Lately I have been arguing a lot with the big girl. She has exactly a month to go before the big day -- the dreaded UPSR exam. The nearer the day is towards the exam, the more relaxed she gets. I don't see an ounce of panic or worry in her. She's as cool as a cucumber, come what may!
She has to stay back in school for compulsory tuition and gets home at about 4 - 4:30pm since February this year. After a fruit and snack break, she takes her shower. She used to take a nap after her shower but these days, I don't know what's with her. She would walk straight to the living room and plonks herself on the couch to watch DVD or Astro programs for at least 2 hours, thus skipping her must-have siesta. This girl MUST take her 2-hour nap each day, just like a baby, failing which she will be crabby and bolshy towards the evening. Sometimes, she will watch You Tube or sends messages to her friends on Facebook using the iPod. Now this Apple gadget is the biggest mistake hubs has made when he bought it for her a year ago for getting good grades. I have tried hiding the iPod but this girl boldly takes it back from me. No matter where I hide it in my room, she can still locate it!
The last straw was about 3 days ago when I found her playing with the iPod on her bed. She should be taking her baby nap but she was nonchalantly playing with the iPod. She did not give two hoots about me catching her. All hell broke loose and I lost my cool. My sensitive daughter broke down. We had a sizzling argument. Long story short, I snatched the iPod back from her and hid it again. I did not talk to her until the next day when she begged me to have the iPod back, like an addict, high on drugs! I was furious and my blood was boiling, so ready to spew out acidic words on her again. After another wrangle of words and another meltdown by my sensitive girl, I gave her an option -- she can only have the iPod back for HALF AN HOUR each day on condition that she finishes all her homework (school and tuition) and writes a Karangan (Malay essay) to show me. She did not accept the condition and protested. I stuck to my guns and told her that she could take it or leave it. After sleeping over it, she accepted the 'offer'.
Some kids are very disciplined when it comes to revising for exams. My kids are not so, mainly because my other half is very lenient. So they know they have the leeway. Sometimes I wonder if my tiger mothering ways are beneficial or detrimental to my girls. I have read stories of how some kids take their own lives as a result of parental pressure and pressure in school. Just a few days ago, I read that a girl in Singapore took her own life when she could not score straight As in her O Levels exam. She was afraid to disappoint her mother who wanted her to be a medical doctor. A few months later, the girl's mother took her own life. That story broke my heart. This should never ever happen to any family.
Ever since the big girl and I reached an 'agreement' on the usage of her iPod, she is a much happier girl and so am I. Today she came home and told me that she is the top in class again in her July exam. I told her that all her hard work has paid off. I told her that all our arguments and tears and my forcing her to study diligently have reaped bountifully. The both of us are very happy today.
So my conclusion is that for this big girl, I have to drop my initial plan of keeping the iPod out of her sight for a whole month until her UPSR exam is over. This does not work for her. It depresses her and me a lot. Parenting kids is never easy. But the rewards are immeasurable.