Disclaimer: I am no parent. Neither am I close to being one. I am pretty much content being the cool uncle. These are just stories I feel can help others.
When I was 12 years old I fucked up a big examination (the PSLE as they call it here in Singapore.)
I did really badly. Even I was personally shocked how low my scores were.
That particular year, I remember being praised by my mom for being really polite to her friends and also to my aunts and uncles.
I'd always greet them.
I'd offer them food at the table.
And I'd respectfully ask for permission to do whatever it was I wanted to do at their houses.
But all of that came crashing down when I received those shitty scores.
Hell, I even remember thinking to myself, "What was the point? Who cares if I am polite? I disappointed everyone."
And indeed it felt humiliating.
What ensued was several days of relatives and friends calling in to ask my parents how I did for the exam. The drop in their voices followed by sighs...
I proceeded to to work hard for the next few years and eventually ended up in university as an adult.
But this isn't a zero-to-hero story.
It is my humble opinion that a child, when brought up in a competitive society where grades and shit represent their worthiness needs to be treated with real care.
Don't take away their personal pride and joy even though it's not like mad showoff material for you.
If you do, they'd start questioning themselves. I know I did.
Studying is but one task in life. It can be encouraged, like all other positive things in life.
That's all this cool uncle has to say now.