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Your mantra is "only perfection."
If your child comes home with a B on his test, are you thrilled that she gave it her best? Or are you only focused on the fact that her grade wasn't flawless? Tiger moms don't settle for anything less than perfection. