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Thread: Need Some Advice on Failure

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    Need Some Advice on Failure

    Hi there,

    First off, let me give you a brief introduction about myself. I am a mum with one daughter. I am also an Asian - and just like many of the Asian parents, I also give importance (maybe a little bit too much) to academics.

    My daughter is generally okay - she consistently gets credits and distinctions on her ICAS tests, her NAPLAN tests are always great, always in the highest bands - and in fact at the tip (higher than the highest band) for most of the subjects. She also gets academic achievement awards (not consistently though as the competition is a bit stiff in her class). I did enrol her in tutoring classes and she is generally okay. She is also quite well rounded - she sings, she dances and she's also enrolled in voice lessons and in a dancing class.

    Because i saw some promise in her, I thought I would try her out in a selective school. So yes, I did enrol her in a tutoring college to prepare for this. There were ups and downs on her trial test results. And based on the overall results of her trial tests and mock tests, I have selected the schools that I thought would be right for her. And just like any responsible parent would do, I also put her on waiting list for some private schools as plan B. In fact, I have paid the enrolment fee (and was willing to let go of it in case she passed the selective test) in one of the schools even before the test results came out, so that I would have peace of mind that no matter what happens, my daughter would have a school.

    So to cut the story short, she took the selective test in March. I had high hopes. I also did not discount the possibility of a fail but of course, I did want her to pass. Fast forward to July, she failed. I cried when I got the email. And then my daughter also cried when I told her. Looking back, I cried because I feel that all the efforts were pun into waste. You see, apart from the tutoring class, I spend some time with her after work so I can teach her with whatever I still know.

    To be very honest, I was so disappointed, and I am still disappointed. I would like to think that I am not disappointed with my daughter. But sometimes, I feel that maybe, I actually am. And I feel so guilty about it. I am guilty because I don't want my daughter to feel that I am disappointed. But somehow, I can't help but think that maybe, she actually feels my disappointment. Looking deeper inside me, I think the disappointment is also with myself - feeling that I could have spent more time with her. I am also thinking, maybe I should have not let her take the test. There's a lot of maybe's.

    She will now be going to the private school I enrolled her in. And I am really hoping that this will be good for her.

    Why am I posting this here? Because I want to get some perspective from younger people like most of you here. I am a parent I know. But I know I am far from perfect. Maybe there are things that we feel we are doing it right for our kids, but maybe it is actually not right.

    I also want to hear your views on failure. And also, to hear your views as to whether kids in selective schools have better chances in life compared to students of non-selective schools.

    Thanks everyone.
    Last edited by ILoveMyDaughter; 10 Sep 2018 at 1:05 PM.

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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Firstly, I commend on you on your open-mindedness and willingness to listen to other people's views. There are not a lot of parents that I know who would do it so humbly and honestly as you have.

    I think that it is understandable that as a parent, you want your kids to walk on the right path, on the least difficult path, on the path that is most likely to lead to success, whether it be academic, connections or otherwise. You want to give the best chance for your kid to have the choice to do what they want-and have a successful stable career and hopefully successful life. And in most cases, as a parent, you might have walked some of the harder paths, and you want your kids to avoid them. So I think in that sense, what you did showed your love and hopes for your daughter and there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer because there may be more than one right way to reach the same destination.

    Before I go onto my views of failure, I will preface this by giving you some context of my advice in light of my experience. I came to Australia when I was young, and learnt English basically from scratch again, alphabet by alphabet, word by word. Fast forward to around over a decade later, I did not try for OC class, but I did try for the selective high school test-by going to tutoring and doing all these trial exams, I did not make it. I ended up going to a non-selective, public girls school, and managed to get the highest Band for all of my subjects in year 12 and getting an ATAR of over 99, and getting into law. I am now about to graduate from my combined law degree and going to work in a international law firm next year. My parents, a bit like you, enrolled me in many different classes when I was young-whether it be art, public speaking, essay writing, English, keyboard etc... and they insisted on tutoring as a way to stay ahead or catch up (initially in my case as I was unfamiliar with the Australian education system). In the first four years of my uni, I have also tutored over 40 students in various HSC subjects and have also hosted at least 14 different seminars in my local library relating to study techniques and studying effectively for different subjects, and have written various study guides on this website with accumulated views of well over 100,000, for which my community contributions earned me a title of the Young Australian of the Year for my local area.

