Friday, 21 January 2011

Meow - Make way for this Tiger Mummy!

Tiger Mummy - Loud and Proud

Good for Amy Chua. She published an article recently in the WSJ about Chinese Mummies and their attitude to child rearing. For those of you who don’t want to bother to wade through the article here is a potted version; a Chinese mother is the best mother because they zealously guard their children’s future by enforcing strict rules designed to create the most wonderful human being possible. Nothing major, just rules such as practising your chosen musical instrument (either violin or piano and no other) for at least three hours a day; never coming home with anything less than an ‘A’; never watching TV or taking part in a school play; and never (and I mean never) complaining about any of the rules.

As you can imagine, it has provoked quite a stir. But I say good for her. It’s great that she is so confident that she is doing the right thing for her children and that she feels she wants to spread a little of her success to the rest of us. She calls it being a Tiger Mother (not to be confused with a Tiger Moth - a whole different, but I am sure equally intimidating thing).

I have been inspired by her methods and have decided to become a Tiger Mother myself. Well, CK is 10 months now, and that isn’t too young to start...right? So here are my rules for successful parenthood which will be rigidly adhered to:
1. CK will be forced to enjoy herself for at least 70-95% of her waking hours. Everything will be made to be fun and games, and there will be no complaining about it.
2. Mess is a big part of the regime. I expect grubbiness and stains on all clothes and a clean face will be a disappointment - if there isn’t food all around her gob then she clearly isn’t fully engaging with her meals.
3. Music is key to producing a well rounded individual so we shall sing and dance our way through each day (I have already made a start - please see Brain. Mush. Bleugh.)
4. Just as Ms Chua recognises the major effect of the peer group on the development of her girls and so forbids sleepovers and playdates, I too believe that colleagues can have a formative influence over my little one. That is why we will strive every day to see at least one friend, we will always take someone on holiday for Little to play with and I will commit to driving her from one social event to the next.
So there it is folks, the game plan. I like to think of myself as a Lioness, ensuring that my child gets the best of everything in life. Fun, Happiness and the freedom to be who she wants to be.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!
Tiger mothers? Well, I honestly think there is only one comment I can make on this:
I am SO proud of my daughter for her comments! She has said it all!!

(Do you think I could take a little credit though for bringing up my daughter to be able to see what is truly important in child rearing?) Also, because although I said that she has said it all, when have I ever managed to just be quiet? If asked my philosophy of child rearing I always say, ‘save it for the drugs, sex and rock and roll, and don’t worry about the sex and rock and roll.’

Granny Bloggins

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