What Is Tiger Parenting?

Tiger Parenting

The term Tiger parenting came about in 2011. It was first used in Amy Chua’s book “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”. Amy Chua was a Yale law professor and mother of two daughters.

She published this book about her parenting style. In her book, she ascribes tiger parenting to Chinese parents.

Although she admits she uses the terms “Chinese parents” and “Western parents” loosely. She believes anybody can adopt this style of parenting.

She writes in her novel, which was excerpted by the Wall Street Journal, that “Western parents strive to value their children’s autonomy, encouraging them to follow their true interests, respecting their decisions, and offering positive encouragement and a supportive atmosphere.” While “The Chinese, on the other hand, believe that the best way to protect their children is to prepare them for the future, to show them what they’re capable of, and to arm them with skills, work habits, and inner trust that no one can ever take away.”

Since the publication of this book, the term “Tiger parenting” has been used to describe a parenting style that prioritizes familial closeness.

Familial closeness is a strong relationship between the parents and children. Tiger Parenting often uses blunt strategies such as fear and shame. Most Chinese Parents and Asian Americans adopt this form of parenting.

What is Tiger Parenting?

Tiger parenting is a form of demanding or strict parenting. This kind of parenting also use coercive parenting approaches to push and pressure their children to achieve academic excellence.

It encourages participation in high-profile extracurricular activities such as music, art, and so on. Tiger Parenting uses authoritarian parenting methods.

Tiger parenting, emphasizing the obligation to family and achievement of high expectations, may seem oppressive. In this Tiger parenting style, children are well-supported. “Parents sit with their children and focus on homework with them, ensuring that they understand the issues,” says Dr. Markus. “They teach their children that even if they don’t understand the issue right away, with enough practice, they will. They instill in their children the belief that they are capable and powerful.”

While some persons see Tiger parenting as extreme, others say there’s a lot of warmth. They believe that the pressure put on the children and high expectations yields good results.

Tiger parenting is focused on Asian ideals of independence. It also emphasizes building a solid and dedicated relationship between parent and child.

In Asian and Asian American contexts, parents often guide children to understand their fundamental connectedness to others. They are taught to understand their connectedness to their parents.

One of the most significant of these obligations is for the child to become an educated and responsible person. A person who provides for the family, and contribute to society.

Being a good child means living up to parental expectations.

To Westerners, this style can seem pretty rigorous. A tiger parent sets exceptionally high goals for his or her child.

These goals can be academic and they drives the child relentlessly to achieve these goals.

Once each goal is reached, another is immediately set, so there is no break from the parent’s demands. 

As a parenting style, Tiger parenting was studied by Su Yeong Kim, Ph.D. She is a Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

She is also the co-author of the study “Does Tiger Parenting Exist?”. In her study of Tiger parenting, she found this parenting style high in one factor missing in other parenting styles: Shaming.

Parents who adopted the Tiger parenting style showed higher levels of shaming than parents who did not. This suggests a moderate level of shaming can be an essential component of being a supportive and successful parent among Chinese Americans. But while tiger parenting ranks high in shaming, it ranks high in warmth as well.

Tiger parenting comes off as authoritative but it can also involve parental sacrifice rooted in selfless love for the child.

Studies show that tiger parenting can be effective for Asian and Asian American students, but not for Americans.

However, the positive results for Asian Americans come with a price. Most students raised under tiger parenting show a paradoxical pattern of both higher distress coupled with high achievement.

These children can also experience the anxiety and other downsides of a high-stress environment; such pressure is unsustainable. These children can rebel later in life when they reach an age where independence is possible.

Most of these kids can give up their goals entirely. But in some cases, the close bond of tiger parenting can mitigate some of those alienating factors.

Studies have shown that parental love and sacrifice delivered in warm relationships can trump any childhood resentment and shame. Every style of parenting has its positive and negative sides.

Pros of Tiger Parenting

  • Children’s self-discipline skills are encouraged by tiger parenting guidelines. Children learn the importance of living a disciplined life and self-discipline by following constant rules and instructions.
  • Tiger parenting helps children to reveal they’re true potentials despite the relentless threat of punishment. Children show their true potential and learn to be the best to achieve success in life.
  • Irrespective of the harsh method used in bringing up children, tiger parenting shapes children to be responsible.
  • The goal of tiger parenting is to shape children into being responsible and successful. This, in turn, produces responsible, well-adjusted, goal-oriented, and focussed adults in society.
  • Tiger parenting helps bring out the best in children, academically and otherwise. As the kids strive and put in their best to meet up to their parents’ high demands.

Cons of Tiger Parenting

While all parents want the best for their children, tiger parenting has some drawbacks that must be considered. It could have negative consequences for children’s upbringing.

Such as:

  • High demands from parents and high expectations set for children can make them feel overburdened and pressurised.
  • Tiger parenting makes children afraid of making mistakes, as tiger parents adopt very harsh punishments for their children.
  • Children raised by tiger parents can develop anxiety and depression as a result of living in constant fear.
  • Children’s development is hampered by their fear of perfectionism.
  • The Tiger parenting approach stifles children’s true imagination and uniqueness. Though children lack self-discipline and depend on their parents to make decisions for them. Parents should only make a limited number of decisions for their children and not do everything for them; otherwise, they would turn into robots.
  • In tiger parenting, the children are still under the strict supervision of their guardians. It will make them more reliant on others and cause them to develop poor coping skills.
  • In certain cases, tiger parenting can lead to negative cognitive and emotional growth.
  • Since children strictly obey the rules and regulations, tiger parenting rules stifle their imagination and development.

Signs that you are practicing Tiger Parenting

Some parents may not be sure of the parenting style they have adopted in bringing up their kids.

While you are wondering about your parenting method, there are a few signs that can help you determine whether or not you are a tiger parent.

You have adopted tiger parenting if:

  • You don’t let your kids have sleepovers or hang out with their friends as much as they want.
  • When as a parent you expect your children to perform exceedingly great academically. You want them to get a perfect score on all of their tests. Tiger mother and Dad sometimes punish them severely if they don’t.
  • You value your standards above their love for any handmade gifts. Tiger Mother and Dad always want them to excel in everything they do.
  • You think more about what they accomplish than how they accomplish it. Most tiger mother or Tiger Dad place higher importance on your self-esteem than their skills.
  • Your child is afraid to tell you anything. Largely because they are afraid you will reprimand them if you don’t agree with the idea or circumstance.
  • You keep reminding and ordering them because you don’t trust them with things.
  • You place a greater emphasis on adhering to laws and regulations than on keeping your children happy. You’re still under the impression that the rules should be followed at all costs.
  • Your children follow a rigid routine of more work and less play; they do not invite their friends over as they are scared of your authoritative nature.

Going through the advantages and disadvantages of the tiger parent approach, I believe that tiger parenting could be an excellent way to bring up children, as it helps children bring out the best in them.

However, it can also be a horrible experience for them, as the pressure put on these children to attain perfection and excellence in all they do might have adverse effects on them.

It is worthy of note that children’s creativity and individuality are more important than their achievements. It is important that parents choose the style of parenting that they are most comfortable with.

Still, they should endeavor to be careful in practicing whichever parenting style they choose in order not to affect the lives of their children negatively.

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