How to get over the PSLE results

A teacher speaks to pupils before the PSLE results are handed out. Some parents set the bar too high and end up reacting badly when their children fail to meet their lofty expectations.
A teacher speaks to pupils before the PSLE results are handed out. Some parents set the bar too high and end up reacting badly when their children fail to meet their lofty expectations.ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

Still hung up about your children's Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) score?

Mrs Anba Saroja, principal of Kent Ridge Secondary School, tells parents to get over it, because pupils entering secondary school deserve a clean slate.

It is only natural to expect your child to excel in his studies.

Every parent would like to feel as if they have empowered their children to achieve their goals and set them on the path to success as adults. But what happens when your children do not meet your expectations?

Mrs Saroja has met parents who set the bar too high and end up reacting badly when their children fail to meet their lofty expectations.

They have told her how devastated they felt when their children's less-than-stellar PSLE results kept them from attending their preferred schools.

What such parents fail to realise is that every child is unique and develops at his own pace. It is not the end of the world if a child does not score straight As in Primary 6.

Mrs Saroja explains how she gets parents to give their children a fresh start in Secondary 1.

ON HANG-UPS ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN'S PSLE RESULTS

Think about what you want to see at the end of your children's education. How do you define "doing well"?

Do you want your children to do well but, at the end of the day, you do not have your children with you? They are not talking to you.

Some pupils need a bit more time. You must believe they can get to the destination. We are not rushing. Your child's journey will definitely be different from another child's.

ON GUILT-TRIPPING YOUR CHILDREN OVER EXAM SCORES

Parents indirectly blame themselves for their children's performance. They feel that they did not teach them better; they did not give them more tuition; they did not get the best tutor, and that's why the child got only these grades.

Many are anxious, and rightfully so. They want their children to succeed. Who doesn't?

ON GIVING YOUR CHILDREN A CLEAN SLATE

If you keep harping on the past and about things that do not work out as well as you want them to, you will have a child who lacks confidence and who does not believe in himself. That will scar him for life.

ON KNOWING YOUR PARENTING STYLE

Believe in your children and believe that they will succeed in life. We are the constant in their journey. Their friends will come and go.

ON MOTIVATING YOUR CHILDREN

Ask your child where he sees himself at 22. If you ask Secondary 2 students what they want to do later in life, many will say "I don't know". The conversations at home are about class tests - so look beyond that and discuss with your child what kind of occupations he likes. If he is interested in aeronautics, take him to the Singapore Airshow. Such conversations have to start early.

•This article was first published in Schoolbag.sg, an online publication by the Ministry of Education.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2015, with the headline 'How to get over the PSLE results'. Print Edition | Subscribe