their achievements gives me affirmation that I must have done something right along the way.

I wish I had said something positive to the little girl this morning. It could very well be a life changing moment for her.


Amel said...

My parents are also not strict when it comes to grades. They only asked us not to get red marks on the report card and not to stay behind, because education was expensive and they couldn't afford paying us to have to repeat a grade.

You're a wise mother and your kids are turning out as fine young men. I salute you, Ting!

P.S. Some years I was pretty good at grades (esp. at the uni), but those grades mean nothing when I moved to Finland. I'm working in a place that has nothing to do with my prior job experiences he he...

Blur Ting said...

Amel, as I grow older these things become very clear to me, so on hindsight, I am glad I didn't just follow the herd and gave my kids a miserable childhood.

JY69 said...

Well written! It seems that parents here (at least the ones I'm around) are not as uptight about grades as other Asian countries. We are not strict with BBean either, thus no extra schooling or tutorials. We want a "normal" kid. You raised your kids well Blur!

Blur Ting said...

Hello JY! I miss your blog and (big) Bean!

This is Anfield said...

Parents get anxious over their childrens' results because they want the best for them. The intention is noble, but sometimes, the execution is not.

JY69 said...

Hi Blur if you want to see the graduation pic and entrance ceremony pic!

Blur Ting said...

I couldnt leave a comment on your blog but woah, little beanie is ms pretty! Such a sweet smile too. You look good and happy! And oopa loopa has grown from a puppy to big fish! So nice to see those photos!