Parenting Styles: Tiger Moms

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlTIfG0sQHo

The textbook mentions the work of Diana Baumrind who defined 3 major parenting styles: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. Permissive parenting is associated with giving children a great amount of freedom, authoritarian is associated with strict and quick disciplinary action, and authoritative is the perfect balance of both styles. In terms of child development, parenting style plays a crucial role in providing for the child not only their basic needs, but their emotional needs as well. The way in which parents 'parent' is not the cause of successful or unsuccessful development, but it does play an important role.

As I was reading through the Lilienfeld text for chapter 10, I was reminded of the new phenomenon of 'tiger moms' while reading about these parenting styles. Over the past year this new term has really risen to the surface. A 'tiger mom' is a term for an overbearing mother who pushes her child to exceed academically. Such parents severely limit their child's play time in favor of studying and correctly completing schoolwork.

For many of us in Western society, the concept of a 'tiger mom' seems a bit outrageous. After reading the Lilienfeld text, however, this parenting style may not be as outlandish as we think. What Baumrind failed to do in her work was extend her findings beyond middle-class, Caucasian families. Varying cultures differ drastically in the way they go about everyday life, including parenting and raising children. In a country like China, academic excellence is valued in a much more extreme way. The nature of the country's incredibly large population places limits on parents' ability to socialize their children in the ways which American children are socialized. In quick consideration, one may place 'tiger moms' in the category of authoritarian parents, but after reading about parenting styles it seems that parenting is not so easily placed into a single category. As the Lilienfeld text notes, the most important thing parents must provide children is an average expectable environment, an environment that provides children with basic needs for affection and discipline. As the mother in the following clip says, the most important thing for her daughter is to be independent, happy, and have good self-esteem.

Although I would not consider myself a product of a 'tiger mom', I find this concept quite interesting. It is truly fascinating how drastically parents vary in their styles of parenting. It's amazing to think about influences within different cultures, societies, and families that affect the way in which children are raised. So while I might not get scolded for receiving a grade of an A-, a child in China may not get scolded for certain things that my culture, society, and family feels are important practices.


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Nice examination of the role of culture in parenting. I don't know if you've ever seen the Disney "Babies" movie? It was so interesting to watch how people from four different cultures raised their kids, and what struck me most is how happy each of the children were...

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This page contains a single entry by Shira published on November 6, 2011 3:45 PM.

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