Tiger Parenting: The Flip Side of the Helicopter Coin?
Thanks to Amy Chua’s bestselling Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, we now have yet another parenting moniker at our disposal: tiger mom.
Tiger mom—or tiger parent—means a parent who pushes her children to excel, at times using strategies that may seem excessive to the rest of us.
While it’s most often seen with academics, it also happens in music or sports or debate or dance or most any competitive activity in which a tiger parent decides, “My child will be the best.”
At Your Teen we wondered: Are tiger parents the same as helicopter parents? They are, after all, very involved with their children’s lives. So, we asked our experts to weigh in.
“I would say those are mostly different dynamics,” explains Dr. Lisa Damour, a clinical psychologist and co-director of the Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls in Shaker Heights, Ohio. “You can have super-demanding parents that expect a kid to manage, but the helicopter parent does not think their kid can manage.”
What’s more, tiger parents want their children to experience hard knocks, says Harvard-affiliated sociologist Hilary Levey Friedman, author of the forthcoming Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture. “Competitive parents recognize that no matter how great you are, you are going to face adversity at some point in your life. If you learn how to deal with that at a younger age, and in a safer environment, that’s a good thing.”
Read the feature on helicopter parents.
Click here to read one teen’s story.
Read another teen’s perspective on helicopter parents.
Click here to read expert advice.
Click here to read our top 13 examples of helicopter moments.