My mum doesn’t believe in me

I’m currently in sec2 and it’s close to my subject streaming. My mum has high expectations of me as all Asian parents do. She wants me to think of Uni and poly.she doesn’t think I can get into a jc. I’ve been working so hard this year to catch up on my studies but my grades aren’t the best. I’ve been trying so hard so I can get into a jc and eventually a Uni with a course I want. However my mum doesn’t think I’ve been working hard enough when I’ve actually been working my best.

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Hey @babybear, thanks for sharing your concerns! I can imagine how stressful that must be. :face_exhaling:

Just want to reassure you that what you felt is valid. As what you pointed out, parents do have high expectations of their children as they would like them to do well and not suffer.

I’m curious if you manage to speak to your mum and explore this topic and your future goals with them?

You have done your best and that is wonderful. You are definitely not alone in this and we are here for you if you need a listening ear! :hear_with_hearing_aid:t2:

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Hi @babybear

Thank you for sharing your feelings with us on this platform, I really appreciate that you are sharing your concerns about your mother’s expectations. I can hear that you’re under a lot of pressure, and it can be incredibly challenging to work through these high expectations, especially from your mom. I want to affirm you that your feelings are valid, and I’m here to support you through this.

Let’s process this together:

  1. How does it make you feel when you sense that your best efforts may not be meeting your mom’s expectations?

  2. Have you had a chance to discuss your aspirations and the effort you’re putting in with your mom? Effective communication can sometimes bridge understanding. Perhaps it might be helpful to have a calm and open conversation with your mom about your goals, your efforts, and your worries, as sharing your perspective and feelings can help her understand the hard work you’re putting in.
    I understand it might be uncomfortable to speak to her especially about her expectations, so you can try this activity out to practice: Mental Support & Wellbeing Resources in Singapore to Improve Your Mental Health |

I was wondering, alongside your academic plans, please don’t forget to take care of your well-being. Try to balance your personal life, hobbies, and relaxation is essential during this challenging period. Is there something that brings you joy and helps you relax outside of your studies? Do try to focus on self-care and keep yourself emotionally healthy as well.

I want to encourage you - it’s perfectly okay to have your own dreams and aspirations. And it’s also okay to express your feelings to your mom :slight_smile: Do let us know how you’re doing, and share with us here. We’re here to help you explore ways to cope with this situation and to support you.

Hear from you soon!

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  1. I feel so hurt and angry. I’ve put in so much effort since sec 1 and she doesn’t understand that ive been working so hard until I can’t even take it anymore. Every time I do my work I end up falling asleep bcoz I’m too tired but she sees it as I’m lazy. It’s not like she even did well when she was in secondary sch. She said she’s never seen anyone struggle in sec 2. Well I have. Almost half my cohort results are already considered average . I just really don’t know anymore. I give up.

Hi @babybear

I’m really sorry to hear that you’re feeling this way, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and emotions with me. I can hear that you’ve been carrying this heavy burden, working tirelessly, and feeling exhausted, yet it seems like your efforts aren’t being recognized or understood by someone important to you… This can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening over time.

I just want to encourage you that everyone’s experiences are unique, and just because someone else didn’t face the same challenges in the past doesn’t invalidate what you’re going through now. Your feelings are valid, and I can imagine that you’d feel hurt and angry in this situation (I would feel the same too). It’s also natural to compare your efforts to others, but I would like to encourage you to focus on your own journey and what’s right for you.

If you feel comfortable, it might be helpful to have an open and honest conversation with your mother, explaining your perspective and how her words and actions affect you. This conversation and open communication can sometimes bridge understanding and empathy - who knows, she might really empathise with you and offer you some support too.

I also want to share that it’s okay to seek support from a counselor, teacher, or a trusted adult to help you through this challenging time. You are not alone in this, and there are people who care about your well-being. Do remind yourself that it’s okay to take a break, recharge, and explore more effective ways to manage your workload and stress. Your worth is not defined by your academic performance!

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Isn’t sec 2 too young to be really thinking about jc/poly/uni tho? I mean really I didn’t even think about those things till I was sec 4, your mom is really being too hard on you, you’re only 14, how hard does she want you to work? you are still a child, you shouldn’t have to work so hard

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Seems like there’s an underlying assumption that jc students are “smarter” than poly students - which is actually not 100% true.

There are some poly courses that have a stricter cut off point than polys. Instead of thinking about jc vs poly, have you thought about what you’re interested in?

Like what @Wira says, you’re still young - there another 2-3 years before you finish secondary school so you have time to explore your interests and see what appeals to you.

On managing your mum’s expectations, I think many Asian mums are like that. They’ll eventually learn to calibrate their expectations and always remember that they’ll still love you for who you are (and not about your grades)