Am I a Tiger Mom?

There are some that wear the badge tiger mom proudly and others that shy away from it. One of those that protest the label is Judy Murray. Though often labeled a tiger mom by the media she maintains that, “Giving children the freedom to play many sports and have fun is the key to success.” Her youngest son, Andy Murray, is a three-time major champion, double Olympic medalist and former world No 1.

A tiger mom is as common a reference in Singapore as chicken rice and typically refers to an overly strict and demanding mother. A mother that pushes her child to excel academically or physically. It is a type of parenting method that can easily be likened to the Kiasu nature of the nation.

However, many parents fall closer in line with Judy Murray and believe that developing a well-rounded child is more important. And that by giving our children a chance to excel academically, socially and physically, we will give them the overall best advantages in life.

There certainly are pros and cons to each way of parenting. Have you decided which category you fall into? Ask yourself, do you take note of your child’s own interests? Do you follow the tiger mom code: “Get A’s in all subjects except for Drama and PE,” and “Learn how to play piano and one other type of instrument.” Or, do you believe that sports are just as important as maths? Extracurricular activities are no longer just something some kids do — they are something that all kids do and the degree to which parents allow their children to choose their own path will in large part allow them to grow into the adult they want to become.

If you think you might be a tiger mom, then you might take pause to consider that studies have shown that this perfectionist style of parenting can be detrimental to your child, leading to higher levels of depression and anxiety. Happiness in childhood can take many forms and most of them are about honing their skills while enjoying themselves at the same time. That’s why we know the fun on the field that kids experience at Shaws Little League is invaluable and leads to well-rounded children that grow into well-rounded adults.