Do children emulate their parents' lifestyle more than they listen to the words of authority figures?
It is always easy to blame parents. Families can only think and talk about health when their income is above a certain level, and parents can afford the time to live healthily and teach their children the same.
The Singapore lifestyle just doesn't allow for healthy living. My children have breakfast, lunch and afternoon breaks at the school canteen. For the most part, children's lifestyle, characters and attitudes are cultivated in school.
Yap Boon Kok
Fruits and vegetables are not expensive. A packet of vegetables costing just 50 cents to $1 can feed the entire family. There are always special discount items available in the supermarkets. A loaf of wholemeal bread costs only $2.95 and can last a week. I work full-time, but I still make the effort to do the grocery shopping and cook healthy meals every day.
Exercise as a family to foster closer bonds. When my children suggested installing a home gym, I gave them my full support. We should give our support if it is beneficial to motivate them.
The law fraternity has a law minister and law society. Should the engineering fraternity have a technology minister and technology society too? Why or why not?
It is not about engineering. It is about creating a culture of creativity and innovation instead of the rigid approach to problem solving. Perhaps a Minister for Innovation and Creativity is more appropriate.
We will keep losing engineers unless we intentionally stem the problem. Many people do not see how engineering is a pillar to the whole economy.
At the far end of all science is creative use and innovation. Engineering for engineering's sake is pointless; in fact, Singapore has high quality execution, but what we need is the next Elon Musk.
Such a body must be in a position to identify the needs of industries. Courses and scholarships should be conducted or awarded to cover industry needs. Be willing to train people who may not be academically qualified, but have passion for the field. Sponsor them, tie them to a bond, and pay them market rates.
How do you motivate your children to study? Is giving rewards effective in developing a habit of learning?
Expose your children to reading early. Challenge them by asking questions whose answers they can find in the books they read. This becomes a game. Discovery and satisfaction are two elements of a good learning programme. The rewards need not be money or toys - a word of encouragement can also work. Effort equals success. Get them to realise this as soon as possible.
Loh Wai Poon
Parents should be inculcating intrinsic motivation instead of using rewards, because the latter might just end up setting the children up for failure further down the road when rewards no longer come.
Rewards are no better than bribes. If parents spend just half an hour building up rapport and bonding with their children, and showing interest in their studies, that alone is reward. Children will find motivation because they know their parents love and care for them; no reward needed.
To try to get my daughter interested in her studies, we incorporate play or singing. Once she has shown interest, it motivates her to crave more knowledge. Also, I do not force nor nag her to make time for study. I allow my daughter to make the choice. I believe decision-making is important from a young age. This encourages her to make time for self -learning.