Jia You!

Today’s a great day for my family. My youngest sibling is collecting her PSLE results, and we all know she’s going to make it. No more PSLE for my family!

I watched PSLE-GO today and oh please, the part where Zi Hui went missing brought so many flashbacks it wasn’t funny anymore. It was really deja-vu.

I’ve done that. I’ve been out on the streets looking for missing kids many, many times. It’s a heart-wrenching, nerve-wrecking experience no one should ever go through though it is one police officers face on a regular basis. Occupational hazard, they call it.

But just my thoughts:
The PSLE stress isn’t one sided. The reason why young people commit suicide these days is because of stress, yes, but is it stress induced by family and friends? Those are factors to be considered, yes. But why didn’t we have this problem before? Why is it so prevalent now? Why are youth suicides on the rise? You may shoot me and kill me over my opinion, but these are just my thoughts.

  • The Young People aren’t as resilient as they used to be

Rather than fighting obstacles and embracing failure, trying harder the next time. They are convinced that failure is the end of the world. Hard work ALWAYS pays off. It will produce results. There’s no way you’re going to study hard and fail. The suicide rates should have been much higher in the olden days, when farmers spent their months toiling under the hot sun, only to have the crop destroyed by the elements. The farmers could have committed suicide. But they didn’t. They fought obstacles and overcame them. They didn’t say, well, farming is not my passion, I need to move on.

We have created a utopian world for our children.

We have convinced them that they are the best, they deserve no less. If they do not get what they expect, the world has wronged them. If we live like this, our suicide rates will continue to skyrocket. Why? The world is not kind. Not everyone can be a Joseph Schooling. Only one person wins an Olympic gold medal. Look at the kids in China who start training at the age of 3. Does everyone become an Olympic medalist? Yes, they aspire to be one. But do they all commit suicide because they don’t make the Olympic team? No!

The young people have to be taught that hard work brings its rewards .Singapore is a meritocratic society where you get recognized for hard work. It is character and initiative that are important, as the PSLE-GO video explained. The young people have to be taught that if you fail, try, try again. You didn’t do well enough? You didn’t make the cut? Pick yourself up and move forward! You did your best didn’t you? Yes, you fell. Cry. Scream. Shout. But get up and get going. One failure isn’t the end of the world.

Here’s where parents fail. The write their kids off when they fail. Rather, failure should be embraced and your resolve to do better should be strengthened. I failed my driving test 3 times and passed on the 4th try. Did I cry? Yes. Did I commit suicide? No.

I’ve not even been through university yet, but I can tell you, young people who are reading this:

You will fail. But fight. Set high expectations for yourself. Your parent’s expectations should be lower than yours. You’re never there. There’s always room for improvement.

You’re the PSLE top scorer? Great. There’s more mountains to climb. Start preparing. Start climbing. Prepare to fall. Get up and go again.

I’m a homeschooler. You say, I don’t understand the stress. I took the PSLE. I’m the first under the compulsory education act of 1996. I did average, but the PSLE was a test of character. While others advocate allowing their children to pursue their passions, realise their dreams, the PSLE-GO video brought out a real point: Children are fickle. They do not know what they want. It is parents who need to develop their character, and provide them with skill-sets and opportunities for growth, and this includes placing things in their life they don’t like and placing a good stress on them to achieve excellence.

Did my parents place stress on me? Yes. I cried. But they were there for me. They were there to support and alleviate whatever stresses I could not take. That makes all the difference and looking back, I’m glad those stresses weren’t taken away.

I’ve seen kids in the homeschooling community who came out because they wanted their children to pursue their passions, but they end up like headless chickens. They do not have direction, they end up settling for second best. It ultimately ends up in depression and suicidal thoughts: “Why do others have opportunities that I don’t?” “I’m useless. I do even have 前途。(forward direction)”

Stress is a fact of life. Stress should not be taken away from our children. They should be taught to face stress, and to face it like a man and woman should. That is where family support comes in. To take your child through the difficult periods, and teach them about failure and success. To develop your children, even at a young age, to be strong in the face of adversity.

But nowadays, why is the suicide rates on the rise? Because of dysfunctional families. Children who are left to their maids. Mums and Dads who are never there. Divorced and broken families. This is why Singaporean society will crumble.

Stress will be taken away because children can’t handle it or rather because they are not taught by their parents to handle it, and the next generation will be a generation of sissies, committing suicide over the smallest things like a boy-girl relationship.

This is what Singapore needs to wake up to.

For those collecting their results today, JIA YOU! No matter what, it’s not the end of the world, and I’ll be here for you! 😉 Show you’re not a sissy. If you really are the best, fight and show for it.




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