Singapore citizens are rightfully proud of their superior education system, according to a recent article from Today Online. However, the drive to excel can sometimes damage the parent-child relationship. Discover how to motivate children to do well without exerting too much pressure and causing them emotional harm.

A Change in Thinking

In the wake of the recent rash of suicides by young people, awareness is growing for children’s mental health in Singapore. More and more parents are beginning to realise that while educational excellence is desirable, it is not worth doing emotional harm to their children. They are taking a step back and choosing to motivate their children in a different way, rather than harshly exerting pressure and demanding perfection.

A New Way of Gauging Progress

The new mindset is even affecting the way Singapore’s civil service is structured. In January of 2017, the civil service announced that it would cease grouping officers by education level. Instead of placing so much weight on an individual’s grades and their qualifications on paper, the civil service is now allowing individuals to progress because of merit and performance as well.

In addition, more Singaporeans are beginning to think like entrepreneurs. Perhaps someone did not get a university degree, but he can still achieve success by being creative and hardworking. A university degree, while admirable, may not be the pinnacle of achievement that it once was in Singapore’s society.

Baby Steps

Parents are changing their motivational methods, too. A member of the Families for Life Council, Dr. Thang Leng Leng, suggested that parents should remind children “that every improvement brings them a step closer to their end goal and will also help to keep them focused.” Instead of demanding dramatic improvements and big achievements, encourage kids to work on small improvements and take “baby steps” toward their goals.

Instead of making demands and having unreasonably high expectations, parents can step back and simply offer guidance and encouragement. “For instance, if their grades have improved from a C to a B, motivate them by telling them that their efforts have paid off and they have done well and are on the right track, instead of reprimanding them for not scoring an A,” says Dr. Thang.

Support and Guidance

Dr. Tan Hwee Sim, a psychiatrist in Singapore, tells parents to be a “supporter,” not a “pusher.” She acknowledges that pushing a child forward “often stems from anxiety that the children will be left behind in a competitive world.” However, it’s important for parents not to project their fears onto their children and cause extra stress for everyone involved.
Supporting a child in school may involve being available to help with projects or homework, creating an atmosphere that is suitable for studying, and showing interest in your child’s schoolwork, activities and personal goals.

Counselling for Parents and Children

If you feel that your relationship with your child is suffering because of your own fear and your tendency to push too hard, visit Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. You can speak with a psychologist in Singapore who can help you with your anxiety and teach you to cope with those fears and relate to your child better.

If you think your child is suffering from anxiety, stress, or depression, make an appointment to meet with one of our caring psychiatrists in Singapore. Confidential, effective counselling and treatment can restore that parent-child relationship and help both of you be more supportive and stress-free in the future.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Today Online, January 31, 2017