    Why is this background important?-Not because I want to be self-aggrandising and list all my achievements, but because I want to situate this advice of someone who may appear to be very successful and who have a very distinct awareness of avoiding failure. I have been on both sides of education-whether as a receiver or as a tutor. I have witnessed intimately how students fear about not doing well enough-often spending a whole year or more motivating them whilst teaching them the necessary academic knowledge, and I have also experienced many personal struggles with this fear. My fear of failure may be more than others because I had an intrinsic motivation to do well and prove that I could adapt well into this society, to prove that my parents' sacrifice of their respective careers were not for nothing, and that I must always try to be better. However, to be really honest, I think that fear of failure is less conducive a mindset to success to the desire to be better-a growth mindset. When I was hosting my seminars, I tried to face my fear by having attendees to make anonymous comments and criticisms on my seminars, although it may be hard to feel criticised for things I spent a long time preparing for, I realise after I got over that initial mental hurdle, I actually learnt where I was weak at and it motivated me to improve on my seminar in a way that was helpful for the people that came to it.

    Having now being out of the tutoring system for 5 years now, I can honestly say that going to tutoring-helped to give me confidence because of the feedback I get from my tutors, but it didn't necessarily reduce my fear of failure or necessarily can be seen as a magical drug to my success. My fear of failure at times became very extreme because of the pressure I felt self-imposed-not wanting to disappoint my parents and myself, but perhaps in your case, your child might feel pressure from the parents as well. Although I received many awards during primary and high school, however, beyond the few seconds of glory and fame on the presentation stage, there was always the need to cultivate hunger to success and that all that I achieved was not enough-as a result, I only let myself celebrate on the night of the presentation, and stashed my awards away the day after-and start preparing for next year. I never really ever displayed any of my awards. I constantly felt depressed throughout my schooling career, it always felt like unless I came first, I was not good enough (when really, what I should have been thinking was-I should be proud of what I have achieved, but I should also work on areas of weakness until I improve).

    So effectively, I excelled academically, but I didn't develop a lot of emotional intelligence that is much more important in the long term-particularly for success in life more generally, particularly when your kids may start having relationships and going to workplace (if not now, very soon). It wasn't until when I got into uni, when the pressure to succeed were still high, but not as much because there are just so many people to compete against that it became pointless, and it was much better to focus on yourself. I have learnt to realise that not only one should compete against themselves, but much more importantly, it would have been really helpful if parents are more supportive and proud of their kids' achievements, rather than always finding a better comparator. Yes, failing selective school test may be really disappointing after all that effort, but maybe it is not the end of the world, because at the end of the day, it is really up to us to try to do better and succeed rather than relying on only one ideal route. That's why finding the personal motivation to do well, rather than following other people's expectations are so much more effective-because it is a lot more long lasting. It is also for the same reason why I put so much emphasis on helping all my students to find passion in the content they learn, because if they can do that, they will ENJOY the learning process rather than seeing it as an obstacle to their future. I personally also think failing is not so scary, yes, sometimes you can do everything you can and still fail, like I failed in many job applications, or even applications to different programs or positions in societies within uni, but it is a part of life, as long as you have done everything you can, your daughter has tried her best, then there is nothing to regret or disappoint about the outcome. One of my personal mottos is pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again-which I have adopted after a motivational speaker came to our school once. There is no shame in failure, if anything we should embrace it, because knowing how to face it-makes us a more resilient person (which is EXTREMELY important to succeed in real workplaces-and if the whole purpose of trying to give our kids the best that we can is to help them to be able to get into workplace and succeed-then we should not ignore EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE in that equation).

    Failure enables us to see what we still need to do, and to find other ways or to try harder to succeed. I honestly think as long as you give everything your best effort, you should be happy with the outcome-because there was nothing more you could have done within time limits and your physical capacity. I think we have a far too narrowed view of success in Asian cultures, and place far too less emphasis on happiness. Yes, I may have been really successful in my school career thus far, at times it felt my parents were happier than I for my own achievements-which sometimes is a sad truth. My memories of school is just studying-and being asked by my parents to keep studying, I didn't develop a much better multi-dimensional personality until I really got into uni and realised that mode of existence was not sustainable. I think it is equally important to cultivate our personal interests, do some different volunteering experiences to meet different people, and learn to enjoy our learning experience and feel the satisfaction of being more knowledgeable in a particular area, rather than just rushing our kids through the system, and not caring about what they really want, or not giving them the chance to fail, to learn, and to try again, and consider what they want. Ultimately, there comes a day where kids will have to learn to stand on their own two feet and I think that being happy and having good friendships, whilst doing a healthy amount of studying and enjoying a bit of it (if not most of it) rather than focusing solely on just outcomes of test, and marks (using it as an indicator of areas of improvement rather than a defining feature of our self-worth-which sometimes may be the perception kids develop from over-protective and over-concerned parents). It is just so much more important to have a healthy, happy, hardworking kid rather than a perfect kid on a perfect path. (Of course there are exceptions where some kids seem to do everything under the umbrella, whether it be sports, academics, relationships... but these are rare and we shouldn't really try to force our kids into a personality mode that they are not).

