Should You Be A Tiger Parent When It Comes To Managing Your Kids’ Tech Lives?
In late 2010, Amy Chua introduced the world to the idea of extreme (aka ‘Tiger’) parenting in her book ‘The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’. Any notion of a loving feline protecting her cubs instantly vanished – the tiger parent was now super intense, ultra-strict and very outcome focused!
In her controversial book, Amy explains how she used a very strict child-rearing model when raising her two daughters in America. She didn’t allow the girls to have sleepovers, watch TV or choose their own activities. They were also expected to never get anything less than A’s in their grades at school as she believed it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure their children’s academic achievement above everything else.
Now, I am not a Tiger mother – I think having four children excludes me from that title instantly! But I am a believer in helping your children be the best they can be – without exercising the level of control that Amy recommends.
When it comes to managing your kids’ tech lives, I really don’t believe that the controlling Tiger parenting approach works. Genuine two-way communication with your kids is absolutely fundamental to establishing a safe and positive cyber experience. In my opinion, heavily controlling and dictating your kids’ internet activity will not only create conflict but encourage sneaky and underhanded behavior when you’re not around. It will also put a massive STOP to any true genuine communication with your children.
Of course, some limits are necessary but these should be agreed on as a family. As parenting expert Dr. Justin Coulson from Happy Families says: “Too many limits and restrictions can make forbidden fruit (the internet) even more appealing and increase the influence of the super peer (the internet).”
So, when it comes to keeping your kids safe online, I would not recommend adopting the Tiger approach. It may just very well come back to bite you!
Till next time.
P.S. Just in case you haven’t read Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother, I’m sure you’d be interested to know that Amy’s youngest daughter resisted her mother’s Tiger approach vigorously. Amy acknowledges this in her book and explains that it caused her to rethink her approach.