Yale Professor, Amy Chua’s new book ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ has caused some serious controversy amongst parents in the US and probably in Europe too. It’s basically reignited a debate that’s always been going on. That is the ‘Strict versus soft parenting’ one. She just provided a new dimension to it. Her book is mainly talking about a specific style of parenting which might be seen as harsh within the Western parenting context.
Parents using this style don’t subscribe to the ‘Everybody’s a winner’ or ‘there are no losers’ mantra sweeping schools and parenting methods in the West. This type of approach doesn’t praise children just for the sake of it just so their egos aren’t hurt. This parenting style expects results from children and puts them under pressure to perform and deliver.
Since Mrs Chua uses the term ‘Tiger Mother’ to describe the Chinese or Asian mom, I would like to introduce the ‘Lion Mother’ term to describe the African mom. Mrs Chua admits herself that she uses the Chinese mother tag loosely and that the parenting style can be used by many races and cultures. With that in mind I know for a fact that the Lion Mother can give the Tiger Mother a run for her money when it comes to strict no nonsense parenting. Trust me on that.
I don’t know what the reasons are for the difference in parenting styles. I’m guessing that it’s because areas in the world such as Asia, Africa, Latin America are no nonsense places where the living environment for the average citizen is tougher than for those in the US and Europe. Children have to be brought up to survive in these conditions.
I’m not sure which style works and I know it’s dependant on many variables. That also impacts how we portray the ‘Mama Mama’ character in the Bino and Fino cartoon. Even though she’s technically Bino and Fino’s grandmother, how strict do we make her?
All I can say is that I was brought up under the Lion Mother method. And I’m glad was as it has helped give me a strong foundation to deal with real world issues. It’s not as tough as it might look when you know the Lion Mother has your best interest at heart and loves you. After all, life is hard and the world can be a cold place.