    As for whether kids in selective schools have better chances in life compared to students of non-selective school-that depends on what your definition of 'better chances' mean. For me, it just made me work harder, and for others, being in a much more competitive environment might bring a heightened sense of lower self-worth-greater pressure to define one self by marks, maybe some people find that competitive pressure conducive, others not. It really depends on what sort of environment your kids excels in the most. But as I said, I am a proponent you should take the best of whatever circumstances you find yourself (and being in a private school already confers more advantage in terms of more extra-curricular or better resourced activities compared to non-selective schools) and using it to your advantage. But at the end of the day, let's not forget our kids are human too, they have hopes, dreams and expectations, and we should give them the chance to fail, to learn how to get over failures, and embrace it to be better. Because only then, they will become resilient individuals who will be able to succeed in the workplace (where there will be much more conflicts and where emotional intelligence will always be greatly valued).

    Hope this alternative perspective helps somewhat and all the best for your daughter to excel in her studies and hopefully enjoy it too.
    Last edited by strawberrye; 10 Sep 2018 at 3:39 PM.
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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    I think in my opinion, so-called "failure" at something is always inevitable given that humans are not machines, and we all (or other people make mistakes). Additionally, learning how to fail and reattempt something is a relative safe enivorment is a useful skill to develop for future life. Without having experienced failure in youth, I've seen so called "brillent" individuals who are struggling with coping with pressures, and due to not developing this skills has resulted in significant problems currently.

    Too high expectations that people can't(or struggle reaching) actually reach might actually hinder performance of an individuals (from the peer reviewed papers I've read) so that is another avenue to consider.
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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrye View Post
    Firstly, I commend on you on your open-mindedness and willingness to listen to other people's views. There are not a lot of parents that I know who would do it so humbly and honestly as you have.

    I think that it is understandable that as a parent, you want your kids to walk on the right path, on the least difficult path, on the path that is most likely to lead to success, whether it be academic, connections or otherwise. You want to give the best chance for your kid to have the choice to do what they want-and have a successful stable career and hopefully successful life. And in most cases, as a parent, you might have walked some of the harder paths, and you want your kids to avoid them. So I think in that sense, what you did showed your love and hopes for your daughter and there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer because there may be more than one right way to reach the same destination.

    Before I go onto my views of failure, I will preface this by giving you some context of my advice in light of my experience. I came to Australia when I was young, and learnt English basically from scratch again, alphabet by alphabet, word by word. Fast forward to around over a decade later, I did not try for OC class, but I did try for the selective high school test-by going to tutoring and doing all these trial exams, I did not make it. I ended up going to a non-selective, public girls school, and managed to get the highest Band for all of my subjects in year 12 and getting an ATAR of over 99, and getting into law. I am now about to graduate from my combined law degree and going to work in a international law firm next year. My parents, a bit like you, enrolled me in many different classes when I was young-whether it be art, public speaking, essay writing, English, keyboard etc... and they insisted on tutoring as a way to stay ahead or catch up (initially in my case as I was unfamiliar with the Australian education system). In the first four years of my uni, I have also tutored over 40 students in various HSC subjects and have also hosted at least 14 different seminars in my local library relating to study techniques and studying effectively for different subjects, and have written various study guides on this website with accumulated views of well over 100,000, for which my community contributions earned me a title of the Young Australian of the Year for my local area.

    Why is this background important?-Not because I want to be self-aggrandising and list all my achievements, but because I want to situate this advice of someone who may appear to be very successful and who have a very distinct awareness of avoiding failure. I have been on both sides of education-whether as a receiver or as a tutor. I have witnessed intimately how students fear about not doing well enough-often spending a whole year or more motivating them whilst teaching them the necessary academic knowledge, and I have also experienced many personal struggles with this fear. My fear of failure may be more than others because I had an intrinsic motivation to do well and prove that I could adapt well into this society, to prove that my parents' sacrifice of their respective careers were not for nothing, and that I must always try to be better. However, to be really honest, I think that fear of failure is less conducive a mindset to success to the desire to be better-a growth mindset. When I was hosting my seminars, I tried to face my fear by having attendees to make anonymous comments and criticisms on my seminars, although it may be hard to feel criticised for things I spent a long time preparing for, I realise after I got over that initial mental hurdle, I actually learnt where I was weak at and it motivated me to improve on my seminar in a way that was helpful for the people that came to it.

