10 parenting tips from teachers

By Anita Yee   — September 01, 2016
  • Every day is a learning day
    1 / 10 Every day is a learning day

    “Long car rides, a trip to the wet market or a walk at a nearby park  your kids can learn something every time you go out.
    “On such outings with my three-year-old son, I introduce place-specific vocabulary, such as the names of places, landmarks and related occupations, to him.
    “Likewise with my students, I try to share about current affairs and issues whenever possible. These teachable moments encourage more vibrant discussions for English oral examinations.” – Sharon Chia, Primary 5 English teacher

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  • Appreciate the effort
    2 / 10 Appreciate the effort

    “Understand that every child is different and we shouldn’t use the same benchmark for success.
    “Recognise every little effort your child makes to perform better  we do not always have to aim for the best results, but we should aim to put our best effort into a task.
    “Build confidence in your children, support them and help them to believe in themselves.” – 
    Lim Hwee Chen, P5 and P6 mother-tongue teacher

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  • It's OK to fail
    3 / 10 It's OK to fail

    “We need to instil in our kids curiosity, confi dence and resilience. So allow them to try, meet obstacles and, yes, even fail.
    “Often, we’re too protective and try to remove potential problems. Give them a chance to solve them  it may not be up to our standards, but it meets theirs.
    “Some kids are simply late bloomers. If we start branding them as being bad at maths when they’re in lower primary, it’s not fair to them  they could improve when they’re in P4 or P5.” – H. Lim, lower-primary English teacher

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  • Stop stereotyping
    4 / 10 Stop stereotyping

    “It’s important not to practise gender bias  give children the opportunity to show what they are capable of. 
    “Although boys are generally stereotyped as being rowdy, they can shoulder responsibilities like men! Trust them and they’ll rise to the occasion.
    “Likewise, girls are thought to be physically weaker, but I have female pupils who are strong, and can rearrange tables and chairs faster than the boys.“ – 
    Grace Loong, P5 English and maths teacher


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  • Nurture their talents
    5 / 10 Nurture their talents

    “Support and develop your child’s interests and talents, whether academic or not. Self-esteem and confidence will stem from it, enabling your child to do better in other areas of life.
    “One of my students had been losing motivation due to his learning diffi culties. Things changed after he joined a co-curricular activity. He found his passion and went on to win competitions. His new-found confidence motivated him to persevere in his studies and he even topped his class.” – K. Tan, P4 English teacher

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  • Ditch the assessment books
    6 / 10 Ditch the assessment books

    “Instead of asking your kids to do stacks of assessment books or attend endless tuition classes, extend their learning in simple ways.
    “At home, they should read, review the day’s work and talk with you about what they learnt that day. This will lead to a higher retention of knowledge and a better appreciation of what was taught.”– Ivy S., P4 English and science teacher

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  • Work with the teacher
    7 / 10 Work with the teacher

    “Keep yourself updated on the syllabus and teaching methods used.
    “It’s common for schools to offer workshops for parents, such as maths model drawing and answering techniques for science questions, [and attending these can] help you revise effectively with your child. Alternatively, consult the teacher to ensure you’re using the same methods. 
    “Don’t introduce methods not in the syllabus  these will confuse your child. For example, don’t teach him to use algebra to solve a P4 maths problem that instead requires the model-drawing method.” – H. Wong, P6 English and maths teacher


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  • Enjoy music together
    8 / 10 Enjoy music together

    “Music is a form of expression, and when children are actively involved in it, it can encourage their creativity. It could be singing, dancing, or playing instruments.
    “Find out what songs your kids listen to and enjoy these songs with them. They’ll open up to you and be more willing to share about their lives or any problems they may have.” – 
    S.W. Loh, primary-school music teacher

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  • Talk to them
    9 / 10 Talk to them

    “No matter how exhausted you are after work, take a few minutes for a short catch-up with your child. 
    “During Career Day in school, I was surprised that some of my pupils didn’t know their parents’ occupations  some are asleep by the time their parents come home.  
    “Parents who talk to their children a lot help their kids become more confi dent. These parents engage in meaningful conversations with their children, where all parties are given opportunities to listen and speak up.” – Constance Toh, trainee teacher at the National Institute of Education who has taught lower-primary pupils


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  • Avoid saying "don't"
    10 / 10 Avoid saying "don't"

    “Never tell a child what not to do; instead, tell him what to do. For instance, I’ve encountered occasions when a teacher says: ’Do not run.’ And the kids just stand there, not knowing what to do.
    “Instead, say: “Please walk.“ They’ll naturally stop running and start walking. 
    “In the same way, don’t tell your kids not to waste their time  give them a timetable to follow, instead.” – J. Heng, P5 mother-tongue teacher

    (Photos: 123rf.com)



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