Warning: Rant alert. I can be ruthlessly honest and somewhat brutal.
Apparently, the word on Tiger moms is that it’s actually debatable as to whether or not the “tiger” approach is destructive. We seem to be regressing on so many levels this past year and a half I shouldn’t be surprised. But this one pulls my anger daemon out of the box with a tiger snarl.
So, I had to have my say and I’m having it here too, copied from a comment on a “news source.”
The issue this doesn’t address is the one of the forming/shaping of the will and the development of authenticity.
When your parents’ will is the only allowed willful reality or the mainly dominating reality, you lose the caliber of awareness of what your own will is uniquely moved by, motivated towards and put here on this earth to accomplish. Your ability to know your own bull vs. your true vision and personal truths is smashed “for your own good.” Instead you have the insertion of a dominating fear-based (posing as this thought process: life is tough, the only way to succeed is through Borg-like “dedication” because you could fail otherwise.) ruthless drive-not-your-own. What do you learn? You learn that you can endure and you learn a strength that is created not of yourself as much as in reaction to the possible consequences (all unpleasant) should you not comply. And it sure looks good to the world in terms of regimental basic “success” if you pull it off. (And hey! That’s all that matters! Soul? Soulfulness? Alive and authentically YOU? Pssshhhh. Who cares?! It’s about how you make your parents look and whether or not they will have to worry about you being fed and clothed.) So you’re now doctor, lawyer, teacher, scientist. But who are you, really? The most formative years were spent with a controlling, dominating set of caregivers and from that you were shaped. Authenticity? Good luck with that.
Who you are outside of a fear of failure, recriminations and status-loss? You’ll have to create that anew WHILE you’re embracing responsibilities that RESTRICT your ability to create because you truly don’t have as many choices as you did in childhood, you get to unearth what was buried by “tiger” nonsense while the world asks you to be an adult. While I’m not Asian or Asian-American, I too was raised by tiger parents. It’s not a great thing. If you think you can be raised with tiger fear and not be changed in ways devastating, then your mind has been pretty thoroughly hijacked from a young age. And you believe your chronological age gives you some expertise on it when you’re really just frozen in time, complying and loyal. Tiger shmiger. It’s all fear. Show me the real tiger women and men who are raising their kids fiercely in love, snarling at b.s. and conjuring up the authenticity goodies and creative outbursts while training with consequences married to compassion and fearless faith in the goodness of humanity AS WELL as a healthy awareness of the sometimes wicked slipperiness of the human experience. That’s no small feat. Deluding yourself and posing tyranny as “tiger” is insulting to tigers. Wake up.
We don’t facilitate the emergence of a person by putting on the tyrant’s cloak. Instead, we facilitate the assembly of a robot (with suppressed gold and rubies and beautiful dirt and grime and grit and roar) who has to learn her brain, his brain and all the wonders of the soul while healing the damage (and sometimes just facing some things that can’t be repaired very well). The nonsense in the concept of this style of parenting as anything other than fearful, insecure, bullying is an insult to whatever image, animal or icon we cling to in order to dress it up.
My inner tiger would happily bag this predator and move on with a snarl and bloody teeth.
2 thoughts on “Tiger Mom Nonsense”
I really connected with your blog today, Ruth! I used to have ‘problems’ with my 12-hr-old honey-bunny over homework, housework, etc., until my own mother pointed out that I was just being controlling. wow! really? I had a hard time believing that. I was just doing my best for him, I protested. I’m just ‘helping’ him. Like hell I was! I stopped and we have the most peaceful, respectful relationship now. He knows I’ll help him anytime he needs it and I know he’s capable of making his own decisions.
So love this! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I was channeling one of my parents’ energy way back when my now 18 year old daughter was 4 and it was breaking my heart. Just the energy was enough. I began to work on myself, and what a turnaround for us. I can’t imagine parenting any other way but in compassion and mutual respect. We’re really just hear to love each other and all that stressful, controlling energy kills the love.