Monday, July 30, 2012

Mind your Qs

Recently, a cousin of mine came over to visit with her 75-year-old mum. Throughout the visit when we were showing them around our estate, Andre held his grandaunt's hand and walked slowly beside her. Later, my cousin commented that Andre was very good with the elderly.

That comment surprised me as I'd never thought of Andre being particularly adept with the elderly. I have noticed however, that he seems to have this natural knack for looking after others. Whenever my good friends Isabelle and Joon visit with their two toddlers (or when we visit them), Andre will automatically assume the role of the big "korkor" and entertain the kiddos, much to their delight.

He'll share his toy taxi collection...

... and even bring them on a ride in their wagon.

For a long time now, we've known that Andre is very much a people person. I don't think he can explain it in so many words but often, he seems to understand intuitively what others need. For instance, there's a boy in Andre's class with a serious skin disorder that afflicts his entire body. He has to apply this ointment that leaves a sticky residue and many kids are repelled by this. In fact, some of the kids have called him "Monster" which obviously upsets the poor boy. Kids can be so cruel.

When Andre told me he sometimes sits next to this boy and just be his friend, I thought it was very sweet of him.

A few months back, I read a Forbes online article entitled "Intelligence is Overrated: What You Really Need to Succeed". Essentially, it states that while IQ is often used as a criterion for climbing the corporate ladder, it is actually your other "intelligences" - emotional, moral and body - that are bigger determinants of financial success.

I found this statement particularly interesting:
"Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price."
Once, a friend of mine, who's a badminton fan, invited Andre to join him at a game at Sengkang Recreation Centre. Andre was terribly excited by the invite and at first wanted to ask his best friend who stays at Sengkang along. After some thought though, he told Kenneth, "No, I better not. It's not my court, it won't be nice."

That's when Kenneth told me, he was less worried about Andre's future because here's a boy with EQ.

As you probably know by now, I constantly worry about Andre, especially academically. Even though I know academics is not everything in life, it's hard to shed the mother hen complex. But when I hear how Andre tries to be a good friend to others, it warms my heart and it goes a long way in assuaging my concerns.

In life, there really are few qualities as important as kindness to others. Perhaps Andre's the one who's gotten it right all along.


Lilian said...

He's such a sweetheart <3 The world would be a much better place if more people (not just kids, adults too) were like Andre.

I've always told my kids that if there's just one thing they should always remember -- it is to Be Kind -- and everything else will fall into place. No long list or Dos & Donts or biblical verses to remember. Simply be kind to others. Andre already has this principle down to pat. And it truly is a testament to wonderful parenting, cos it is not by chance that he's so big-hearted, kind and exceedingly likable!

monlim said...

Lilian: Thanks so much for the kind words and yes, I remember your mantra to be Kind - you're absolutely right. Not sure I can take too much credit though, as we've discussed before, I think our kids somehow turned out much more generous than we are. We probably need to learn from them here :)

Kenneth said...

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
LaoTse, Chinese Philosopher

ada said...

So heartwarming to read this - Andre’s a real blessing :D ! If teaching a child ‘head knowledge’ is hard, teaching ‘heart knowledge’ is way harder!
As a parent, I think being able to bring up children who empathise and care – not only about themselves but also about others around them – bring the greatest joy. It’s so easy for us to recognise and celebrate good scores in tests, exams or CCAs, much harder to assess behaviours and values. And yet the latter has much greater, more lasting impact. I like what Kenneth said – and I think Andre will go a long way armed with his charm and emotional intelligence. EQ isn’t just about being nice to people or doing what others want… someone high in EQ understands and relates to others well, so much so it builds relationships that help them manage their situations, make good decisions and keep them well-adjusted in the face of challenges. Seeing how society at large and our education system emphasizes and rewards ‘me first’ behaviors, having more young people like Andre who have high EQ and big hearts will bring much needed balance and hope for a happier, less self-centered world!

monlim said...

Ada: So true, teaching heart knowledge is difficult, especially when we parents have the urge to try and tell our kids to try and look out for themselves! It's difficult to be a role model and as you say, especially in this society which emphasises "me first" behaviour.

Thanks for your encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Dear Monica,
This is really an uplifting post!
Such emphathy and intuition is so much harder to cultivate.
Kudos to Andre!
He's a really great kid!


monlim said...

Thanks, Grace!

Reading Software for Kids said...

Thanks @monlim for sharing such important & amazing part of your life. Kids learn when we teach them with love & kindness. It's all up to you that how do you care and teach your kids. Andre is really a great kid. Love to him.
Reading Software for Kids

Yin said...

Oh definitely yes! I would gladly exchange some IQ for more EQ in my sons!! :) Well they are not that bad, but some days it feels like they will never get it or show it and I worry about their future all the same too!

Must not have checked in for a while, had forgotten that Andre is facing PSLE this year! Hang in there, everything you said in the previous post I have felt last year... his answers to those science questions are hilarious! It will all turn out fine ... sec one is suddenly so mild in comparison to PSLE year, and gives the boys some time to be boys and mature in God's time :)
But try telling me that last year!!

Oh and forgot to come by and say so sorry we have indeed abandoned our two family's pact to be the only ones in Singapore with no WII,etc... we caved, in order to have something to have fun and bond with them over.. you should see me in WII sports, half an hour everyday a sportswoman maketh!!

monlim said...

Yin: Nice to hear from you! I'm glad to hear your kids are settling in, PSLE is just such an energy drainer. With you and your hubby as role models, I'm sure your boys will grow up just fine :)

Haha, grooming a sportswoman with Wii? I'm so not letting my kids read this!!

Anonymous said...

Mon, Andre is absolutely a sweet boy! Mai kay-kee, take credit for it, you have nurtured a lovely boy!!


monlim said...

Aww... thanks Chris!

NYMacMom w 3 said...

Jia You Andre!
You will grow up to the that wonderful young man that all the aunties are comfortable with and would love their daughters to date! Will pray for you through this demanding season in life. It is not a gauge of the man you will become nor is it the measure in which your GOD has planned for u! God Bless u kiddo!
xoxo, the CHANs

monlim said...

Thanks Sarah! Such comforting words :)

Unknown said...

Kids are the blessing of God. We should take care of them. We should provide good environment for kids in which they can grow as well as develop their learning skills.

loveourchildrennow said...

such a sweet little boy you have. it's his nature, so blessed you are :)

monlim said...

LOCN: Thanks! Yes, I'm blessed indeed :)

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