Thursday, March 26, 2015

When the "Tiger Mum" Learns to just be a Mum...

This week has been declared as the mourning period for LKY's death. Throughout the week, videos have provided insights  to what his family is like. (I've learnt many things watching the videos like what's "aplomb" and "jaunty" which I bet not many know either.) One of the things I am very amazed at is how his parents as well as he and his wife were able to somehow groom each child into a maverick. (How come they never write a book on that as well????)

If you have been reading my blog, you will realize that Audrey is quite an independent learner. No doubt, her academic is not my major concern as she gets her concepts fast and I find that my role when teaching her is to make sure she doesn't become complacent or arrogant. I can be harsh with her when needed and push her when she is taking things too easy. In short, she's an "angel" baby when it comes to studies.
He finally got "Ge" right after reading it
as "Yi Ren" for so many times
Isaac is her exact opposite. Don't get me wrong, it's not because he has bad attitude. (In fact, he doesn't understand why people even need to study.) Yet, when you asks him to sit beside you during revision time, he does so happily and with so much enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, Isaac is what society deems as a slow learner.

Yesterday, Audrey had netball in school and I took some time to go through his work with him. There's no denying that Isaac has been lagging severely in his studies. If there were 4 points in the instructions, he probably remembers the last and maybe the first, but he will not be able to digest everything. I can go through a new word with him 5 times, and when we revisit it 5 minutes later, he won't be able to remember what the word is. (Guess we need to revise it 10 times now…)

After sitting with him for just 40 min to do 6 pages, I decided I needed a break. I realized that if I
Two of the pages we attempted
continued, I may actually start to raise my voice and get impatient. I applaud him for his perseverance and told him that he was free to play his toys.

That night, the Mr and I had our own dinner. Because of what happened in the afternoon, halfway through our dinner, I broke down and cried. (The Mr obviously got uncomfortable this time… imagine you are in a restaurant, and you see a woman crying while having dinner with a partner… you will be thinking.. Confirm quarrel)

D asked what happened. I said that I felt bad because I didn't know how to help Isaac. What's worse, I fear that Isaac wouldn't be able to cope in such a system as ours. I shared that how for the next few years when he gets formal education, he's just going to fall through the cracks and suffer.. (Okay, i'm exaggerating a little here…)

D smiled, and asked me when I see Isaac, what do I see.
Amongst the three, he is my most well-behaved child. He is the kindest and gentlest. Surprisingly, while he's not the oldest, he always looks out for his siblings. Like when he and julian wake up from their nap, he will take on the responsibility of changing Julian (and him) out of pampers and help him with his underwear and shorts, before switching off the fan/air-con and bringing him down. (No one told him to do so…)
He is the most giving. Sometimes, we leave our stuff upstairs in our room, and when we asked him to help us to bring it down, even if he was in the middle of something, he has no hesitation doing it for us. (Though he will ask sheepishly why are we so lazy)
He's also the most charming amongst the three. I remember we were in a birthday party when two girls were fighting to play with him. One even cried when the other girl managed to hold his arm. (That was awkward… to see your son being so "hot")

But yes, that is Isaac - the happy-go-lucky, innocent, child-like kid.
If not by me, if not once, academics can always be taught. But these virtues… it's a gift. How do you teach a 5 year old to be charming, to be giving and to be kind?
The toughest part was to accept that the world/system might be unkind to him… of course, I could be the system and force him to adapt in it… but he won't be happy and what good will come out of it?
On the other hand, I could just congratulate for remembering that word we tried to learn for the past 30 min.. and know that he is happy, secure and enjoy life.

He's my child. And I his mother.  And while it is tough for me to not be sucked into the system, my promise to him is that he matters more to me than that. I have to remember that he is here to live God's plan, not mine.
Will he be successful? I don't know. Will he be loved? I am sure. :)

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