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Year of the Tiger Mom

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The editors at Masters in Teaching Degrees decided to research the topic of

Year of the Tiger Mom: Are You Racist for Reading This?

Tiger Mom - a very strict mother who makes her children work exceptionally hard and restricts their free time so that they continually achieve the highest grades: Usually associated with Asian-Americans.

Tiger Moms stole the spotlight in 2011 when Amy Chua, a Chinese-American mother, published the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

- The book told many stories of how Chua raised her two daughters under a "traditional Chinese" method
- Her extreme parenting style enraged many readers
- Her parenting methods included
- forced music practice every day
- restrictions on extracurricular activities
- bans on many social events
- punishment and shaming
- Anecdotes include
- rejecting the plain birthday card her daughter made for her
- calling her oldest daughter garbage

In 2013, Kim Wong Keltner reopened the issue by publishing Tiger Babies Strike Back

- Described
- the struggle of being raised under the strict parenting model
- the harmful effects that perfectionistic parenting can have on children


- Strict parenting is common in many Chinese immigrant families, but not all Asian-Americans practice it
- "Tiger Mom" can refer to moms, dads, grandparents or any other guardian
- "Tiger Mom" can also refer to western parents who exercise strict parenting styles

Characteristics of Tiger Moms

- They make too many rules
- They make threats that are over the top
- Chua describes how she threatened to burn all of her daughter's stuffed animals if she didn't perfect a piano piece
- They give conditional love or make it sound that way
- "I love you, but..."
- They lack a verbal filter
- Their kid is all work and no play
- Tiger babies are forced to sacrifice social time and relaxation time for learning time
- They believe the rules are the rules, no questions asked
- They are authoritarian, not authoritative
- Authoritative parents lay out boundaries and expect their kids to stay within them.
- Authoritarian parents dictate everything the child does

The Harm


- Shaming is a main part of Chinese-style parenting
- It is used to teach children right from wrong
- Children are socialized to be conscious of what others think of them
- They're expected to act in a way that gains the most approval
- Shaming damages self-esteem

Tiger parenting perpetuates the "model minority" stereotype, which gives children an added expectation to live up to.

A decade-long study (published in 2013) of 300 Asian-American families found that this kind of parenting had detrimental effects on children.

The study found that:

- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Asian-American women ages 15-24
- These women, along with Asian-Americans over 65, have the highest female suicide rates across all racial and ethnic groups
- Asian-American girls grades 5-12 show the highest rates of depression across both race/ethnicity and gender
- "Model minority" expectations and family pressures are often cited as factors of suicide
- Tiger moms produced children who experienced:
- Feelings of alienation from their parents
- More symptoms of depression
- Lower GPA's, despite higher academic pressure

A 2012 study at a competitive US high school found similar results

- It also showed that a cultural gap contributes to family struggles
- US culture values individuality and standing up for one's self
- Chinese culture values respecting parents and doing as one's told

The Benefit

Children raised by tiger parents can go on to be very successful

- (A Pew Research Center study shows that)
- Asian-Americans are the leading group in percentage with a Bachelor's degree or higher
- 49%, as of 2010
- (21% higher than the US population as a whole)
- Asian-Americans are the leaders in median household income
- $66,000/year, as of 2010
- ($16,200 more than the US population as a whole)

Some children raised by tiger parents see their efforts as expressions of love

- This is not as much emotional damage to the child
- Tiger babies may be more disciplined
- Learning more at an early age gives them an advantage when they get to college or the workforce
- Chua describes tiger parenting not as telling children what they should be, but pushing them to realize their full potential