Yale Law School professor introduced us to the term ‘Tiger parenting’in 2011 in her memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” and the outlook on toxic strict parenting has never been the same ever since even though tiger parenting has been existing since forever in brown families and other Asian families. It’s so normalized in our culture that it’s called disciplined parenting. But obnoxiously high and unreasonable expectations won’t lead children to do any better. It only leads them towards the feeling of being a disappointment and burden on their families hence, giving rise to depression.
Novelist Kelter , 43, who graduated from UC Berkeley says, “You do the extra credit , you sit in front of class , you ask the teacher questions. Meanwhile your tiger parent is asking the teacher , ‘How can my child do more?'” he added, “Then you go out in the world and not only are you socially inept, but you find yourself attached to people who replicate those (overachiever) dynamics. ” this inability to fit into the real world can lead to severe problems in ones social life, love life and how they perceive various situations, leading to push the child into more severe depressive tendencies. On top of that, this subconscious dependency upon parents may lead to severe anxiety due to not being able to make it on their own in the real world without there parents even though they feel the need to get out of what many tiger child may call dungeon instead of home. Anxiety as a tiger child can also rise from habits like learning to read footsteps so you know you’re putting your phone away just on time because god forbid you get caught with your phone past your bedtime , you’re in trouble, learning how to turn the TV on just in time before your parents arrive home because not doing your homework on time is a crime in the house , not knowing how to tell your parents about going out with your friends because you had fun with them last week, telling your parents you scored bad in a test because the tuition they’re paying so much for wasn’t really helping you or maybe something as simple as being scared to death because you broke an expensive vase by mistake.
Here’s how you can save your child from voluntarily getting pushed into bad mental health-
- When they do something they shouldn’t have done instead of scolding them , ask them what lead them to do it. Sit with your child and talk to him/her and let your child know why it shouldn’t have been done and making a mistake once is okay , what’s not okay is repeating it after you’ve been taught otherwise. And lastly, hug them and let them know that you love them.
- Do not go through their personal stuff. If you violate their privacy , they’ll never learn to respect privacy in the first place. On top of that , they’ll feel very violently exposed to you which will definitely affect your relationship with your child as a parent. Your child will lose their trust on you and won’t be able to open up to you because that’ll be too uncomfortable for them.
- Never make your child feel guilty for having their basic needs fulfilled such as having as home, food or the money that you’re paying for your child. Remember, it was your decision to bring that child into this world, you chose this life for your child. If you make them feel guilty for fulfilling basic needs like these, they’ll soon start feeling like they’re a burden on their parents and feel unwanted or unwelcome in the family. Having the sense of belonging in ones own family is very important for a healthy relationship between family members.
- When your anger against your child wears off, instead of calling them for food , tell them you love them. Normalization of affection after a dispute is over is very important as well.
- Choose your words carefully when you’re talking to your child. No matter how much you love them, some words cut too deep and leave a scar which can’t be healed. It may traumatize them and your love and affection after the damage is done won’t help it.
- Don’t ridicule your child’s physical appearance , this can give rise to several self confidence issues.
- Be verbal about your love to your child. Tell them you love them, hug them often and let them know they’ve always got your back. So that, when they get winded up in a problem their first concern should be ‘my mom/dad will make everything alright’ rather than ‘ My parents are gonna be so mad at me I need to hide this from them so they don’t punish me’
- Don’t try to be their friend by trying to violate their personal space. Be their parent , the person with all the experience , the trustworthy family member , their closest person.
The world needs better parents for a better world. You can be a good parent and inspire your child to succeed rather than pushing them too hard. It’s high time we start acknowledging the fact that our children are different human beings with different outlook and ideas. Your child is not your mini version , you don’t own them , you guide them. You don’t protect them from the survival process, you teach them how to survive. Tiger parenting won’t get us anywhere and we better start being more considerate to our child’s choices before they lose their zeal.