Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Regarding fear of failure, I asked the kids, are you guys scared of failing and trying new things?

First, Brian: Nope.

Me: Really? You mean you would try out for High School drama next year?

Brian: Not really, cos that takes up too much time. Do you know during drama season, they practise every day till 7pm? The last bus leaves at 5.

Me: Oh, so if we lived in Nichada (housing compound where school is located), you'd join drama?

Brian: No...cos it's still too much time, and I have homework to do.

Me: But if we lived in Nichada, you get home by around 7pm and you can sleep at midnight, so there's plenty of time what.

Brian: Not really.

Me: So you're afraid to try?

Brian: Mummy....there's a difference between being afraid of failure and simply not wanting to do something.

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Me: So Sean, are you scared of failing?

Sean: I'm not SCARED of failing, but I don't LIKE to fail.

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Anyway, when it comes to good grades breeding fear of failure, what I've noticed about my two monkeys is that they don't get nervous at exams. Both are super duper cool, be it PSLE, or GEP tests or their school MAP tests and exams (no exams for Sean, just MAP). I've always told them not to let test results define them, that it doesn't matter what the outcome is, a test is just that, it depends on how you happen to fare that day, it depends on the type of questions asked, and if there's a bell curve involved, how other people do too. So just go in, enjoy the experience, and that's it. Often, the moment the exams/tests are over, they don't give another thought to it.

They don't fret about how they did, they don't worry about the results. Of course I do think about the results and I do want them to do well, but I mean it when I say it really is the effort and not the outcome that matters. If they do well, then great, if they don't, that doesn't diminish them in my eyes one bit. I know they are bright, intelligent kids, and no standardised testing is gonna convince me otherwise. I believe most kids do want to do well, do put in the best effort that they can, so why fault them if the results aren't what we are hoping for.  

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