Behind every Olympian is a Supportive Parent

As news of the recent Olympic Gold Medal achieved by Joseph Schooling swept the nation, many people also came to know his ever-supportive parents – Colin and May Schooling. Colin and May Schooling have made Joseph the centre of their lives –supporting his every move, not only through monetary support (his parents has spent over a million dollars in support of his Swimming trainings) but also constant mental support, exuding unshakeable belief in his ability to achieve. The message sent by his parents to Joseph Schooling was very clear; his parents believed in him and are always there for him.

The passion stems from him… I did not push him…
by May Schooling

Encouraging Effort, Not Results

‘Success is the sum of all efforts, repeated day in and day out.’

To drive giftedness in your child, comes within their heart and soul – this means the child must be self-motivated to pursue excellence in their work. A child is only but a child, self-motivation comes with maturity and is impossible for them to develop that drive when they are young. Yet, as parents we could do something to help them to become self-motivated individuals – by praising their Effort rather than the end results. This sends them a clear message that process is more meaningful than the end results, the act of persistent hard work reaps a sweet harvest. For example, we can do so by praising them for their improvement in their academic results, rather than emphasizing on achieving a distinction in a test. We could also encourage greater communication, and being more active in getting to know what have they been learning in school, getting involved in their education to express to them how you’re happy and interested to know what they do, rather than what they achieve. Catalyse on your child’s internal motivation and drive to unlock his/her potential.

An Intricate Process

Empowering your child to strive for his/her best is an intricate process; it requires effort on our part too. Singapore pride itself as a safe haven for businesses, allowing for the economy to grow at a tremendous pace over that past 50 years of Independence. Similarly, providing a responsive, safe and stimulating environment for your child will allow them to learn and develop their skills. A happy marriage, financial stability comes from our part. However, this must be coupled with active parental involvement from both the mother and father in the child’s growth and unwavering parental love.

When parents supply complex and challenging activities e.g. puzzles in a safe and loving environment, children often rise up to the occasions and are more confident to try. They are less afraid of mistakes and are willing to look for creative solutions.

Invest time and effort to create opportunities for special moments with your child e.g. bedtime story-time or playing a sport together on a weekend. Show your child that he/she can trust and depend on you so that in times of stress, your child would listen to your advice and look upon you for direction. They will be more willing to open up to you and share not just issues they face in their homework, but also their own personal problems they may have.

Understanding Every Child is Unique

In order for your child to achieve his/her full potential, you must first identify what is unique about your child and develop that uniqueness. Observing your child at different situations and have regular conversations will allow you to find out your child’s talents and what he/she loves to do. Groom them to become who they want to be, just like how Joseph Schooling’s supported their child to be a swimming legend.


This article originally appeared on Blue Tree Education, ‘Unlocking your Child Potential, Be an Active Parent‘.