TL;DR – Her message to her son was, “What is done, is done. The hard part is over.”
I’m sure we would all have read the widely-circulated With her son’s PSLE results in hand, milestone reached for KiasuParents.com co-founder article by Today, which has since garnered 24,000 Facebook ‘like’s and shares and gotten many more riled up.
But to cut the long (pointless) story short, Today decided to report the groundbreaking news about how co-founder of local parenting forum kiasuparents.com, Mdm Soon Lee Yong, expected her son to get a PSLE T-score of 250 and when he scored 229, told him he “can forget about getting (his) Nintendo DS.”
The mother has since received much flak online, with the kindest criticising her as a parent.
Much sympathy has also been extended to the son as we also see the emergence of the Carousell ‘hero we need’ who offered Nintendo 3DS for kids who scored 4 As and 229 or below for PSLE.
Like we have said before, do we know the full picture? Yet we are quick to judge and determine whether or not she’s fit to be a parent based on one tabloid-ish article.
Mdm Soon has since took to kiasuparents.com (now, this is really coming full circle) last night 27 November Sunday with an open letter offering her side of the story:
1. She did say “You can forget about your Nintendo DS” BUT it was not in response to her son’s text message as reported in the story
Today reported that her son has SMSed Mdm Soon “Are you angry?” when he told her her results, she had told him “(You) can forget about getting your Nintendo DS.”
However, Mdm Soon explains that it was part of a longer private face-to-face conversation with her son, which she was trying to have while the reporter Wong Pei Ting stood next to her.
She didn’t expect her private conversation to be fodder for a newspaper article.
2. Her son already has the Nintendo DS
She had previously confiscated it because he couldn’t control his screen time according to their mutual agreement of 30 minutes per session. She then used the return of the Nintendo DS as an incentive to motivate him to work harder and better his score for the PSLE.
3. They went out for a good meal after the results release
More importantly, her message to her son was: “What is done, is done. The hard part is over.”
They also have a family trip coming up, which was planned before the exams and would have taken place regardless of the exam results. She says, “it’s not a reward for my son because I don’t believe in tying such experiences to grades—we travel for enjoyment and exposure.”
4. Today had wrongly reported her expected T-score as 250, it should be 230
“For those who accuse us of unrealistic expectations, I had predicted that my son’s score would be around 230 (wrongly reported as 250), based on previous performance and my knowledge of his weak spots. His actual score fell short of my prediction by one mark, as was reported in the story.”
5. She had agreed to the interview, but with a request that personal information such as her son’s score would not be revealed
Obviously, we would know by now that request was not honoured.
Mdm Soon was also under the impression that Today was doing the interview and hence article about her views on the PSLE experience, in her capacity as a co-founder of KiasuParents.
6. “You’re ready to handle anything that life throws at you, even when I am no longer around.”
To her son – the most important person in all of this – she concludes her letter with,
Don’t be troubled by what people are saying about me, because I’m not affected. I won’t be brought down by others’ comments as I know who I am and why I do what I do. I hope to show you by example that other people’s comments about us don’t matter, especially if they don’t know us. And because you’ve gone through this, you will understand why you should never jump to conclusions based on a snapshot of information, and why you can’t believe everything you see or read online. I’m sorry that you have received all this unwanted exposure, but we will get through this together.
You can read the full letter here.