Zoe Tay, Mediacorp actress and Singaporean celebrity mom, may have found the answer to parents’ questions about what to do so their kids get the best scores on their PSLE exams, and it could be the opposite of what everyone thinks.

While her son took the exams in 2017, she and her pilot husband, Philip Chionh, were faced with he same problems that all Singaporean parents have when exam time comes along. What can they do to help their child get the best scores so they can get into their school of choice?

We’ve read about parents going through tremendous lengths such as private tutors along with private tuition centers as well as other study aids just o their child could perform well in the exams. But what did the over-achieving Mediacorp actress do that allowed her son to flourish during this difficult time?

The Zoe Tay secret to her son’s high PSLE score

According to a post on The Learning Lab, where her son, Brayden, went to study for the exams, Zoe said that her son did not study all the time as the exams came up. She made sure that she her child followed a schedule for revising and studying, so that they could carve out relaxation time and time to unwind, no matter how near the exams were and how much her son had studied.

Zoe said, “We find that when there is a schedule, revision is easier to manage. We wanted to make sure that our son had time to relax and wasn’t studying all the time. Also, we wanted him to be sure he didn’t focus too much on one subject over the other. So we set a revision plan based on the exam dates and on how much time he needed to revise each subject well.”

Could this be the secret to her son’s flying colors? Singaporean parents are known to be kiasu with their children, thanks to their hyper-awareness of the intense competition happening in the world. This may lead to excessive expectations and insane schedules for revising, but it seems Zoe and Philip weren’t going the usual Tiger mom and dad routes.

Research shows being Tiger mom and dad don’t really help

A study in 2013 based on Asian children in America who had Tiger parents or strict home rules with regards to academics and other aspects of their life showed that they didn’t do better than their peers who had more permissive households. The study showed that supportive parents who listened to their children but set flexible rules were the better performers.

You may remember this article that showed a Chinese mother showing off her son’s 16-hour schedule everyday that involved waking up at five in the morning so he could study Chinese literature for an hour before getting ready for school. Aside from piano lessons, swimming and other extra-curricular activities, the child was required to study until eleven in the evening, then begin his day at five again the next morning.

Could kiasu parents finally realize that hovering may not really help their child, and instead follow Zoe’s parenting style that may have a strict schedule but gives value to relaxation and fun too?

Let us know in the comments!

Header image from Zoe Tay Instagram account.