In Singapore, every child close to the end of their sixth year in elementary school are required to take the Primary School Leaving Examination or PSLE to determine their readiness to enter secondary school. This test analyzes students in terms of their proficiency in the English language, their mother tongue language, science, and mathematics. It is also used to determine which secondary schools these children are eligible to enter and what academic fields they can pursue.
According to experts, the PSLE helps children determine their current educational capacity and assist them in learning values like discipline, hard work, and resilience.
However, some believe that the exam poses a lot of problems, especially on the child because they would be pressured to pass this test to determine their admission to good secondary schools in Singapore. If they failed the test, they would feel disappointed and guilty for failing their family’s expectations.
If your child is suffering from stress due to their incoming PSLE or has received poor scores in their PSLE preparation or in the test itself, here are some tips on how you can help them recover:
Allow Them To Cry Out
Some children tend to bottle up their emotions, especially if they have done something wrong or failed in a particular task. When you see your child trying to hold it in, approach them and embrace them to let them know you are not disappointed with them and that it is ok to cry.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Reflect On Your Face
When facing your child, do not let your emotions get to you and keep calm. Just let your child have his space and process what happened to him. Getting emotional at this point will not help anyone.
Speak To Your Child
Some children would like to tell their parents their feelings but may stop if they feel unsafe. Give them time to reach out to you and when they do, make sure that they are in an environment they feel safe. Let them speak out and wait until you say your piece.
When you speak to your child, let them know that the test results and their grades are not the signs that it is over for them. Let them know that their grades and the test would only help him narrow down the schools where he or she can study.
Help Them See They Can Become Stronger
Let your child know that this is just a challenge every person faces throughout the course of his life. Even if they fail, let them know that they could do this and succeed in other areas as they grow older. Also, remind him that the family is there to support him and would always be there even if people would criticize their performance.
Sometimes, giving children examples of people who have poor school results but became successful in life can give them hope and inspiration that they can do the same thing. Give them examples of such icons, like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the German scientist Albert Einstein.
Help Them Build Their Self-Confidence
Once your child has calm down, let them focus on something else by giving him tasks or activities that would surely distract him from the test and rebuild their self-confidence.
Here are some ways you can help them build their self-confidence:
• Household chores
Let him do his favorite chores and let them feel accomplished when they successfully manage it.
• Outdoor sports and activities
Sign him or her up for outdoor sports and activities that can challenge them and help them mingle with others.
• Outreach programs
Some children can move past what they are experiencing if they serve those who are less fortunate and unable to reach where they are today. It would also teach them to be grateful for the life they currently have and aspire to do more, even assist these people to grow as well.
• Special PSLE Tuition
Some children may be able to recover well if they are with their fellow children who are experiencing the same pressure and stresses caused by PSLE or other similar challenges. Enrolling them to special tuition courses focusing on motivational activities can serve a long way in building their self-esteem and hone is capabilities to stand up and try again.
Getting A Tutor For Them To Help
Your children may need special assistance when it comes to some of their subjects to boost their confidence. Getting a tutor to help your kids can help them understand the subject better and tutors can assist in developing the child’s study habits. Some tutors can even help your child forget the test by creating unique games that would help them learn more about their weak subject.
When you look at your child after their test or preparation, they would not immediately say anything in specific with regards to what happened to them. Let your child be and monitor if their behavior changes as it may tell you if you need to intervene. Make sure that they do not focus on what the internet or society says about those who failed their tests because it may develop suicidal tendencies.
If they do showcase such thoughts, keep calm and help your child share his emotions with you. Do not confront them for their thoughts and instead, show them that you are willing to listen and help them understand that death isn’t the answer.
Children are very sensitive to the world around them and would easily pick up emotions from adults, especially if it is related to them and their performance. They would always be cautious of what they do and would take criticism and negativity deeply at such a point they may get suicidal thoughts if not detected immediately.
If your child is taking their PSLE soon, you, as the parent, must support your child in all aspects to help them prepare for the test. Encourage them and do not pressure them into thinking these exams are their only shot to advancement. Show them your love and no matter what result they have, show how much you are proud of them for trying their best.
For more PSLE related articles, there are some: