If you know about the latest NBA sensation, Jeremy Lin, you may have read that his mother is a “tiger mum”. The term “Tiger Mum” became popular last year when a book published by an American Chinese professor, Amy Chua in US describing how she implements very strict educational and management control of her children to ensure they succeed in their life. Jeremy Lin’s success is also attributed to the success of his mother in managing actively managing his life to enable him to succeed today.
Jeremy Lin, the latest NBA sensation
What is our opinion on “Tiger Mum”? Technically Mummy is “Tiger Mum” cos Di Di is born in the year of the Tiger. But jokes aside, we believe that the phenomenon of “Tiger Mum” is very common in our Asian family where both parents, especially mummy plays a very active role in ensuring their children do well in their education, personal development like going for music classes, engaging in competitive sports etc. The kids have their future charted out for them, in the form of scoring high marks for their school exams, winning a prestigious scholarship to study Medicine or Law in a top university.
Its not easy to be a “Tiger Mum”. First of all, you need a lot of time and effort to plan out the activities of your child, ranging from bring your child from tuition centre to music centre to sports hall daily. You will also need to actively monitor your child’s progress in these activities and pack his daily schedule to the maximum. You child will also need to be cooperative as some of them tend to rebel as such regimental schedule when they reach their teens.
We believe in providing a fun and enjoyable childhood for the children, and yet to ensure that they are able to catch up in their studies. Thus, the “Tiger Mum” phenomenon maybe too extreme. While it is important for the children to do their homework everyday, and to be able to keep up with their school work, it is also important for the children to enjoy playing games with other children, without being too competitive. Games should be fun and enjoyable. Competition is good, as long as its not taken to the extreme. Daddy used to be a team physician for the National SEA (Southeast Asia) Games squad in 2001 and Daddy has met many young athletics especially from the swimming team. Many of them have “Tiger Mums” who pushed them to be top swimmers in their teens, but unfortunately many of them also suffered from burnout once they reached their peak and gave up the sports after that. They have lost the joy of participating in the sports.
Similarly in studies, we have seen many young and promising children who have good results in primary school but suffer from burnout when they reach secondary school. Our advice is let your child enjoy his childhood with a balance of intervention (eg tuition) where necessary, and he will enjoy better. Everyone has only one childhood, do not let your child lose this period of fun and joy.
If you like to know what is a “Tiger Mum”, you can read this book
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