While there is no “easy” way to parenting, that does not mean that you cannot rest easy at this “task” if you happen to be one. And as it so happens, there is one prominent example that many of us browsing the web are very familiar with: the “Tiger Mom” model, the term popularized by Chinese-American lawyer and writer Amy Chua on her parenting memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, published on 2011. To say that her book was nothing but controversial is really putting it lightly: for many Western readers, this was the first instance where they have been exposed to the “strict” Asian upbringing which is notable for having parents push their kids to the brink of their limits and achieve something worthwhile in return—be it in grades, extracurricular activities, business acumen, or every achievement in life you can ever think of! Heck, by just displaying your intention that you want to know how to be a Tiger Mom is liable to exclude you from many parents’ circles!
But you know what? The model just WORKS, and we’ve got science to prove its effects to the world. So, to say that being a “tiger mom” is you just being strict for the sake of being strict completely misses the point at all! And really, if you are to look at the “common” parenting methods of the 21st century—highly permissive and democratic, to say the least—then you surely can’t help but notice that you can ALWAYS take an active role when it comes to molding your child’s life for the better.
So, before we begin the list, let us just hold it to the record to say that we’re not encouraging all parents to adopt the “tiger mom” model, but to rather consider this option if you think you are really up to it. So, with that said, here are three of the easiest tips below to practice becoming a “tiger mother” in the modern era by just relating to how your child talks!
Set ABSOLUTE rules, and do follow your rules yourself
Know how Asian parents disciplined their kids back in the day? Well, here’s a small example: by pinching them VERY hard, by slapping or hitting them in any part of the body, or doing all two with a leather belt or a yardstick ruler in hand.
Of course, parents of today can’t get away with doing things like that to their kids anymore; however, what your brand of discipline may lack in “physicality”, you can make up in other areas of the spectrum—like setting rules, for example.
But of course, you just can’t get away with setting any kind of rule, as well; for one, any rule you set in the house should be sensible and can be followed through WITHOUT exceptions… and as it so happens, that should also apply to the grown-ups of the household, as well.
So, how do you go about setting the kind of “sensible” rules, for that matter? Well, start with the basics: for many parents adopting this style of parenting, it’s either “A+” or bust. It can also manifest in the way your child adopts an extracurricular activity like playing piano or dancing ballet; in this case, when you say that practice time starts at 5 pm, then there should be really no exception to this one.
So, what is the purpose of this? Simple: it instills the value and reward of constant hard work and practice for your child. If, at an early age, they can already recognize the importance of studying very hard for an exam or preparing daily for an upcoming recital, then you’re also preparing them to take on life, in a way!
Practicing “conditional” love
Love is unconditional, and even the Christian Bible says so! However, things really don’t work out the way it really should be when you are a parent; for one, you are supposed to hold some measure of authority over your child, so even if you get chummy-chummy with them, there will always be that “barrier” that is in place between you and your child.
So, with that said, this is why it can be quite reasonable for you to put some measures in place if you want your child to truly gain some approval from you. And really, if we put it in this way, then there is no question why your child should work hard to gain approval from you.
So, how will you implement this kind of trait for your purpose? Well, for one, it can be as simple as saying, “I love you, but I expect you to do ____________” or any variant to this statement. The point to this is that you are essentially saying to your child that he or she will only wind up disappointing you if he or she does not practice things to a certain standard. Sure, it may sound like emotional blackmail, but you’ll be shocked by how many “modern” parents practice this technique even without meaning to!
Put the work alongside your child
Of course, all the pushing and verbalizing you will heap upon your child won’t matter one bit if you are not there “suffering” alongside him or her. In effect, this is the message Amy Chua was trying to impart when she wrote Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother: she was trying to be an active presence in her children’s lives, and she did so by pushing them to try their hardest while she was beside them. And remember, this is a mother that WAS working as a lawyer during that time! Can you imagine the parents of today who have become even busier than their “predecessors” to be beside their children at all times?
See, your kid may be irked at you having to “helicopter” over them every time they happen to be doing something of importance, but believe us when we say that they will come to appreciate the values you have shown to them when they themselves become adults. Heck, even Amy’s daughter was open to praising her mom’s borderline-draconian methods in an “open letter” to the New York Post three years ago!
So, are you willing to try out this “throwback” parenting method? Well, as we have laid out above, it can be very easy to know how to be a Tiger Mom to elevate your child’s confidence! Good luck rearing your child YOUR way!