I’m not going to jump into the Tiger Mom debate. Frankly, I’m so impressed by the genius of Ms. Chua book marketing that I wouldn’t dare take issue with the book’s actual contents. Clearly, she’s too smart to be taken on.
But, all the fuss has me thinking about my own parenting style. I’m definitely not a Tiger Mom. I guess I would describe myself more like a “Fuzzy Bunny Mom” . . . or maybe a “Fluffy Kitty Mom” to keep it in the feline family.
I try to be stern, but it doesn’t always pan out. My eldest daughter has finals this week, so over the weekend I told her she had better start studying.
She looked at me like I had gone mad.
“But they’re not until Wednesday,” she argued.
“Well, unless you’re confident you’re going to get straight A’s, then you had better start studying, young lady.”
“Okay? What, ‘Okay you’re going to get straight A’s or ‘Okay you’re going to start studying?’”
This last question got no response. She had already put her I-Touch headset back on.
I couldn’t tolerate this behavior. I summoned my inner Tiger Mom and ordered her to sit outside as punishment for her insolence.
I felt pretty good about taking charge of my teen. A few minutes outside in the harsh Southern California winter ought to change her slacker way of thinking.
After about ten minutes I felt guilty. I went to the back door and discovered that she was lying next to the pool with her sleeves rolled up, clearly working on her suntan.
My youngest daughter joined me at the back door. “What are you doing, Mommy?”
“I’m punishing your sister.”
She eyed me suspiciously and then asked, “And why is Samantha sleeping on the couch?”
“She has a fever . . . because she insisted on going to that slumber party even though she had a scratchy throat.”
“Mom, you need to learn to stand up to your children.”
Wow. That seemed uncalled for. “Okay missy, that’s enough smart-alecky comments out of you. Go to your room and take a time out.”
“Okay. Is it okay if I watch TV when I’m in there?”
“All right. But only for one hour, not a second more.”