Primary school registration for 2019 is well underway, and it is a topic that has been coming up amongst the Kindergarten mummies I see every day, especially for the mummies whose kids are in K2 this year.
As we discuss the schools of preference, we also talk about why we choose the schools. Some parents choose schools based on distance, some based on prestige of the schools. Some choose schools that have a good legacy, and some (like husBenKoh and me) choose our alma mata because we qualify for an earlier registration phase.
Regardless of why we choose the schools of our choice, we are motivated by the hope of wanting to give our kids what could be a better future.
Som parents believe that by putting their kids in a more “prestigious” school, their kids will receive a better education.
Some believe that with a better environment, their kids will have lesser chance to “make wrong friends” and learn “bad things”.
Some look into a nearer future and want the kids to have the convenience of living near the school, so they don’t have to wake up so early.
These conversations about school choices and what the future holds for the kids often bring about a lot of reflections for me.
One of my mum friends was worried that her Son may get easily influenced and eventually be led astray if he didn’t go to a good school.
The amazing thing though, when we think about our own friends, is that while school environment can play a part in how the kids turn out, it isn’t always true that children from “good” or “prestigious” schools won’t be led astray by their friends.
I shared with this mum friend that I know of friends from certain famous schools (which I shall not name here) who would bring weapons (like cutters and pen knives) to school for mischievous reasons. Yet at the same time, I have friends whose children are from notorious neighbourhood schools but they are not interested in their friends’ mischief at all.
The reason? I believe that it has a lot to do with the family.
I explained to my mum friend that when the child feels love and a sense of security at home, they are not easily wavered by the influence of their friends. Children will get curious about the world and what their friends are up to, but when they have a secure sense of identity, they will not be easily wavered.
At the same time, as much as we are concerned about how our children’s future will turn out, it is important to remember that we do not control their future. We can set our children up with what we think are the best skills or environment, but our children will have to walk their own journeys.
As a Christian parent, this is why I believe that the best thing I can do for my children is to pray for them every day. I am not with them 24/7, especially when they are in school, and I cannot control what happens to them. But I can trust the Lord to bless my children and make all things work together for good for them (romans 8:28).
When we think about how our parents have no control over what we do by a certain age, perhaps it will be easier for us to realise that no amount of worry is going to help our children.
So what can we do?
Do what we think helps provide a good and secure home for our children and let God take care of the rest.
(At least, that’s how I feel about it.)