    Having now being out of the tutoring system for 5 years now, I can honestly say that going to tutoring-helped to give me confidence because of the feedback I get from my tutors, but it didn't necessarily reduce my fear of failure or necessarily can be seen as a magical drug to my success. My fear of failure at times became very extreme because of the pressure I felt self-imposed-not wanting to disappoint my parents and myself, but perhaps in your case, your child might feel pressure from the parents as well. Although I received many awards during primary and high school, however, beyond the few seconds of glory and fame on the presentation stage, there was always the need to cultivate hunger to success and that all that I achieved was not enough-as a result, I only let myself celebrate on the night of the presentation, and stashed my awards away the day after-and start preparing for next year. I never really ever displayed any of my awards. I constantly felt depressed throughout my schooling career, it always felt like unless I came first, I was not good enough (when really, what I should have been thinking was-I should be proud of what I have achieved, but I should also work on areas of weakness until I improve).

    So effectively, I excelled academically, but I didn't develop a lot of emotional intelligence that is much more important in the long term-particularly for success in life more generally, particularly when your kids may start having relationships and going to workplace (if not now, very soon). It wasn't until when I got into uni, when the pressure to succeed were still high, but not as much because there are just so many people to compete against that it became pointless, and it was much better to focus on yourself. I have learnt to realise that not only one should compete against themselves, but much more importantly, it would have been really helpful if parents are more supportive and proud of their kids' achievements, rather than always finding a better comparator. Yes, failing selective school test may be really disappointing after all that effort, but maybe it is not the end of the world, because at the end of the day, it is really up to us to try to do better and succeed rather than relying on only one ideal route. That's why finding the personal motivation to do well, rather than following other people's expectations are so much more effective-because it is a lot more long lasting. It is also for the same reason why I put so much emphasis on helping all my students to find passion in the content they learn, because if they can do that, they will ENJOY the learning process rather than seeing it as an obstacle to their future. I personally also think failing is not so scary, yes, sometimes you can do everything you can and still fail, like I failed in many job applications, or even applications to different programs or positions in societies within uni, but it is a part of life, as long as you have done everything you can, your daughter has tried her best, then there is nothing to regret or disappoint about the outcome. One of my personal mottos is pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again-which I have adopted after a motivational speaker came to our school once. There is no shame in failure, if anything we should embrace it, because knowing how to face it-makes us a more resilient person (which is EXTREMELY important to succeed in real workplaces-and if the whole purpose of trying to give our kids the best that we can is to help them to be able to get into workplace and succeed-then we should not ignore EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE in that equation).

    Failure enables us to see what we still need to do, and to find other ways or to try harder to succeed. I honestly think as long as you give everything your best effort, you should be happy with the outcome-because there was nothing more you could have done within time limits and your physical capacity. I think we have a far too narrowed view of success in Asian cultures, and place far too less emphasis on happiness. Yes, I may have been really successful in my school career thus far, at times it felt my parents were happier than I for my own achievements-which sometimes is a sad truth. My memories of school is just studying-and being asked by my parents to keep studying, I didn't develop a much better multi-dimensional personality until I really got into uni and realised that mode of existence was not sustainable. I think it is equally important to cultivate our personal interests, do some different volunteering experiences to meet different people, and learn to enjoy our learning experience and feel the satisfaction of being more knowledgeable in a particular area, rather than just rushing our kids through the system, and not caring about what they really want, or not giving them the chance to fail, to learn, and to try again, and consider what they want. Ultimately, there comes a day where kids will have to learn to stand on their own two feet and I think that being happy and having good friendships, whilst doing a healthy amount of studying and enjoying a bit of it (if not most of it) rather than focusing solely on just outcomes of test, and marks (using it as an indicator of areas of improvement rather than a defining feature of our self-worth-which sometimes may be the perception kids develop from over-protective and over-concerned parents). It is just so much more important to have a healthy, happy, hardworking kid rather than a perfect kid on a perfect path. (Of course there are exceptions where some kids seem to do everything under the umbrella, whether it be sports, academics, relationships... but these are rare and we shouldn't really try to force our kids into a personality mode that they are not).

