Saturday, December 24, 2005
PMR (lower secondary assessment) results were out this past Thursday. No. 1 didn't appear to be overly excited over this. After returning from youth camp with his dad, he went to school on Thursday afternoon to collect his result slip. Hubby rang me to tell me the news.
Me : He's got 1A? (I was only certain that he'd get an A for his English, at best 3As out of 8).
Hubby : 5.
Me : FIVE?
Hubby : Why you got no faith in your son?
I've got faith in him all right, that he'll get between one to three As. I didn't want to expect too much from him as I didn't want to be disappointed. Moreover, his performance in his term exams hadn't been exactly inspiring. I read in the papers about the girl who cried at getting 6As and 1B because she expected to get straight As. As for us, 5As is great news because no. 1 had done better than expected.
When we heard news of others faring better (a niece got straight As, another friend got 6As and yet another 7As out of 8), no. 1 asked if I was going to start comparing him with them. I told him that if I'd wanted to do so, I wouldn't have been happy with the 5As he obtained.
It's human nature to want to compare our children with others who've done better. This is a favourite refrain amongst parents :
"Why can't you be like so-and-so who
1. got straight As
2. is a debating champion
3. is a state basketball player
4. wrote a book in his teens
5. won the essay writing competition
Sometimes I do it too but hubby is always quick to remind me that the only comparison we should make of our kids is to compare themselves with themselves. The comparison shouldn't be external but internal. If you're capable of getting an A but you only got a C, then you've done a lousy job. On the other hand, if your level of competency is such that a C is the norm, then getting a B is reason to rejoice.
If we parents insist on comparing our kids with others, then we shouldn't just compare them with those who are better but those who are worse off too. Then, we won't be so demanding on our kids.
But then again, the word "demanding" can be construed differently by parents and children. That's another story altogether.