Yep. You read it right. “Tiger Moms” is the term for a whole new brand of parenting in America. Or should I say, a brand that hasn’t been seen in a long time. Yesterday, I blogged about this style and posed the question: Is there something to this?
In a day, where we worship self-esteem in our kids, where we give them prizes and trophies for almost everything, where we post bumper stickers that remind them of how awesome they are — Tiger Moms believe that preparing kids for the future and not protecting kids from unhappiness is the key to successful parenting. This style actually improves the child’s self-esteem as a by-product.
This form of parenting is actually more popular in China. And while I don’t fully embrace it myself — the proof is in the pudding. China is now the second largest economy in the world, and is gaining on the U.S. We are steadily falling behind. Our beleaguered education system, if not revamped, will not prepare our kids for the global economy they’ll be entering as adults. I wonder if they’ll still believe they are really awesome.
The answer is probably in the middle. We have gone too far affirming our kids for the sake of self-esteem. They are not stupid and they see through our hollow flattery. By ten-years-old, our kids know better — and they long for clear leadership (in the home and at school) where parents, teachers, coaches, and youth pastors display a balance of two elements. We must become leaders who are:
We display love, acceptance, support, and belief in our kids.
We raise the standard for our kids and expect them to reach it.
This generation of students are capable of so much more than we demand from them. If they don’t reach their potential, it will be because we wimped out on leading them well. They need both “grace and truth.”
I dare you to demonstrate this balance… to be both responsive and demanding.