    As for whether kids in selective schools have better chances in life compared to students of non-selective school-that depends on what your definition of 'better chances' mean. For me, it just made me work harder, and for others, being in a much more competitive environment might bring a heightened sense of lower self-worth-greater pressure to define one self by marks, maybe some people find that competitive pressure conducive, others not. It really depends on what sort of environment your kids excels in the most. But as I said, I am a proponent you should take the best of whatever circumstances you find yourself (and being in a private school already confers more advantage in terms of more extra-curricular or better resourced activities compared to non-selective schools) and using it to your advantage. But at the end of the day, let's not forget our kids are human too, they have hopes, dreams and expectations, and we should give them the chance to fail, to learn how to get over failures, and embrace it to be better. Because only then, they will become resilient individuals who will be able to succeed in the workplace (where there will be much more conflicts and where emotional intelligence will always be greatly valued).

    Hope this alternative perspective helps somewhat and all the best for your daughter to excel in her studies and hopefully enjoy it too.
    Thank you strawberrye. Grateful. I am crying again reading your reply. Funny thing is, a lot of the things you have written in your reply are things that I already know of. Things like, failure should be embraced... make the most of whatever circumstances you find yourself in... etc... These are cliches, but they are true. But during times like this, I doubt these things.

    I know that failure is inevitable. But sometimes, I feel that there are "better" failures. If only I could choose the failures that my daughter can tackle - which I know does not make sense. I know that we can't have everything we want in this life. But I just wish this is not one of them.

    But then again, thank you for your insights.

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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by BLIT2014 View Post
    I think in my opinion, so-called "failure" at something is always inevitable given that humans are not machines, and we all (or other people make mistakes). Additionally, learning how to fail and reattempt something is a relative safe enivorment is a useful skill to develop for future life. Without having experienced failure in youth, I've seen so called "brillent" individuals who are struggling with coping with pressures, and due to not developing this skills has resulted in significant problems currently.

    Too high expectations that people can't(or struggle reaching) actually reach might actually hinder performance of an individuals (from the peer reviewed papers I've read) so that is another avenue to consider.
    Thank you BLIT2014. Appreciate it.

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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveMyDaughter View Post
    Thank you strawberrye. Grateful. I am crying again reading your reply. Funny thing is, a lot of the things you have written in your reply are things that I already know of. Things like, failure should be embraced... make the most of whatever circumstances you find yourself in... etc... These are cliches, but they are true. But during times like this, I doubt these things.

    I know that failure is inevitable. But sometimes, I feel that there are "better" failures. If only I could choose the failures that my daughter can tackle - which I know does not make sense. I know that we can't have everything we want in this life. But I just wish this is not one of them.

    But then again, thank you for your insights.
    And thank you again for your insights. I am sure your parents must be very proud of you.

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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrye View Post
    Firstly, I commend on you on your open-mindedness and willingness to listen to other people's views. There are not a lot of parents that I know who would do it so humbly and honestly as you have.

    I think that it is understandable that as a parent, you want your kids to walk on the right path, on the least difficult path, on the path that is most likely to lead to success, whether it be academic, connections or otherwise. You want to give the best chance for your kid to have the choice to do what they want-and have a successful stable career and hopefully successful life. And in most cases, as a parent, you might have walked some of the harder paths, and you want your kids to avoid them. So I think in that sense, what you did showed your love and hopes for your daughter and there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer because there may be more than one right way to reach the same destination.

    Before I go onto my views of failure, I will preface this by giving you some context of my advice in light of my experience. I came to Australia when I was young, and learnt English basically from scratch again, alphabet by alphabet, word by word. Fast forward to around over a decade later, I did not try for OC class, but I did try for the selective high school test-by going to tutoring and doing all these trial exams, I did not make it. I ended up going to a non-selective, public girls school, and managed to get the highest Band for all of my subjects in year 12 and getting an ATAR of over 99, and getting into law. I am now about to graduate from my combined law degree and going to work in a international law firm next year. My parents, a bit like you, enrolled me in many different classes when I was young-whether it be art, public speaking, essay writing, English, keyboard etc... and they insisted on tutoring as a way to stay ahead or catch up (initially in my case as I was unfamiliar with the Australian education system). In the first four years of my uni, I have also tutored over 40 students in various HSC subjects and have also hosted at least 14 different seminars in my local library relating to study techniques and studying effectively for different subjects, and have written various study guides on this website with accumulated views of well over 100,000, for which my community contributions earned me a title of the Young Australian of the Year for my local area.

