Monday, 02 May 2011
Top Rules of a Tiger Mom:
- Schoolwork always comes first.
- An A-minus is always a bad grade.
- Your children must be at least two years ahead of their classmates in maths.
- You must never pay your children a compliment in public.
- The only activities your children should be permitted to do are those in which they can eventually win a medal and that medal must be gold.
Your children must NOT:
- Attend sleepovers
- Have playdates
- Be in a school play
- Watch T.V or play video games
- Choose their own extracurricular activities
- Play any other instrument other than piano or violin
These are some of the rules and doings of Amy Chua, self confessed Tiger Mom. She once even threw a homemade birthday card back at her daughter because it wasn’t good enough and told her she wanted a better one.
Now, I know everyone’s parenting style if different, they have different rules, different tactics, different disciplinary strategies. But I know it’s not just me when I say that some of these rules are a little extreme. I can agree with things like schoolwork coming first, and it doesn’t seem that harsh not letting your kids watch TV or play video games. But no sleep overs? No playdates? No socializing?
I remember my childhood, as (mostly) fun, friends and family. Playing games, fighting over Barbies, climbing trees, playing dress-ups with the next door neighbors. Staying out all day with my friends, making new ones, and only coming home when the street lights came on.
I can understand Amy Chua’s point that she wants her kids to be the best they can, to do well academically, I think all parents want that. But what kind of parent is willing to sacrifice their children’s social lives? Their right as an innocent child to explore out the back in the mud for half a day exploring, to giggle at a friends sleep over, or join the local netball team to meet new people and have fun?
Telling your child that the birthday card they made you is not good enough and that you want a better one, is honestly just down right mean. Yes, that’s what Amy Chua told one of her daughters. I don’t see how it can be seen as productive towards their future of ‘being the best’ and I can’t imagine that little girl taking it in her stride, I can only think of how upset she would have been.
I’m no psychologist, but I can’t see how a child, growing up like that and being treated in such a manner, wouldn’t have social, emotional, or mental issues as an adult.
Not saying that these children do, or that these children even would develop issues, they may strive because of it, and grow up perfectly healthy, and of course amazingly good at everything they do, BUT as children, they still are just that. Children.
These kids would see their peers and how they’re treated and what they’re allowed to do, whether it just being allowed to go to a sleepover, and I’m sure Amy Chua’s two daughters asked countless times why they aren’t allowed to go to one. Probably until the point they realized that there isn’t even a point in asking because the answer will always be no.
And I'm just being curious here, but what would happen if one of her children had a disability? For instance, something like dyslexia? Something uncontrollable, like most disabilities. What would her take on that be?
I’ve gotta say, I’m not the strictest Mother, I give into my daughter sometimes, although I do try to stay firm. She is 20 months old now, I enforce the naughty corner, the countdown (well count-up, 1, 2, 3) I take things off her if she can’t treat them correctly. I do let her watch TV although she wouldn’t sit more than 3 minutes in front of a T.V, she’d rather play.
I believe in rules, most definitely. When my daughter is in school, I want to make sure she does the best job she can do. I want to help her strive in school and do well academically, but I am not willing to stop her having a social life, or playing with friends, or taking up silly hobbies like most kids do, just because I want her to ‘be the best’.
I think if my children grow up happy and healthy, with jobs of whatever kind and a good head on their shoulders than I’ve achieved something great and so have they.
I would do anything within my reasoning to ensure my child get's a good education and does well in school, and in life, don't get me wrong.
But to me personally, I think my children's general well-being and happiness comes before anything. If they had an average education, but went on to volunteer in an animal shelter I would be just as proud of them then if they became the world's best violinist or a world famous scientist or won a god medal at the Olympics. If they grow up happy then I'm happy. If I can ensure they had the fun as a kid that I did, then I'm happy.
I don't care if they aren't the best at playing the piano, I don't care if they aren't the smartest child in the class. If they try their best, and study and try to be the best they can be, I'm more than happy to help them achieve their goals.
My childhood is something I look back on and think “Gee, I was a lucky kid. I had so much fun. Those were the days.” That’s something I want my daughter and future children to be able to say as well.
What about you? What would you want for your kids?