I am not going to go into analysing whether Tiger Mommy Amy Chua is right or wrong in how she raises her little “tiglets”. I will however say this – the whole article got me thinking about my approach to those in my life who I have a responsibility to nurture. I wonder whether I have been true to myself and more importantly to them when they have delivered less than what I know they are capable of delivering. Have I tried to make them better? To the overweight one, should I have said “Hey fatty—lose some weight” instead of telling them that they were okay in that tight pair of jeans. To the one who just failed their exam would my responce of “You’re lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you” inspire them to study harder?
Then again, is it my responsibility to make sure they are “the best they can be” or is it perfectly alright for us to just coast along in life? I think we would all like to think we have that special something in us that makes us better than the rest – we all think we have some star quality. Surely that explains all the starving waitresses in Hollywood refusing to give up and just waiting to make it in the big time. If they had a Tiger mommy, could it be they could have been the next best star?
And as for my own parents, would some tough tiger love have made me into a better individual than I already am? Is it fair to blame parents for not making us into the next child prodigy – does that show neglect on their part? All of this is a minefield which I guess is why the responce to Amy Chua’s book has been so divided. I just hope that in my own life, I manage to get the balance right.