If we have to use one word to describe the newest generation of parents, it would have to be “kiasu parents”.
They want their kids to experience the best, do the best and be the best. This results in their kids being super stressed, restricted from many things that should be part of their childhood and also impacts the way they think when they grow up to become adults.
Are you a kiasu parent, or have you gone through a similar kind of upbringing?
Kiasu Parents Trait 1: They always get compared to their friends and cousins
If their friends/cousins score 90 on a Mathematics test, they have to do better than that. It has to be that way, even if they are in different schools. Does that make any sense? High scores on school tests give kiasu parents even more immense satisfaction than high-scores on Candy Crush.
Kiasu Parents Trait 2: Kids’ Weekdays (and weekends) Are Filled with Enrichment Activities.
Piano lessons, swimming lessons, ballet lessons and art lessons. There are way too many kinds of enrichment activities available to children nowadays, but somehow, kiasu parents manage to squeeze them all into their children’s schedule.
Kiasu Parents Trait 3: Kids Get Less Playtime.
Because of all those enrichment activities, TV time and playtime are usually more restricted. They only get a few hours of playtime in a day, when kids are supposed to spend most of their childhood freely playing around.
Kiasu Parents Trait 4: Kids Have Less Privacy.
Kiasu parents also tend to make sure that their children are hanging out with “the right kind of people”. In other words, their children’s friends should preferably be academically-inclined, well-behaved, and so on. Naturally, kiasu parents will be more inclined to manage their children’s lives.
Kiasu Parents Trait 5: Kids Have a Limited Social Circle
Due to all three reasons above, they find it hard to make more friends because most of the time, they are studying or enriching themselves with extra-curricular activities. Also, it’s hard for them to interact with more diverse groups of people because of their parents’ stricter control over their lives.
Kiasu Parents Trait 6: Kids Can’t Eat Whatever They Like
Even if they hate cod liver oil, they still have to drink it. Ah boy/girl, it’s good for your brain because got omega 3 and all sorts of minerals and vitamins. If you don’t drink, you will become stupid hor.
Kiasu Parents Trait 7: Kids’ Teachers Secretly Dislike Them
This has nothing to do with the children themselves. It’s usually their parents who manage to somehow offend the teacher during Parent-Teacher meetings by grilling the teacher about their teaching methods and their children’s less-than-satisfying results. This may end up causing the teacher to develop negative feelings towards these parents’ children.
Kiasu Parents Trait 8: Kids Have to Meet High Expectations.
Even if their friends/cousins score zero on a test, kiasu parents will never expect their children to score that badly. Their kids must score at least a Band 1. Or A1. Or just the best lah.
Kiasu Parents Trait 9: Kids Experience More Parental Stress.
Because of all the restrictions and academic investments in them, the children tend to feel more pressurised to satisfy their parents’ expectations of them.
Kiasu Parents Trait 10: Kids Grow up to be Kiasu Parents As Well
Unfortunately, many of these children grow up focusing on the aspects that they were pressurised to excel in. The vicious cycle continues with the next generation due to their upbringing.