Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Books: How Children Succeed

Title: How Children Succeed
Author: Paul Tough
Category:Parenting book ( I call it Brain book as well)
ISBN: 978-1-847-94711-6

Does early education make a child smarter?
The answer is no, obviously.
We all know love is the most important factor. And genetics, of course.
Studies show that any advantage in the younger years level off around third grade. So, why bother with Doman or flashcards unless you are actually brain injured?

So, if my child is not a genius, why bother?
Many profoundly gifted children go to college and fail to succeed in life. I was not profoundly gifted but I have never struggled academically in primary school. When I got to secondary school, subjects that required extra effort such as Add Maths and physics made me feel stupid. Why do I have to study? I was always told that I am smart! What I lacked was the curiosity to learn, to dig deeper than what the words represented. I blame the system, really I do. For my kids, I am going to beat it.
The conclusion is, if your child is not a genius, don't despair. Instill grit, determination, outline goals and strong character that will withstand trial and tribulations, and they will triumph. It is about instilling a love for life, a thirst for learning. Not drilling information, not obeying commands, not following instructions. Notice the lack of posts? I am still figuring out, HOW?

From the book.... (I am writing my thoughts on the book, from memory. Please read the book for more information)

Paul Tough mentioned LG mothering (demonstrated by rats). LG stands for Licking and Grooming in rat mothers who were affectionate to their litter of pups. The opposite are the nonchalant mothers. See how rat labs mirror our society? I am a "licky" mom (Tiger and I have a kiss-three-times routine. Like lip smacking kisses) Just by telling your kids you love them and being a present parent, you are already a good parent. So easy, right?

This has been mentioned many, many times by other books. It is basically a test on delayed gratification conducted by researches in Stanford. Can your child wait or is he generally impulsive?  He who sees far, wins.

Tough mentioned studies in inner cities where drugs, shooting and fights are considered part of their cultures. When the failing students find the right mentor and the motivation from within themselves, they actually make it to college and towards a better life.

It reminds me of a documentary of Will.I.Am, a fourth of Black Eye Peas. He was raised in an area where children barely out of teens were recruited into gangs. Yet, he prevailed because he has a loving Tiger Mom who did not allow him to cross the sidewalk in front of his home after school! Imagine him standing just behind that imaginary line, calling out to his friends. By the way, he is taking a course on software programming now. Genius!


Am I boring you? Cause there is a lot more..... and I find these really interesting. Hence the ramblings

What do you think of the education system?
Is it created to promote thinking? To create entrepreneurs? Or factory workers? In Malaysia, don't worry, you can always work for the government provided you are of a certain race. I am not whining, instead I always look for a silver lining since I am one of those irritating cup half full person.

Singapore is also stuck in this Stone Age education but at least they are doing something about it. Their preschool "booklet" is 125 pages long. Geez!


Rebecca Sia said...

hi jessica,
very well said. pls do share more as i always find it easier to understand as you explains well. its hard for me to properly express myself, furthermore lack of language proficiency. i do agree with you on our educational system. i myself was a proven failure. as much as i want to continue learning, i found it harder as age catching up, furhtermore with the weak foundation i have. things may be different if i were properly taught.
tiger & dragon is lucky to have a mummy like you. am sure they will thrieve. i have the same wish as yours for my boy. i just pray hard i have enough wisdom to bring him on the right way.
pls share..pls share. love to hear from you all the time.
btw, my boy struggles and i dont find him interested at brilkids trial. guess that's a sign i should not go for it??? what would be your suggestion? he just loves to play now..

Jessica said...


Just being the wonderful parent that you are is good enough. Remember that love and constant encourage will go very far.

Everything else is extra. Research show that playing is an excellent way to learn. Tiger is terrible at playing, which is why I do wat I do. Lil dragon runs around too but surprising ly, she actually request for brillkids. I suspect she wabts to see Cat. Lolx.

A lot of research also points that starting academic s too early is damaging. I hope someone does in in singapore or japan so that we can have a better representation. Take every thing u read with a pinch of salt.

If it is fun, it isn't work.

jessica said...

Pardon my language...stupid auto correct...argghh

afiq-ctmm said...

Great book. Got chance to flip few pages in a bookstore. Where u get it Jessica?

Jessica Tan said...

Got it from MPH during lunch hour..haha. Devoured it in 2 days. Now on loan to a friend. Share the love.

When she asked me how's the book. I just said" It gave me a new perspective. Less kiasu, less stressed about the education system, I guess"

afiq-ctmm said...

books... never get enough right *drooling* :)

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