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Are Children of Tiger Parents Really Lucky?

are children of tiger parents are fortunate

Amy Chua of Yale Law Professor published a memoir detailing her parenting style known as tiger parenting in 2011. In it, she detailed raising Sophia and Lulu with strict methods aimed at excelling academically, musically, computer gaming or sports – as well as obeying their parents at all times regardless of whether they agree with what their parent says or doesn’t say.

Media depictions have often painted her as an abusive drill sergeant; thus prompting many to ask: Are children of tiger parents truly blessed?

This topic is complex. Studies on this issue have explored this area extensively and provided mixed findings; for instance, Su Yeong Kim and colleagues’ study published in Slate revealed that children of tiger parents tend to perform worse academically and be more depressed or alienated from their parents than peers. On the other hand, Vivian Louie and others’ research suggests immigrant children typically outshone native-born ones due to parental involvement in schooling, often caused by their high socioeconomic status parents being involved with education decisions on this front.

Many participants in our research identified as tiger parents. Notably, this group included individuals from various ethnicities and social classes – not exclusively Chinese – as they perceived themselves to be such. Furthermore, many adopted culturalist explanations to justify their motivation to be such: middle-class parents perceived it as helping secure advantages for their children in educational systems while some low-income and working class parents also saw it as protecting against risks such as unemployment or underachievement in future years.

However, most tiger parents in our study emphasized their love for their children. They believe that making their kids study all weekend or practice piano for six hours each day shows them just how much they care. Furthermore, these methods do not consider abusive; when offensive remarks slip out accidentally they assume it is up to their children to interpret these comments correctly and not take them too seriously.

As evidenced by our interviews with some tiger parents, their philosophies appear to be changing as they realize there is more to life than academic achievement and moneymaking. Some have become less severe or eliminated tiger parenting altogether due to global experiences or negative impacts on parent-child relationships.

However, tiger parenting has gained increasing traction among Asian immigrants since Asians have become a majority in American labor forces and education systems. Furthermore, its rise has attracted more attention than any other culture-specific parenting philosophy in this country.