    Why is this background important?-Not because I want to be self-aggrandising and list all my achievements, but because I want to situate this advice of someone who may appear to be very successful and who have a very distinct awareness of avoiding failure. I have been on both sides of education-whether as a receiver or as a tutor. I have witnessed intimately how students fear about not doing well enough-often spending a whole year or more motivating them whilst teaching them the necessary academic knowledge, and I have also experienced many personal struggles with this fear. My fear of failure may be more than others because I had an intrinsic motivation to do well and prove that I could adapt well into this society, to prove that my parents' sacrifice of their respective careers were not for nothing, and that I must always try to be better. However, to be really honest, I think that fear of failure is less conducive a mindset to success to the desire to be better-a growth mindset. When I was hosting my seminars, I tried to face my fear by having attendees to make anonymous comments and criticisms on my seminars, although it may be hard to feel criticised for things I spent a long time preparing for, I realise after I got over that initial mental hurdle, I actually learnt where I was weak at and it motivated me to improve on my seminar in a way that was helpful for the people that came to it.

    Having now being out of the tutoring system for 5 years now, I can honestly say that going to tutoring-helped to give me confidence because of the feedback I get from my tutors, but it didn't necessarily reduce my fear of failure or necessarily can be seen as a magical drug to my success. My fear of failure at times became very extreme because of the pressure I felt self-imposed-not wanting to disappoint my parents and myself, but perhaps in your case, your child might feel pressure from the parents as well. Although I received many awards during primary and high school, however, beyond the few seconds of glory and fame on the presentation stage, there was always the need to cultivate hunger to success and that all that I achieved was not enough-as a result, I only let myself celebrate on the night of the presentation, and stashed my awards away the day after-and start preparing for next year. I never really ever displayed any of my awards. I constantly felt depressed throughout my schooling career, it always felt like unless I came first, I was not good enough (when really, what I should have been thinking was-I should be proud of what I have achieved, but I should also work on areas of weakness until I improve).

    So effectively, I excelled academically, but I didn't develop a lot of emotional intelligence that is much more important in the long term-particularly for success in life more generally, particularly when your kids may start having relationships and going to workplace (if not now, very soon). It wasn't until when I got into uni, when the pressure to succeed were still high, but not as much because there are just so many people to compete against that it became pointless, and it was much better to focus on yourself. I have learnt to realise that not only one should compete against themselves, but much more importantly, it would have been really helpful if parents are more supportive and proud of their kids' achievements, rather than always finding a better comparator. Yes, failing selective school test may be really disappointing after all that effort, but maybe it is not the end of the world, because at the end of the day, it is really up to us to try to do better and succeed rather than relying on only one ideal route. That's why finding the personal motivation to do well, rather than following other people's expectations are so much more effective-because it is a lot more long lasting. It is also for the same reason why I put so much emphasis on helping all my students to find passion in the content they learn, because if they can do that, they will ENJOY the learning process rather than seeing it as an obstacle to their future. I personally also think failing is not so scary, yes, sometimes you can do everything you can and still fail, like I failed in many job applications, or even applications to different programs or positions in societies within uni, but it is a part of life, as long as you have done everything you can, your daughter has tried her best, then there is nothing to regret or disappoint about the outcome. One of my personal mottos is pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again-which I have adopted after a motivational speaker came to our school once. There is no shame in failure, if anything we should embrace it, because knowing how to face it-makes us a more resilient person (which is EXTREMELY important to succeed in real workplaces-and if the whole purpose of trying to give our kids the best that we can is to help them to be able to get into workplace and succeed-then we should not ignore EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE in that equation).

    Failure enables us to see what we still need to do, and to find other ways or to try harder to succeed. I honestly think as long as you give everything your best effort, you should be happy with the outcome-because there was nothing more you could have done within time limits and your physical capacity. I think we have a far too narrowed view of success in Asian cultures, and place far too less emphasis on happiness. Yes, I may have been really successful in my school career thus far, at times it felt my parents were happier than I for my own achievements-which sometimes is a sad truth. My memories of school is just studying-and being asked by my parents to keep studying, I didn't develop a much better multi-dimensional personality until I really got into uni and realised that mode of existence was not sustainable. I think it is equally important to cultivate our personal interests, do some different volunteering experiences to meet different people, and learn to enjoy our learning experience and feel the satisfaction of being more knowledgeable in a particular area, rather than just rushing our kids through the system, and not caring about what they really want, or not giving them the chance to fail, to learn, and to try again, and consider what they want. Ultimately, there comes a day where kids will have to learn to stand on their own two feet and I think that being happy and having good friendships, whilst doing a healthy amount of studying and enjoying a bit of it (if not most of it) rather than focusing solely on just outcomes of test, and marks (using it as an indicator of areas of improvement rather than a defining feature of our self-worth-which sometimes may be the perception kids develop from over-protective and over-concerned parents). It is just so much more important to have a healthy, happy, hardworking kid rather than a perfect kid on a perfect path. (Of course there are exceptions where some kids seem to do everything under the umbrella, whether it be sports, academics, relationships... but these are rare and we shouldn't really try to force our kids into a personality mode that they are not).

