She greeted me with a broad smile, and hurriedly calling out"botak, botak" (baldie, baldie), as i was waiting for my son in the school, then she sauntered towards me and said "thank you, botak, my son got improved lah" and then i said "why you thank me for your son's improvement or rather what had i contributed to his success?" she replied "got lah, i did what you told me to do, and it worked"
I was like lost with her compliment, she was all excited telling me the whole story and i was ready to hear from her about her son and my contribution and she began narrating......and then i remembered what i shared with her last year, and i want to share with you guys here, only my thoughts though.
I love talking to those ladies whilst waiting to pick my son up from school, usually our topics of the day mainly revolve around children, study, school works, grades and whatever not. One of those ladies i remember was telling me one day, no matter how many tuition classes she gave to her boy, the child never seemed to make any improvement, always at the bottom 5 rung( in the class of 40 students)
So, i was telling her to try out one thing, take the last position he achieved in the class, which was 35, i told her to encourage her boy to do a little extra harder to hit 29,30 or even 34th in the class, and she almost laughed out nut(i remember) and she was telling me what difference did it make between 34and 35, and i meekly told her wait and see, it would be a lot of difference,i begged her to try out this exercise of encouraging her child to move up one or two position from the bottom 5. But that's just one thing she had to promise me to do if her child managed to move up one or two or three notches, she had to praise, getting very excited, jumped for joy and treat him to KFC or McD as if he had scored straight As.
The last i heard from her, the child had indeed achieved more than what expected of him and she told me the boy now is kind of happy studying, and she thanked me and not forgetting to ask me what is the secret, did i pray for him(in fact not at all), i just humbly told her, if you could accord a child with praises, compliment, getting excited with them as a parent even he or she could only move a notch from the rock bottom, it would spur the child to work even harder, meaning the child acknowledges that yes indeed he has made progress, the child believes that he has the potential to make more progress, to leap further from the small steps and most of all he loves the praises instead of being called stupid or something like "why you always fall under the bottom 5" instead of telling him this" son i am so proud of you, you moved from 35 to 34, see i told you you could do it"
The same thing happened to my eldest, he was at 32 last exam, i was not at all mad at him, i told him that he in fact he could try to move a few notches up, if he tried a little harder and i would appreciate the effort that he'd made, and the result came in the most recent exam, he leaped to position no 12th, to tell you the truth, i was feeling as if he had achieved No 1 in the whole school, i was elated, excited and so happy for him.
Again, the same thing happened to my youngest(marvell), he was at No 3 last exam, i accorded him the same cheers and excitement to that of my eldest, i told him that in fact he could move a notch higher if he wanted and i said to him always that he was the smartest boy, and the result came, truly he went from 3rd to 1st. kudos to both my sons
We as parent might not be satisfied with the little effort our child had made but to the child it really means a world to him, he would feel on top of the world only to know that his parent would bring him down, and kill off the zeal, and that's very detrimental to all these little angels.
P/S: Say it nice if you want the child to try