adoption, parenting

Tiger mother or kitty mom?

I have not read the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  I have read many articles about the book, which is not as good as reading the book itself.  I’m not sure I want to read the book.  But that’s not what this post is about.  As you can imagine, over the last 5 years of our adoption journey, and even for years before we started the adoption process, I’ve been more than a casual observer of parents and parenting styles.  Much like the betrothed girl makes mental notes at her friends’ weddings, I’ve been creating a file of parenting dos and don’ts in my head.  CSP & I have discussed at length the different parenting styles we’ve experienced and observed and our feelings on both.  We’ve attended seminars and webinars.  We’ve read books and articles and blogs galore.  We’ve watched films.  We completed the foster parenting classes.  We have a good idea of the types of parents we want to be.  We also know that all our ideas and dreams might be turned on their heads when our kidlet arrives.  We’re smart enough to know that we have to be flexible and that each child is different.

Back to the Tiger Mother.  Amy Chua has sparked quite an uproar on mommy blogs and among parents of all types.  I’ve not seen much, any really, talk about this book amongst my mom friends.  I’m very curious to hear what y’all think about Ms. Chua’s parenting style.  Now, I’m sure that we are all in agreement that it’s not good to call your children “gargbage” and I’m not interested in debating the differences between Western and Chinese parenting styles.  Some critics are saying that Ms. Chua’s book is misrepresenting Chinese parents anyway.  If you boil it all down though, I think the debate can be summed up with strict vs. indulgent parenting.

CSP & I have been witness to both.  And we’ve noticed that many of our friends are more strict as parents than recent generations.  It feels almost as if we’re getting back to a similar parenting style that we grew up with.  We like that.  No means no,  there are consequences for your actions,  we leave if you act out, etc.  I don’t think this is anywhere close to being a “Tiger Mother” but it’s a far cry from the indulgent or absentee parenting that some may say is responsible for kids disrespecting their parents, poor work ethics, the recent rash of bullying and teenage pregnancies, etc.

We want to be firm, fair, and consistent parents.  We want to be loving and promote good self esteem while also instilling drive, determination, and a good work ethic.  We want to prepare our kids for the harsh realities of the world while they enjoy the fun of a magical childhood.  Maybe we’ve got stars in our eyes.  Maybe we’re naive.  But we think (hope) we can strike a good balance between harsh Tiger Mother and pushover Kitty Mom.  And if we do then maybe our kids will turn out pretty great.

9 thoughts on “Tiger mother or kitty mom?”

  1. It’s tough to find that balance but I think it’s essential. My kids have excellent manners, and that really shocks cashiers and doctors and strangers…and the other day even my MIL called to say how delightful, sweet and helpful they had been while they stayed with her for a few days. And I rarely pat myself on the back for anything, but this is something I have drilled into them their whole lives. Please, thank you, yes ma’am, no sir, what can I do to help, dinner was delicious, etc. etc. etc. I know it sounds old school but people really seem to like my kids, which is important if you want to, you know, have friends. And I think I got lucky because mine are both smart and driven (well, the little one is kind of a slacker) and they know upfront what my expectations are in any situation. But at the same time, I don’t put them in a lot of things – 1 activity each, if they want to. They have lots of downtime and play outside time (once they finish their chores) – and we are all happier for it! I know I’m not perfect, and neither are they, and some days I think it would be easier to put in the backyard all Lord of the Flies and see how Samanderic turn out…but for the most part, I have to say it is 110% worth it to make them do and be the right thing.

    I am confident that you and CSP will be awesome parents!! Look how hard you’re working to make it happen!! 🙂 I pray for you guys every day!


    1. You should totally pat your self on the back for their manners! I’m a HUGE stickler for manners. So many kids these days act so entitled. Drives me nuts. It sounds like you’re a fabulous mom and your kids will thank you one day for raising them so well!
      Thank you for your kind words and prayers! It really means a lot. ❤


    2. You should totally pat your self on the back for their manners! I’m a HUGE stickler for manners. So many kids these days act so entitled. Drives me nuts. It sounds like you’re a fabulous mom and your kids will thank you one day for raising them so well! Thank you for your kind words and prayers! It really means a lot. ❤


  2. I t hink you have to stick to what you say, no giving in, no means no and sit down means sit the heck down NOW! LOL

    I love that with no promting my 3 year old niece will thank me for having her over for dinner, or for going to the store with her. She always says Thank You ” and “I’m Welcome” (still working on that one). LOL She does however listen to me more then her mom. She knows who she can get over on and what she can get away with. But all in all she is a pleasure to be around and I think that is how kids should be!


  3. I think there is probably a happy medium between Tiger Mom and passive idiot. There is a fine line with kids: you want them to behave, but you don’t want to crush their spirit. It’s hard to walk that line. Sometimes I win, and sometimes she wins. But mostly, I win. If it kills me, my kid(s) will not be entitled snots. They WILL say thank you, please and you’re welcome. They WILL learn that I am responsible for making decisions about what to eat and when to go to bed and what we do in the meantime. I’ll ask for input, but ultimately, Tony and I are the grownups. That is the way it SHOULD be. I think that Tiger Mom berrates her kids and calls them stupid is totally overkill. It crosses the line into crushing them in my opinion. I want my kids to think for themselves, because i taught them to. Not think “what would Mom want me to do” There is a difference.


  4. I am so not a TIger Mom and I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be a pushover either. But I think kids learn by example. I am just a person that says please and thank you and Olivia has picked up on that. She always says thank you. In her own way of speaking. But she gets it. And she will clean up her toys at the end of the day otherwise it’s stand in the corner. Which she hates. But whenever she sees me cleaning she will always come over and help. Same with cooking. It won’t be perfect every day and kids will try to push boundaries but love them unconditionally because they will learn soon enough the entire world will not unfortunetly.


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