    As for whether kids in selective schools have better chances in life compared to students of non-selective school-that depends on what your definition of 'better chances' mean. For me, it just made me work harder, and for others, being in a much more competitive environment might bring a heightened sense of lower self-worth-greater pressure to define one self by marks, maybe some people find that competitive pressure conducive, others not. It really depends on what sort of environment your kids excels in the most. But as I said, I am a proponent you should take the best of whatever circumstances you find yourself (and being in a private school already confers more advantage in terms of more extra-curricular or better resourced activities compared to non-selective schools) and using it to your advantage. But at the end of the day, let's not forget our kids are human too, they have hopes, dreams and expectations, and we should give them the chance to fail, to learn how to get over failures, and embrace it to be better. Because only then, they will become resilient individuals who will be able to succeed in the workplace (where there will be much more conflicts and where emotional intelligence will always be greatly valued).

    Hope this alternative perspective helps somewhat and all the best for your daughter to excel in her studies and hopefully enjoy it too.
    And thank you again for your insights. I am sure your parents must be very proud of you.

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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Hi

    Well yeah, same case happened to me, when I was in Year 6, i failed the selective exam, my parents spent like $10,000 in many tuitions, and when i saw the screen where it said i failed, i lost hope in everything . I mean yes, I failed but this is mostly because the teacher didn't give me as much school marks as everyone else in my class, i did extremely well in the test, but tough luck it happens in life where there is always some bias against you, but I learnt from my mistakes to try even harder.

    Before in primary school i only achieved Credits and Distinctions in my ICAS, now I consistently receive High Distinctions, this was all because of the failure of my selective test in Year 6, i had the same feeling of guilt of me failing it, why my parents spent so much money, sweat and time and in the end i ended up screwing up the exam, this guilt only pushed me to do better, i was also a worse person 'morally' if you want to say. I always bragged about my results and showed i'm better in primary, but now in my group of friends whenever we go to gatherings, I'm known as the 'junkie' because people make fun of me because of the school I go to (it's a very low ranking school), so even from my failures, I've made myself more humble; My parents also let me go as well, they stopped caring about my studies, because they lost all hope in me doing good anymore, they just think I'll live some mediocre life, and not get a good job in a good university, after heaps of failures in primary i can't blame them at all for feeling that way, i knew i needed to change and improve my results and my situation somehow. And also, your daughter is in a much better situation then I am in right now so that's a great thing, she doesn't have to worry about SCALING in the HSC, I go to one of the worst performing schools in Sydney as i mentioned before and my cohort might scale my HSC mark down which was the main concern of me failing the selective test, because in a Selective school or a good private school this won't happen, in fact your mark will be uplifted, this won't happen for me, in fact it'll just downgrade my mark.

    Overall, yes I failed the test in Year 6, but until now , I can't say I lost everything, the guilt of failure has pushed me to do better in school and exams, in fact the guilt of me failing the selective test is still in me after a long 4 or 5 years. If you've reached this far into reading this, then thanks a lot.
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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Accurate View Post
    Hi

    Well yeah, same case happened to me, when I was in Year 6, i failed the selective exam, my parents spent like $10,000 in many tuitions, and when i saw the screen where it said i failed, i lost hope in everything . I mean yes, I failed but this is mostly because the teacher didn't give me as much school marks as everyone else in my class, i did extremely well in the test, but tough luck it happens in life where there is always some bias against you, but I learnt from my mistakes to try even harder.

    Before in primary school i only achieved Credits and Distinctions in my ICAS, now I consistently receive High Distinctions, this was all because of the failure of my selective test in Year 6, i had the same feeling of guilt of me failing it, why my parents spent so much money, sweat and time and in the end i ended up screwing up the exam, this guilt only pushed me to do better, i was also a worse person 'morally' if you want to say. I always bragged about my results and showed i'm better in primary, but now in my group of friends whenever we go to gatherings, I'm known as the 'junkie' because people make fun of me because of the school I go to (it's a very low ranking school), so even from my failures, I've made myself more humble; My parents also let me go as well, they stopped caring about my studies, because they lost all hope in me doing good anymore, they just think I'll live some mediocre life, and not get a good job in a good university, after heaps of failures in primary i can't blame them at all for feeling that way, i knew i needed to change and improve my results and my situation somehow. And also, your daughter is in a much better situation then I am in right now so that's a great thing, she doesn't have to worry about SCALING in the HSC, I go to one of the worst performing schools in Sydney as i mentioned before and my cohort might scale my HSC mark down which was the main concern of me failing the selective test, because in a Selective school or a good private school this won't happen, in fact your mark will be uplifted, this won't happen for me, in fact it'll just downgrade my mark.

