Tiger Mothers

The Tiger Mother Stereotype?

The online lesson for the Advanced/Proficiency unit called “Family Matters” introduced the controversial best-selling book ‘The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’, in which the author outlined her strict views on parenting. Some of the things the author, a Chinese-American, didn’t allow her children to do were:

• have a playdate
• be in a school play
• complain about not being in a school play
• not be the #1 student in every subject except gym and drama

The so-called ‘Tiger Mother’ stated that this strict approach to parenting prepared children to succeed in later life.

The video above presents a different view of parenting, presented by two current parents of young children. The women are also Americans of Chinese descent, who discuss whether the traditional view of Chinese parents as being extremely strict and demanding is still valid today.

Watch the video above and then comment, letting us know your response to the views given by the mothers in the video. Do you tend to have more sympathy with the parenting approach the mothers in the video describe, or with the more traditional ‘Tiger Mother’ approach discussed in the online lesson?

6 Responses to “Tiger Mothers”


Marta Kubicz says:

April 2nd, 2012 at 16:14

I think that parents should show their children a few paths and let children decide what they want to do and afterwards parents should support any child’s decision.
The Tiger Mother’s behaviour is understandable because, like most parents, she wants what’s the best for her child, but she should find a right balance. In my opinion parents who are too demanding lose a bond with their children and eventually children stop telling them about problems and their feelings, because they are afraid of being criticised.
I think that mothers in the video have found very good balance between how they were brought up and how they want to bring up their children.



Tommy says:

April 5th, 2012 at 13:59

Hi Marta,

I see your point about the Tiger Mother looking out for her children and trying to give them the best chance to succeed. But like you, I also wonder if she was perhaps too strict, and didn’t allow her children enough freedom.
I definitely agree with you about the mothers in the video.

Thanks for your comment!



agnieszka says:

April 17th, 2012 at 20:23

After watching this video I found myself feeling a lot of sympathy for Kelly and Liz. They both look like the happy moms who don’t regret time or energy for their parenting. Since they became mothers they’ve understood the sacrifices of their parents and now feel even more grateful for their effort and hard work. Apparently it’s seems that this ladies have chosen also their own way to bring up their children, and it appears to be in opposition to the popular stereotypes. Their relationship with babies is mostly based on positive emotions and support that can encourage their sons to live and not to afraid world in the future. But at the same time there’s still enough space for feelings, thoughts and independent decisions their children not only grownups who lead them.



Tommy says:

April 18th, 2012 at 11:16

I know what you mean about Kelly and Liz. I think it’s great that they can appreciate the approach their mother took, even though they want to do things differently. They seem quite balanced and reasonable in their ideas about parenting. Thanks for this thoughtful response.



Asia says:

June 5th, 2012 at 22:20

I like Kelly’s and Liz’s attitude. They are very positive and cheerful but at the same time they are very focus on educational aspect of bringing up their children. It’s great to hear that they appreciate their parents’ hard work and care about good relations between them. I can imagine that being demanding and supportive the same time is quite challenging and difficult.



Tommy says:

June 8th, 2012 at 11:36

Hi Asia,

Thanks for your comments. I was also impressed by how the mothers were able to acknowledge the good things about their own mothers’ approach, while at the same time choosing a different way to raise their children. They certainly seem to be very thoughtful parents.


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