Are We Expecting Too Much From Our Children?

~ Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 7:48 AM ~

Are we expecting too much from our children?

This question lingered on my mind for the past week. It all happened when our 4 years old boy started refusing to attend his Sunday school classes and insisted to stay on with grandma (she's always the one remaining in the main service as either hubby and I will be taking our kiddos and accompanying them in their classes).

Benjamin is in the 3-4 years old age group and hence do not require parent to be around. As for Alyson, she's in the 1.5 to 3 years old age group and required 1 parent to be around during her classes. So lately it has been hubby who does the shift as I get tired pretty easily and can't cope with a hyper active ninja in the class already.

Anyway, back to my question for today...

Are we expecting too much from our children?

Why am I asking this question? You see, 2 Sundays back, just to get Ben to attend his class, I told hubby I will go along in his class and stay at the back. That way, I'm still around and he does not have any excuse of not wanting to attend his class. The class goes on its usual routine, singing and dancing followed by story telling and then craftworks and snacks at the end.

During storytelling time, the teacher was explaining to the children in the class about the 10 commandments. And as the teacher stuck each commandment printout (in easy to understand children language) onto the whiteboard, the children listened attentively and repeated what the teacher said.

And after a while, the teacher asked them to repeat the commandments on the whiteboard. None responded. The teacher looked frustrated and annoyed at the silence from the class.

Even I panicked for a moment there, wondering, 'These are just 3-4 years old children...I'm not sure about the rest but my boy sure can't read yet.' And I know majority of the children in the class that day attended preschool and kindy, unlike our boy.

But 3 to 4 years old kiddos... being asked to read! I think I only learned ABCs when I went kindy at 6 years old!

Are we expecting too much from our children?

It does not help when I have also been reading postings from mummies in my FB group about their plans to send their 3, 4, even 5 years old children to preschool and asking for recommendations on what to look out for, where to go to, etc etc. And then some mummies responded with the syllabus taught in their children's kindy/preschool etc and even having homeworks, exams and essays to learn in preparation to being enrolled to primary 1 at 6/7 years old.

Exams and essays before 5 years old! In preparation for primary 1 schools?!

I don't know... I clammed up when I hear the word 'SCHOOL'. I just can't take it now. I can't imagine sending off my children at this young tender age, burdened with homeworks, exams and essays...

Why the rush? What's the hurry?

Some mums said they were told by the kindy/preschool staff that the homeworks, exams and essays are a must so that their children are well-prepared when they go to primary 1 and not slagging behind their schoolmates.

Because of pressure from these, our children are being made the victims... at such young tender age when they should be playing and enjoying their childhood.

Sure, some parents will say going to daycare/kindy/preschools at young age helped their child to build up their social skills and learned to discipline well. I agree to some extent, in terms of socializing, compared to my kiddos being couped up at home all day with me and not getting to mix with kids around their age, maybe it is a good idea for them to be in a different environment to build up their social skills.

But some mums also reported that their children also picked up bad habits from their classmates. Rebellions, disrespect (talk back to their parents), bad manners etc. This is where I find a wee bit comfort that at least I can have some form of control still with my kiddos still at home with me. I'm responsible for their manners and discipline, not outside influences.

I have yet to slowly digest this and think through what our plans is with our kiddos. He is going to be 5 years old next year, the age required to register for primary 1 later. Am I ready to let him go? Is he ready to learn and be exposed to heavy homeworks, exams and essays at this young age? I really don't know...

Are we expecting too much from our children?

Comments (4) -


World has changed. Everything is competitive now.  Even in the education world.  My family and I have just moved to a new city and we are adapting to the new education system in school.

My 7 yo has her Chinese dictation and Bahasa Malaysia ejaan almost every week and not to mention another set to learn in her tuition class.  Even I was surprised to discover that my 4 yo needs to learn dictation and spelling in his kindergarden.  There were none in the previous kindergarden so I feel a slight pressure there.  I believe as a parent, we also feel stressed seeing our kids need to learn and been tested every week on words.  Where all the fun learning goes??

Miki Chua

dilemmas.. me too facing this issue since he turn 4yo - by year (early this yr) to send or not to send. i had this "slap" on the face when his art teacher rejected him. Anyway for 5yo next i plan to send him reason being he shld at least in par or 50% in part with other children. (as u know my homeschool really sucks). rose is right. now everything had change. like i told hubby we cannot compare him with us, but to compare with others. last time we are not slow even when we dun know how to write at age 7.  but now if he do not know how to write at age 7, teachers is gg to come back to you, giving u more pressure and end up the kiddos is gg to be pressured. teacher is gg to write a list of "watever" on the blackboard and they are gg to copy and if he can't write, teacher in primary is not gg to slowly down just for 1 boy in a class f 40student. she will go on. he WILL be left out somehow. i never come across teacher in primary are really that dedicated to teach. (one to one)

even i say to compare i didn't mean i wan him to be genius or better than everybody else. i just need him to be able to be in par with others at least 50%. it is very sick when the studies shows children are not suppose to hold a pen before 3y and yet kindy MUST made them able to write A-Z at age of 4y. *sigh*

btw if u are ready to homeschool him all the way. BRAVO and i think ur boy will be a happier boy in the end compare to us the normal school kids. Good luck!


I was in the exact same situation a few years ago! And from my research I found two options (as far as preschool goes).

!. Homeschool - I know people who homeschool from pre-school to 17yrs, and I know some other people who homeschool only at pre-school age, and then send their kids off to "regular" school for primary 1. This wasn't an option for me (although it was my preferred option) because at that point I had to work due to the divorce.

2. Montessori - I found the most amazing Montessori near my house whose headmistress is a leading advocate of the Montessori approach. A "real" Montessori should not use exams and homework, so its important that you figure out whether the Montessori you go to is using an actual Montessori approach. Do a lot of research before you even go to the first Montessori so that you know what you expect. A LOT of places are labelled Montessori but do not actually follow the Montessori approach.

Good luck! They are so small for such a short time, so they are very very lucky to have a mama so committed to letting them enjoy their childhood Smile

Jenny @ I'm a full-time mummy

Hi Rose!
Yes, everything and everybody is so competitive! Why the rush huh? I don't remember learning ABC much at kindy when I started at 6 years old!!!! Before then, all I did everyday was roamed around the neighborhood with my friends playing all day long!!!

Hey Miki!
Sigh... long comment ya hahahah... dun feel bad or need to slap face because of teacher rejection. It's because everybody is competing and want to be able to cope when go Std 1, so anything out of ordinary, well, not easy to find ppl to accept and/or willing to train and coach. I'm happy that you can find the kindy for jboy, hope he can learn happily there!

Hi Adriana!
Thanks for sharing your feedback! My SIL homeschools all her 6 children and she is one of my source of inspiration! I hope I am able to persevere long enough for the sake of my kiddos!

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