    Overall, yes I failed the test in Year 6, but until now , I can't say I lost everything, the guilt of failure has pushed me to do better in school and exams, in fact the guilt of me failing the selective test is still in me after a long 4 or 5 years. If you've reached this far into reading this, then thanks a lot.
    I am sure you will do well in life, kiddo. I am also hoping that everything is well between you and your parents. I am sure your parents did not lose hope in you. You will make them proud.

    I have not lost hope in my daughter. But I am also trying to be more careful in pushing her to do better.

    Thank you for your response.
    Last edited by ILoveMyDaughter; 11 Sep 2018 at 12:05 AM.

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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Hello, just going to type a short reply. I didn't even try the selective test and I went to a private/catholic school instead and I ended up getting a really high atar and a lot of my close friends also came from non-selective schools. They got high atars and are all motivated in succeeding in their careers and will surely do well in life.

    Non-selective schools are fine If your child is motivated they'll be fine no matter what path they take. I think my friends and I did not have strict parents in terms of studying so we all motivated ourselves!
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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by pikachu975 View Post
    Hello, just going to type a short reply. I didn't even try the selective test and I went to a private/catholic school instead and I ended up getting a really high atar and a lot of my close friends also came from non-selective schools. They got high atars and are all motivated in succeeding in their careers and will surely do well in life.

    Non-selective schools are fine If your child is motivated they'll be fine no matter what path they take. I think my friends and I did not have strict parents in terms of studying so we all motivated ourselves!
    Thank you. I am really grateful hearing these from young people. Gives me a new perspective on parenting.
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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    Sounded like my parents.

    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveMyDaughter View Post
    Hi there,

    First off, let me give you a brief introduction about myself. I am a mum with one daughter. I am also an Asian - and just like many of the Asian parents, I also give importance (maybe a little bit too much) to academics.

    My daughter is generally okay - she consistently gets credits and distinctions on her ICAS tests, her NAPLAN tests are always great, always in the highest bands - and in fact at the tip (higher than the highest band) for most of the subjects. She also gets academic achievement awards (not consistently though as the competition is a bit stiff in her class). I did enrol her in tutoring classes and she is generally okay. She is also quite well rounded - she sings, she dances and she's also enrolled in voice lessons and in a dancing class.

    Because i saw some promise in her, I thought I would try her out in a selective school. So yes, I did enrol her in a tutoring college to prepare for this. There were ups and downs on her trial test results. And based on the overall results of her trial tests and mock tests, I have selected the schools that I thought would be right for her. And just like any responsible parent would do, I also put her on waiting list for some private schools as plan B. In fact, I have paid the enrolment fee (and was willing to let go of it in case she passed the selective test) in one of the schools even before the test results came out, so that I would have peace of mind that no matter what happens, my daughter would have a school.

    So to cut the story short, she took the selective test in March. I had high hopes. I also did not discount the possibility of a fail but of course, I did want her to pass. Fast forward to July, she failed. I cried when I got the email. And then my daughter also cried when I told her. Looking back, I cried because I feel that all the efforts were pun into waste. You see, apart from the tutoring class, I spend some time with her after work so I can teach her with whatever I still know.

    To be very honest, I was so disappointed, and I am still disappointed. I would like to think that I am not disappointed with my daughter. But sometimes, I feel that maybe, I actually am. And I feel so guilty about it. I am guilty because I don't want my daughter to feel that I am disappointed. But somehow, I can't help but think that maybe, she actually feels my disappointment. Looking deeper inside me, I think the disappointment is also with myself - feeling that I could have spent more time with her. I am also thinking, maybe I should have not let her take the test. There's a lot of maybe's.

    She will now be going to the private school I enrolled her in. And I am really hoping that this will be good for her.

    Why am I posting this here? Because I want to get some perspective from younger people like most of you here. I am a parent I know. But I know I am far from perfect. Maybe there are things that we feel we are doing it right for our kids, but maybe it is actually not right.

    I also want to hear your views on failure. And also, to hear your views as to whether kids in selective schools have better chances in life compared to students of non-selective schools.

    Thanks everyone.

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    Re: Need Some Advice on Failure

    I ended up putting my thoughts into a PM to you Op. Hope it helps.

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