March 2, 2011

Are You A Wimpy American Mom? Or Are You A Tiger Mom?

A few weeks ago I went to the dentist to be tortured have my teeth cleaned. While I waited I grabbed TIME magazine to have something to read. On the cover was a picture of a pair of legs in a skirt standing over a little girl holding a violin. The title caught my eye...TIGER MOM. I began reading the story and was, at first, appalled at what I was reading. The story was about a woman named Amy Chua, who calls herself a "Tiger Mom". She's also the author of the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. The article in TIME magazine was all about her parenting skills, she uses Chinese "strict, Old World, uncompromising values". In short, she's strict, very strict. Going as far as to make her daughter practice the piano through the night until the girl got the piece right. She says Americans are weak, we don't raise our children strict enough, we don't push them hard enough...and so on. Crazy, right? They talk about a few other incidents that you can read about here if you like....READ HERE. I read the entire article and by the end of it I felt a bit better. She talked about regretting some of the things she did and said to her kids, she talked about compromising with her daughters now and how she was cocky and thought she could control her daughters when they were first born. We can all relate to that one!! Her parenting style may be a bit rough for some, but there are some aspects of it that I actually agree with. For example....I do not coddle my children, I do not praise every. single. thing. they. do, I push my teenager just a little bit more every time, I encourage my son write his name until he gets it right (with praise, of course) and I am not their friend, I am their Mother. Don't get me wrong, I cuddle with my kids, if they get hurt I comfort them and I do praise them when they do something well or good or on their own without me asking. I would never call my children names, make them do something into the wee hours of the night and I would never not except a homemade gift. My teenager is an honor student, all A's and one B. She pushes herself to do better every day, she studies all the time and she is really just a good kid. So I guess I'm doing something right. But am I a Tiger Mom? I don't know about that. I'm not out to raise perfect children, I just want to raise them well. And so far, so good. :)

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