MOE posts advice for 'helicopter parents' who hover over kids

The post on Friday (June 2) has been shared more than a thousand times and shows illustrations of ways in which someone could be considered a helicopter parent.
The post on Friday (June 2) has been shared more than a thousand times and shows illustrations of ways in which someone could be considered a helicopter parent.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Education's (MOE) Facebook post about "helicopter parenting", or parenting that involves excessively close hovering over children, has been widely shared, with many saying the advice is helpful.

The post on Friday (June 2) has been shared more than a thousand times and shows illustrations of ways in which someone could be considered a helicopter parent.

These include debating with your child's teacher to get one more mark for a grade improvement, doing his project for him, and "flying" to school with his homework when he forgets to bring it.

"You want to help," wrote MOE, "But do you know that (helicopter parenting) may hinder your child from being independent, savvy and street-smart?"

It also said such parenting can make a child feel he is not good enough, hurt his self-confidence and raise his levels of anxiety.

Instead, MOE suggested four ways to let children "fly on their own".

These include letting children do their own homework without feeding them answers, letting them develop their own achievable goals like those for grades, allowing them to stand up for themselves if they make mistakes such as forgetting their homework, and finally, letting them know that it is OK to fail.

Several Facebook users shared the post, saying it was helpful information. One user, Mr Zaimie, said in his shared post that he loves the message being put across.

"Parents, you might be helicopter parents, you know. Sometimes your child needs to learn the hard way to be aware of their mistakes."

Others, however, were more sceptical.

Jeremiah Lee Mun Choon commented that letting kids know it is all right to fail should be done only in the right context.

"It's OK to fail if the impact is small and not OK to fail when the damage is huge," he wrote.

Regan Waits commented that the information was "very positive and helpful" for parents, but only when it is also accepted in society.

"Society's and the education system's view of education and failure has to change before anyone or anything else can," she wrote.

ST previously reported that MOE is making a shift away from academic achievements towards broadening opportunities for students to discover their interests and talents, and developing life skills and a love for learning.

One major move is the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) revamp, which will do away with the aggregate score in 2021 and no longer grade children relative to one another.

In April last year, Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said in his speech to Parliament during the debate on his ministry's budget: "We want to cultivate a generation of young people who grow up with a sense of curiosity and a love for learning... asking both the 'whys' and the 'why nots'."