Heard of the term “tiger parenting” and wondering what it’s all about? Stick around. We’re diving into the question and its complexities.
From the moment your baby was born (or even before!), you’ve likely been bombarded with information on different parenting styles.
One style you might have heard of is called “tiger parenting.”
In a nutshell, tiger parenting is a form of strict parenting popularized by law professor Amy Chua’s 2011 memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
Chua describes her parenting style as having roots in her Chinese heritage.
Read on to find out more about what tiger parenting is and what are some tiger parenting pros and cons.
In this article: 📝
- What does tiger parenting mean?
- What are some tiger parenting pros and cons?
- Tiger parenting: the bottom line
But before we start, let’s clear up one thing:
Chua’s book is now over ten years old.
We’ve come a long way in that time in terms of racial and cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Though Chua says her parenting style is rooted in her Chinese heritage, we feel the need to state the obvious:
Not all Chinese or Asian people have the same parenting style.
And “tiger parenting” itself can be seen as a derogatory term.
On top of that, discussions of tiger parenting usually center around the “tiger mom” parenting style.
This can put unfair pressure and blame on mothers.
With all that in mind, let’s talk about what is usually meant by the term “tiger parenting.”
What does tiger parenting mean?
Here are some typical traits of what is usually called “tiger parenting”:
- Academic achievement is of the utmost importance, and is valued above socializing and creativity.
- The standards set by parents are extremely high.
- Children are pushed hard to achieve academic success.
- Parents work intensely with the children to help them achieve results.
- There are punishments for not meeting standards that might seem harsh to others, such as shame, guilt, and withdrawing affection.
What are some tiger parenting pros and cons?
Here are some pros and cons to this style of parenting that have been identified by commentators and scientific researchers.
Pros of tiger parenting
In tiger parenting, parents believe that they’re setting their children up for success in the future.
By using strict parenting methods to push their children to achieve, they aim to instill a good work ethic and self-discipline.
Children will be used to working hard, and this will carry through to their adult lives.
Plus the excellent academic results their parents push them to achieve should springboard them, both in school and careers.
In spite of some harsh parenting methods used, tiger parenting can also include some positive parenting methods.
Parents can be extremely supportive and warm, so children may feel a strong sense of connection to their parents and a strong sense of duty to their family.
Although children are relentlessly driven to achieve the goals their parents set for them, they’re supported along the way.
Parents will dedicate enormous time and energy to helping their children.
Cons of tiger parenting
Tiger parenting has been criticized for its focus on the satisfaction of the parent, rather than the happiness of the child.
Children are pushed to live up to their parent’s expectations.
If they fail to do so, they’re shamed for not doing well enough.
Because the focus is on academic achievement, most time is spent working towards academic goals.
Very little time is left for any socializing with friends, taking part in social interests, hobbies, leisure activities like watching TV, and general free play.
Some critics believe tiger parenting might have an adverse effect, with children pushing against their parents’ non-democratic methods.
Studies have shown that children who were raised using a tiger parenting approach were not more likely to achieve academic success.
And these children were often more socially maladjusted.
Also, tiger parenting has been criticized for negatively affecting children’s mental health.
Critics believe there are other, better ways of measuring success, such as being well-adjusted members of society, self-confident and self-determined individuals who are able to work towards what they are interested in.
Tiger parenting: the bottom line
Tiger parenting is a parenting style that has gained popularity but is met with a mixed response.
Tiger parents believe that through strict parenting, hard work, and discipline, they will nurture confident, highly successful children who are ready for the future.
This can all be very confusing to navigate, especially for new parents.
Just remember: you actually don’t need to choose a parenting “style.”
Parenting is a relationship between you and your children.
We’re all different — different personalities, different values, different life circumstances.
As long as you love your child and take care of their basic needs, we’re confident you’ll find your own parenting style that’s just right for you!