Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tiger Mom

Yes, I am sure you have all heard of her.  If not, quickly google "Tiger Mom" and get brushed up on the latest terms of endearment.  This morning I had my version of being a "Tiger/Mom/Friend" and wanted to share. 

On my drive into work I had a very brief conversation with my dearest girlfriend.  Our friendship has spanned decades. We are very similar: both loving, intelligent, strong willed and independent women.  One of the most important aspects of our friendship is our honesty with one another.  Of course our relationship has had hiccups along the way (some minor, some major) what relationship hasn't?  Thankfully it has with stood the test of time! 

I have the benefit of having two amazing sisters.  Don't get me wrong, they are far from perfect; however, they are an immeasurable wealth of wisdom, life lessons, and a great dose of reality checks to me.  Here is the kicker, when I am behaving like a crazy person, they call me on it!  THANK GOD!!  We all need a reality check every now and then!

Back to my dearest friend.  After a round of phone tag, I won, and had her on the other line.  I heard toddlers coughing and crying in the back ground, as my friend answered the phone, in between coughing and blowing her nose.  Ohhh, poor thing- boy could I relate!  There is nothing worse than being sick and having sick kids to boot!   She shared her moment of:  "Why did I have kids..... (? !?!) Nobody tells you or prepares you for this!!!!"  Of course we have that conversation with each other, why?  Because we are HONEST!!!  Realizing my friend needed an empathetic ear; I empathized and apologized for the hard time she was suffering through. 

Knowing the benefit of receiving such tried and true parenting advice, I quickly (to her surprise) turned into "Tiger Mom/Friend." She didn't even know what hit her.  A big dose of reality burst out of my mouth, along with step by step parenting instructions.  Patiently, I waited on the other end of the phone as she dutifully did as I instructed.  To her surprise, she won the battle that she and her precious, equally strong willed, darling 2 year old daughter had been engaged in.   My advice wasn’t rocket science; it was reality!  It came with perspective and experience, but most of all love!  I reminded her she would probably need to repeat the excersice 30 more times before blessed bedtime!

When my wiser, older sister told me about the book based on “Tiger Mom” I first balked.  Then I gave it some honest thought.  Bottom line: my generation of parents (myself included) are guilty of raising wimpy kids!  Yes, WIMPY!  I have been guilty of negotiating with my 2 year old on more than 1000 occasions.  I have fallen into bed exhausted and exacerbated, completely depleted of anything left to give my children, often crying out “there has to be a better way!”  Please hear me; in NO way shape or form am I suggesting we should be authoritarian parents void of love.  Often I find being an authoritative mom a tough balance to walk.  Loving but firm.  Soft but strict. Fun but feared.  Daily I remind myself,   I am the parent, and my job is to instruct and raise up well mannered emotionally intelligent children.  Some days I bat a thousand; other days I strike out repeatedly. 

When we treat our children as though the world revolves around them, they grow up believing it.  NO GOOD!  As the old adage goes, “If you plant corn, expect to get corn!”  Today’s challenge: dare yourself to be a bit of a “Tiger Mom/Friend.” You may be shocked with the results! 


Aaron said...

Amen,Mother! "Spare the rod, spoil the child!"

kelly1 said...


madi24 said...

wow kate,
hats off to you! that was very moving... i could never picture you as the tiger mom type. I thought insults weren't your things... Well, I guess I've bee wrong before