Or actually, just tiger moms.
The Situation: While at the gym recently, I overheard a woman talking to her daughter in the locker room. She was addressing the ever important subject of treating people with respect, and following the rules (in this case, showering before getting in the pool...not quite life or death, but hey, start small). I was inwardly going, yeah, you go lady! Raise that kid right! when she suddenly referred to herself as a "tiger mom", and mentioned how she needed to read the book. The book, if you are not familiar, is called "Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother" (shocker), and contains such parenting gems as-
* "calling her older daughter Sophia 'garbage' after the girl behaved disrespectfully"
*Forcing her 7-year old to practice playing the piano for hours without breaks for water or to use the bathroom
* Or, of course, rejecting a birthday card made by her daughter because "I deserve better than this. So I reject this."(what happened to "it's the thought that counts"?)
I was somewhat stunned that this seemingly pleasant, normal mother would want to associate herself with such a term. Obviously I am the parent of a baby, and thus have not had to deal with any form of rebelliousness or disrespect, however, I feel that there must be a line between hey, that was rude, we don't treat people that way, and you are garbage. But I am a liberal, so maybe my line is a little too far to the left (....ha ha).
One question that always jumps to mind at the term "tiger mom", is what exactly did tigers do to deserve this, and who asked the tigers, anyway? Personally I envision tigers as being very nice mothers, what with the whole licking their young to keep them nice and clean, and after all, what tiger expects its young to play Beethoven? Or make birthday cards for that matter. In terms of my own parenting, I prefer the term, "T-rex mom", as illustrated and defined below.