Simply put, I could not live with a “Tiger Mom”. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, Tiger Moms are mothers who plan out every waking minute of their child’s day. They maintain high expectations, include little free time in the lives of their kids, and make academic success a top priority.
I procrastinate. I lose sight of what I should be doing. I go off into my own world. I obviously do not have a Tiger Mom. It is apparent that I am not a fan this type of parenting in my life because I wasn’t raised to depend on my parents to meticulously plan my schedule and ever since I was young I have held my liberties close.
Without question, Tiger Moms set their children up for success. In a vast majority of the cases with me against the son or daughter of a Tiger Mom, I will lose in persistence, test scores, and another number of other things. I could make the argument that it isn’t worth it, that these kids are losing their childhoods. But are they? It is all about your upbringing? I can certainly say being raised that way will work for a good percentage of the children. A minority of the kids will stray away from their parents through rebellion, burnouts, or having a personality not much different than my own.
In my opinion, these kids might be better off than those that stick with the program. Their parents will have instilled a solid work ethic in the kids that cut out early and they will be able to make their own decisions. I personally don’t learn most things in a structured environment. My true lessons come from going outside the norm and when I go beyond my scheduled activities.
For example, this year I decided to take debate. I enjoyed the experience tremendously and learned a great deal from my time on the squad. I was fairly successful and won many rounds following the standard debate motions. Unlike most students in my class however, I wondered why we needed thousands of news articles to back up our ideas. I wondered why we needed to spurt out needless facts and figures. I saw students limiting themselves to what they had written down and not thinking beyond their information or about the impacts of what they were reading.
So I decided to change things up. Next year I plan on running only theory and basing my arguments on persuasion and not quick arguments. I have had countless advanced debaters and even novices tell me how ridiculous it is. I have heard that this plan won’t win me a single round. I am not running theory to win. I want to prove a point. I can almost guarantee that every advanced debater that reads this will not only be outraged, but ashamed. What I am saying goes so far beyond any Tiger Mom strategy. Upon first glance it may be insane, but people that go outside of the norm are the people that make great renovations in our world.
When is Tiger Mom’s kid going to get that opportunity? When are they going to get that chance? I guess me and that Tiger Mom’s kid are in different spheres. They can achieve their way and I will achieve mine.
The way I see it, you don’t make it big with Tiger Mom limitations. Take Lady Gaga and Sarah Palin for example (Oh yeah, I went there). These two are not so different. They both succeed by marketing themselves in ways that only a rare few know how. They know what the American people want and they answer and respond in ways that border insanity.
So to all of you Tiger Mom supporters out there: those kids might score better on that test than me. They might even have more initial success. But there is one thing that can’t be taken from those of us that don’t walk the straight and narrow: we control our own destinies.