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Parenting Style: 'Tiger Mom' Vs Western Style

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Parenting is a ‘pass it on’ feature in life. When two adults decide to have a child, they commit themselves to raise that child and doing so by gathering for possibly everything that the child will need. These comprise of food, shelter, education, pleasure and many others.

The ‘Tiger Mom’ parenting style is most likely to produce happy children who grow up to be happy and productive adults than the Western parenting style. This is because tiger parenting is stricter, disciplined, structured and demanding. Tiger parents will always pressure and push their children to attain high levels of academic achievement, using authoritarian parenting methods. Amy Chua, in her 2011 book ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ popularized this name. Chua points out to tiger parents, mostly seen in Chinese families, as superior to Western parents. Western parenting allows the child to be a child and is mostly seen by Asian parents as a lazy parenting style.

When it comes to education, Chinese parents are very strict. According to them, an education equals to a bright future for their child, and from that young age, competition is inevitable between siblings, friends, cousins, and the parents tend to compare their child to every other child out there. Chua says that Chinese parents can say, “You’re lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you”. At a young age, children are being sent tuition, math, music and language classes. All these are done to increase their employability rate once they become adults. On the other hand, Western parents are very lenient when it comes to their child’s education. To them, the pressure from schooling is detrimental to the development of their child.

The ‘Tiger Parents’ punishes their children whenever they mess up or even whey they dare think about messing. Hence, the child grows up knowing that punishment is unavoidable whenever they do anything wrong. Punishments enhance discipline since the children will learn always to do the right thing. Unlike in the Western world where punishments are mostly ‘time outs’ where the kids are separated or deprived of play to pass some time alone thinking of what they did wrong. They believe that children should not feel pain since it affects their emotional development. This will never enforce discipline because the children know that every time they do wrong, their parents will stand by them.

In a typical Chinese household, children are expected to do their chores and assist around the house. Some children are even likely to help with the laundry and are taught to clean and care for themselves, despite gender. These chores encourage children to be more responsible, and it assists keep them grounded. It is more elaborated that tasks help children to be more organized, empathetic and considerate of others. Also, it curbs disobedience and boredom. For the Western children, the biggest chore they can do is to wash the dishes and put their things away since the tasks are seen as laborious for them and involving them in doing the chores is equated to child abuse.

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Amy Chua in her book ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ says, “The Chinese mother will gasp in horror and ask what went wrong”. This is in comparison to the Western parents who will sit their children down after that show disapproval, but they will continuously be careful not to make their children feel short.

Exposed her offspring’ studying model – spending half a day to practice the music instruments each day. Chua was putting a high expectation to her daughters and believing they are both talented and able to make good use of it, even if they don’t find in them sometimes. She never assumed that her daughter would fail in the tasks. This strategy facilitated them to create a belief in themselves, stepping into a higher standard. Moreover, Chua less protected their daughters when they were faced with any difficulties and failures. This assists the children to learn not to give up easily. To always work persistently until they achieve what they what in life. Unlike the Western parents who will allow their children to do what they want and later the parents regret the failure of the children and their inability to guide them in the right way.

The ‘Tiger Moms’ bring up children who are in top physically and mentally. They will never let their children eat unhealthily or even slack off on exercise. These two aspects are essential in raising children that Western parents have begun to neglect. Chua tells us that Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, “Hey fatty—lose some weight”. In contrast, Western parents will have to tread softly around the issue, speaking in terms of ‘health’ and never mentioning the f-word, and their children still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image. Big-ups to the ‘Tiger Moms’. Because you do not want a fat loser on your hands.

Also, ‘Tiger Moms’ will teach their children that the world is harsh. The world is not going to deliver to the children a career, a beautiful house, and a family on a silver platter. Everything that one gets in this world he or she gains. Not to mention, there is sexism, racism, and many other –isms in the way of your children’s accomplishments. Psych Central puts it straight that when we coddle and overprotect them from challenges, they don’t learn to be strong. The children will grow up to be weak and dependent on their parents. It is not a pretty picture. Parents need strong and confident children. Unlike the Western parents who will always overprotect their children and help them in solving problems which the children themselves could have done some research to find a solution to that particular problem.

It is convincing that ‘Tiger Moms’ is better than the Western parent. This is because they bring up children that grow up to be productive adults. The same children learn that the world is harsh. Also, they learn to be independent, obedient, disciplined, organized and even be considerate to others. In contrast, Western parenting will always recognize that childhood is a time to be treasured for its own sake. Accordingly, Western culture is filled with works of art that exalt and celebrate the intrinsic worth and dignity of childhood which will make the children have the mentality that their parents will always be there for them.

Work Cited

  1. Behrens, Laurence. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 1982. Textbook.

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Parenting Style: ‘Tiger Mom’ Vs Western Style. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Parenting Style: ‘Tiger Mom’ Vs Western Style.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
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