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Tiger Mom

battle hymn of the tiger mother
                                              Photo from Amazon.

I got introduced to this term/style of parenting just the other day via Chuvaness. I couldn't get it out of my head. Had to google Amy Chua and the Tiger Mom parenting style which is defined as "strict parents who demand excellence in academics from their children". Tiger Mom also didn't let her daughters do the following:

More after the jump!

  • attend or host a sleepover or playdate
  • play computer games or watch TV
  • choose extracurricular activities
  • get any grade less than an A
  • play any instrument except the piano or violin

It sounds very similar to my upbringing. It was actually my father who pushed me to be what I am now - a self-reliant, independent, and (frustrated) perfectionist/achiever. At a very young age, he pushed me to learn to read. I could still recall how I would almost always cry when we have our sessions and how one time he punched the door of their closet because I didn't know how to read a certain word (closet had a hole afterwards). He was proud every time he would get to go up on stage and pin all those ribbons on me. Overtime, I actually came to feel that my father's love for me was very conditional. So year by year during elementary, I went from gold to silver to bronze to nothing see where it would get me with him. He said that if I wasn't going to be an honor student in 6th grade, he wasn't going to attend it. True to his word, I never even saw his shadow that day.

High school was the hardest.  My father never allowed me to join any extra curricular activities (even academic related) or attend any of my peer's parties/debut. I came out of college socially inept. Thankfully, I was flexible enough to change over the years and now I'm better at dealing with different personalities. As a result, I actually contemplated suicide, flunking my grades (nearly but never happened), and was tempted to take drugs just to spite him. Thankfully, I was smart enough to know what I wanted and knew my situation was only temporary and did not have to last forever. Having a diploma meant my freedom. So instead of taking a pre-law course which would take me forever to finish (yes, I wanted to initially become a lawyer), I majored in Software Engineering and here I am now enjoying that freedom.

Now that I have my own child, the question begs to be asked: What sort of parenting style will I adopt? While, I mostly do not agree with my father's upbringing of me (he was better and less demanding with my younger sisters), I couldn't help but agree with his parenting style on some points. His insistence for me to excel academically was because he thought I have the capacity to do so. He was actually against complacency and laziness. Unfortunately, too much pressure and demand with little to no assistance (I was so frustrated with math in high school and had no tutor/help), just led to a disappointed me.

euna 2nd bday
Sorry in advance little girl. Mama's bound to make mistakes.

As with all things, the key here is moderation/balance. I don't want Euna to grow up like I did. On the other hand, I don't want her to grow up becoming a bum either! So how many parts discipline, education, extra curricular activities, and fun should there be to create a well-rounded, confident, grounded, being who has respect for the community and grow to her full potential? This actually stumps me. I think I need to hit those parenting books I bought last year! Your parenting tips are most welcome before I make more (parenting) mistakes with Euna!

P.S. A belated happy birthday to my little girl who celebrated her 2nd year in davao over the weekend! More on that in another post!
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