Childrearing

I’m Too Lazy To Be An Effective Tiger Mom

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lazy-tiger-momI’m going to confess something here that I’ve never told anyone, because I’ve learned that the best way to spill secrets that you don’t want anyone to know about is to do it on the internet. It’s a logical choice, because the internet is a well-known for being a non-judgmental bastion of support where no one ever calls you terrible names or makes you cry, right?

I’ve always been drawn to the parenting style of “Tiger Mothering”.

While it’s true that one of my favorite hobbies is making children cry, that’s not the only reason that I’ve dabbled with the idea of forcing my daughter to be a well-rounded individual who is always teetering on the brink of complete emotional collapse with the permanent sheen of unspent tears in her eyes.

No, it has more to do with my own upbringing, which was what I’ll refer to as Tiger Mother Lite, or maybe North American Mid-sized Wildcat Mothering. My parents were extremely loving, supportive individuals, but they had the challenging task of taking 12 kids from various crappy backgrounds and turning them into semi-functional adults. Naturally this involved getting us out of the house and keeping our little urchin hand busy with all manner of activities. These activities weren’t just meant to ensure that we were well-rounded, they also made effective positive discipline.

For instance, if you need to get an angry adolescent from the Bronx to stop stealing boxes of pasta from the pantry, enrolling that girl in a 4-H program where she’ll learn to apply salve to the post-birth horrorscape of a goat’s vulva is an excellent deterrent. Probably.

Later, I realized that this served another purpose. One of the things that I admire about my parents was their ability to be completely pragmatic without being total assholes about it. None of us were particularly privileged, so my parents knew that in order for us to get out of our respective situations, we needed to not only play the violin, be in the FFA, and captain the chess club, we needed to do it all really well. Thus, someone, somewhere was always screeching out an awful version of “Für Elise” for hours on end or practicing seamless back tucks in the rec room until they mastered it. This gave us all a wealth of stuff to add to our college applications right under our slightly exaggerated but mostly identical “overcoming adversity” essays.

It’s for this reason that I initially thought I could do a slightly less emotionally abusive version of Tiger Parenting; my parents did it, and I came out okay, plus my kid, who is already better than everyone else’s, could be even betterer.

Well, forget that. Seriously. I am way too lazy for this mess. I’m just going to have to settle for being semi-bitch mom, the lady that makes her kids do chores and stuff, because out-and-out Tiger Mothering is straight up exhausting. Oh, and while we’re at it? Expensive as hell.

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