This article was first published on The Asian Parent.
Singaporeans – mums included – are famous for being kiasu. You might even say we are proud of it. Defined as “a grasping or selfish attitude from a fear of missing out”, kiasu culture is often painted as something negative. But it’s not all bad: Singapore is one of the best cities in the world and our children are consistently top performers in school. At the same time, it’s long overdue that we took a closer look at the effects on our children. After all, if there is a better, more natural way to help our children become great, then we should pursue it – that’s part of being kiasu too!
When it comes to our children, Singaporean mums aggressively seek out the best for them. How does your parenting measure up to other mums?Recent poll result from theAsianparent have revealed 46% of Singaporean parents are fairly confident about their current parenting style but they also realise that it can be improved. One-third of the respondents are currently confident and satisfied with their current parenting style. 17% of parents are somewhat confident but will consider other styles if the need arises that and only 5% of respondents are seeking help and advise where it comes to parenting. Parenting styles and approaches can very much be dependent on the “mood” of the parent. There is no parent who is perfect 100% of the time. We’ve discovered a few learnings to shed light on how we are raising our children, especially when it comes to priority #1: future-proofing our children.
Future-proof your children: The challenges
Singaporean mums are competitive and extremely focused on future-proofing their children. This may come as no surprise, but the extent to which Singaporean parents pursue this goal is eye-opening. Based on the study New Asian Learning Experience (NALE), it is found that an overwhelming majority of parents (59%) said that they were concerned that their children will not have the skills for future roles.
It is clear that Singaporean parents want more for their children. We want to prepare them for an increasingly uncertain future and put them on the path to becoming great.
The NALE study surveyed 3,177 of parents from India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, and it gives us a unique look at the attitudes and habits of mums and dads all over the region. What more does the NALE study tell us about Singaporean parents in particular?
Singaporean parents push their kids towards greatness
Singaporean parents push their kids towards excellence, and they’re not afraid to put their wallets – and more – in service of this goal. 50% of parents in the NALE study said they spend extra income on their children’s tuition. 23% of parents said they would consider sending their children to school abroad. Parents would even willingly move to send their kids to a school in a better district. 22% said they would move homes if given the opportunity.
A mix of natural methods and new technology
If you thought today’s millennial parents would be all about new technology, well, you’d be mistaken. The NALE study shows that a large number actually employ a mix of methods – both natural and high tech. When it comes to linguistic skills, 43% prefer printed materials. Meanwhile, 53% use a mix of print and digital to teach math (53%).
There’s been a growing amount of research on digital versus traditional teaching methods, and the results have, so far, been mixed. What’s clear is that Singaporean parents are using what they know works.
Like those parents who practice the Attachment or Kangaroo-style of parenting – 26% of parents according to a TAP poll – they seek a natural balance.
Singaporean parents believe education needs to evolve
Before, demanding workloads in school and an emphasis on testing were viewed as good things. This was a sign that standards were stringent. But times are changing. 78% of Singapore parents prefer experiential learning compared to 62% who believe in rote learning and memorisation. And what do they believe is the worst indicator that children are learning? Parents in the study said it was exam scores!
This is an example of Organic parenting at work – a style of parenting whose proponents believe that children should not be rushed to mature but instead be nurtured at their own pace. In our poll, 25% of Singaporean parents identified most with the Organic style of parenting.
Seeking a more natural way to future-proof your child
The Tiger Mum is no more. As we learn more about how children learn and develop, it is becoming increasingly clear that a more natural, compassionate approach to learning is more beneficial. 73% of parents in the NALE study believe it is most important for their children to be happy when they grow up. What’s more, 54% believe that the pressure put on children to perform academically is not healthy.
From our recently conducted poll, 45% of Singaporean parents believe in allowing their children to make mistakes and choose his/her own path and 28% of parents try to balance between developing a child’s IQ and EQ. These parents believe in being there for their children and letting them mature on their own merits.
The natural choice for mums
Yes, we all want the very best for our children. We want to give them the best opportunities for growth and development. And we will stop at nothing to give them these opportunities.
So, what’s a kiasu mum to do? The answer is clear: choose organic, get the best value, and make smart choices for your child’s future. What’s more, there’s a simple way to do all of this.
It’s about choosing organic
These days, there is so much emphasis on choosing organic, natural food products. That’s because nothing beats organic when it comes to what’s best for your children’s health (and the environment!) Arla, the world’s largest organic dairy producer, shares this same belief, that the road to greatness is the same road that leads us back to the ways of nature. It ensures that both grasslands and cows receive the right amount of nurture and time to grow. It is the reason why, with Arla, you get 100% European certified organic milk with no traces of antibiotics and pesticides.
It’s about being smart and getting the best value
Choosing affordable organic milk is a smart decision to nourish your child’s future. No matter how you choose to future-proof your child, providing good nutrition is a great way to start your child on the path to greatness. Arla Organic Milk is just SGD3.95 at RedMart. And when you weigh the goodness of what you do get – naturally fresh taste, no antibiotics and pesticides, a more sustainable future – versus what you get with other milk, it’s clear which gives you more value.