The Singaporean education system is one of the best in the world (and that of course includes colleges and universities.) The job market nowadays is extremely competitive and Singaporean educational institutions equip their students with the best tools to tackle this competitive world.
Every parent wants the best for their child and choosing the right tertiary education institution can make all the difference in the world.
When it comes to preparing your child for their tertiary education the earlier you start the better. As the saying goes “time flies” and your child will be packing their bags to go to college or university sooner than you may think.
So the question is, what exactly can you do as a parent to prepare your child for Singapore tertiary education?
Well, the first thing you might want to do is start asking the right questions. Namely: have you decided which university or college you are going to attend?
What are you planning to do after you graduate?
Will you be working during your university years; if yes where?
And last, but not least, what do you want to major in?
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list of questions you should ask your child, however, it is a good start.
With that being said, try not to overwhelm your teenagers with all of the questions at once. This might make them feel pressured and anxious, and you want them to be calm and confident when they make their decisions as they will affect them for the rest of their lives.
If they haven’t decided yet what type of tertiary education they want to partake in, give them some time to think about it and come back to your questions later.
Discuss all possible options with your child openly and try to evaluate the pros and cons together.
Also, try not to push them towards the path they might not want or be suited for. You might dream about seeing them in a particular profession and, of course, you have their best interest at heart when you are giving your advice, however, they need to have the final say in the matter and choose the path which will allow them to reach their full potential. They may not follow in your footsteps and that’s OK.
Many parents want their children to attend the same university they attended because they want their children to have the same exact experiences and follow in their footsteps careerwise.
Each person has their own talents and unique abilities and pushing them in one direction when they might not be suited for that path is not a good idea.
Every teenager dreams about having a parent who will see them as a separate individual and not just an extension of himself/herself. So listening to your child’s desires and helping them achieve their goals is crucial, even if it is not something you personally have envisioned for them and their future.
This approach will encourage your child to be passionate about their chosen career path and achieve their full potential; it will also help you bond.
And this is not just good advice for parents; teachers and tutors should also be careful not to pressure children into pursuing something they don’t want to.
You cannot give your children valid advice if you don’t really know them, so one of the first steps should be getting to know your child better.
Ask them what they are passionate about; which subject do they love most at school, and why?
Which school achievements make them proudest?
Have they ever thought about what their life would be like 10 years into the future; what do they imagine themselves doing then?
If you are lucky your child has already thought about all of the aforementioned issues and has answers ready for you; however, in most cases, parents need to search for the answer in tandem with their children.
And don’t be scared to discuss the financial side. Transitioning into tertiary education means they are adults now, and this is what adults do, they take money into consideration.
There are many ways for students to source funding and finance their tertiary education. Discuss all possible ways, weigh the pros and cons, and pick the right one. To know more about how much is a university education in Singapore, read this article. You can also check out our Complete Guide to Singapore scholarships here.
What to do when your input is not welcome.
As they grow up all teenagers yearn for independence and this may cause some of them to rebel against their parents. For this reason, a teenager may refuse to hear your advice no matter how useful it might be. The most important thing here is not to lose your temper and to maintain your composure.
Explain to them that their decisions have consequences, and they are fully responsible for whatever might happen as a result of these decisions. Be careful not to sound too preachy and condescending though.
And last but not least, no matter how well they prepare your child may still make some minor mistakes along the way due to the lack of experience. For this reason, it is essential for them to know that they can come to you for advice and support if they ever needed it.