A Normal Teenager

Date: Dec 22, 2018

We brought Jay to report to his secondary school @ 1 Technology Drive, last Friday.

For a Geek daddy like me, how can you don’t like this school? It is located on 1 Technology Drive. Hahahahaha. And the secondary school name is “School of Science and Technology, Singapore”. But I have faith in my child, that he will not come out nerdy. Hahaha

This is probably the last time (unless SST run out of size for the PE shirts) we will see Jay wearing his Primary School uniform.

12 years of hard work. And here are some of my random thoughts.

1. I was impressed by the way how Pei Tong prepare Jay and his classmates for PSLE. From his class, there are 4 other classmates joining him in SST. There are another 4 from other classes. So, all together, there are 9 students from Pei Tong Primary School going into SST. That is almost 5% of the total intake.

2. His school highest PSLE T-Score is 270. A girl from Myanmar. She is going into Nan Yang. 25 of his classmates scores 250 and above. Here are the distribution of his class alone… (not sure about other classes).

  • 9 to SST
  • 3 to NUS High
  • 5 to Nan Hua
  • 4 to River Valley High
  • 1 to Nan Yang Girls
  • 5 to HCI
  • 2 to SJI
  • 1 to ACSI
  • 2 to NJC
  • 1 to Dunman High
  • Others to Kent Ridge, Clementi Town, Crescent Girls, CHIJ
  • 3. Based on above results, it has confirmed the theory I have made 6 years ago after the balloting for Nan Hua Primary School. All the teaching from school in Singapore are the same. The difference is the parent efforts of how they grooming the kids. In order to prepare their child for going into the best primary school, for example, Nan Hua in Clementi, where I stay. Parents has provided support to sent kids to extra enrichment classes or sent them to the best pre-school. But because of the popularity of Nan Hua, at that year, 64 students is balloting for the scares 16 spaces in Nan Hua. Those who is well prepared during their pre-school years, who failed to secure a space in Nan Hua balloting, 48 of them, including Jay, will have to settle into Pei Tong Primary School. Which ranked #4 in Clementi after QiFa and Clementi primary school. I felt that Pei Tong has done well in teaching my kids for the past 6 years. Jay has make good friends, build a strong repo in the school. Thanks Pei Tong Primary School for shaping my son to what he is today.
  • 4. On the other hand, for his Lorna Whiston (LWPS) pre-school friends, every one also get to the school the like. Out of the 15 pre-school friends:
    • 2 to ACSI
      2 to SJI
      2 to HCI
      2 to CHIJ STC
      1 to Nan Yang Girls
      1 to MGS
      2 to SST
      1 to NUS High
      1 to Nan Hua
      1 to Fairfield
  • Another big applaud to all the efforts from the parents. 幸苦了!
  • 5. Now, we are going into the next stage of the growing up for Jay. The teenager stage. Already, in his new school, the parents chit-chat sessions, you can tell Parents have started to prepare their kids for Secondary school. In my opinion, LUCK plays a big part in our child growing up. Is he lucky to have good friends who can teach him, guide him in school? Is he lucky enough to have a teacher who knows how to work hard, play hard. Every thing depends on the luck. And we cannot control luck some times, when bad luck come it comes. All we can do is, deal with the situations separately, and hope that the kids learned the lessons and grow up.
  • 6. Parents are talking how to control their kids with the mobile phones. We can’t stop that. If we want to restrict their usage of mobile phones, we must first ask ourselves, that we ourselves do we also take our mobile phone out during dining time, etc. Monkey sees Monkey follows. So, if you want to properly teach the kids, first you must be able to do it yourself too. What I do, I played card games like Fluxx, Uno at outside lunch or dinner. I don’t usually take my mobile phone out and do my work, while kids playing card games on their own. So, this is important.
  • 7. Jay and Kay are given iPhones when they are in primary 3. All their phones are labeled as “communications device” for them to communicate with parents and friends. When friends is around, there is no need to draw the mobile phone out. So, since young, they been taught not to take Mobile phone out and use it in front of their friends. Their phones has no popular games like ROBLOX or Minecraft or Fortnite. I do not allow it. Because those iPhones are communication devices. Not to play games. If they really want to play games, I allowed them to install Chess, Go, Chinese Chess, etc. Those games that trains your brain.
  • 8. For me, both Jay and Kay also have access to used iPhone Plus. Bigger screen then iPhone. They each also have iPads. And they also have Nintendo 3DS, as well as Nintendo Switch. In order for not making them to deprive for gaming, they can play games at home, with friends, before bed time. This is where you have all sort of games for them. Ask them what is the popular games their peers are playing, download or buy for them, let them play until gao-gao. As you follow my social media, I also allow them to play during exam time. Kids must have good childhood memory. And this is one of them. Give them enough gaming time. Let them play until they Sian-Sian.
  • 9. Having said that, strict rules in the house needed to be enforced. During study time, no thinking or playing games. Constantly check with them… “Are you a game addict?” Tell them what small behavior you can tell when one are becoming a game addict. This is to teach them how to control addictions to any kind of things. Next time, they can be addicted to all kind of things. So, it is best to train them in this area.
  • 10. The same goes to the Learning devices. Laptops, etc. No games on it.
  • 11. Let them be with their friends after the graduations from Primary School. Have many outings or parties or let them go out to their friends place as much as possible. These are good friends they go play with. Let them be with their friends and forge even deeper friendships.
  • 12. Parent has to learn how to let go. Let them take bus on their own. Let them come home on their own. Let it go.
  • 13. Seriously, I don’t track my son’s mobile phone or iPad or laptop. They can do whatever they want to. They know well that which area they should not go to. If it isn’t taught in school, likelihood they also try to avoids it. We have to believe in our children. We have to give them the trust. For example, my kids knows all our passcodes to the apps stores, etc. But they dare not download things on their own. They will always ask. I told them, in our family there is no secret. So they should not have secrets too. But I told them, they always have my trusts that I don’t peep on their messages, I don’t see where they surf. So, you got to decide what you want to do, how you want to build the trust relationships between you and the kids. You can choose to set up firewalls, net nanny to monitor every single activities, but for me, I choose to train them the basics, build their basic understanding on how to handle these devices. We basically have to trust our kids to be good. (But it is a many many years efforts since young, so every family have different way of raising their kids). So, no secret means, no doing things behind your parent back. Hahaha
  • 14. Of course, as a teenager, when you grow up, you will make friends who is very clever will teach your kids how to “hack” this and that, hide this and that, etc. That is normal. Just look back to your own-self, how you grew up. Then, you know it is time to let go, and let them have their own ways to grow up. I always belief the more you restrict and retrain your child, the more higher chance that the child will become rebels. You don’t want them to join the Rebelion. Hahaha
  • That’s all for now. I do not know what is coming for me in future. I don’t want to predict too. 兵来将挡,水来土掩. When it happen, then we deal with it. For now, give all the faith to your child, learn to let it go, learn to trust them, you yourself don’t always play with handphone in your hand, remember, monkey sees monkey do. Spent time with them, talk to them, talk sense, talk funny, be funny, be a family. I do see some family in restaurant, all draw their hand phones out looking at the small screen and fingers non-stop typing on the screen, that is not healthy. That is why, one of the house rules, when we go out dinner or lunch, must bring card games along. Hahaha.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to let them play all the time. Every Friday is Jay’s play date time… They play Minecraft and ROBLOX and Nintendo Switch every Friday… They even meet up in Japan to have snow fights… your kids will need some of these play dates friends when they grew up. 🙂
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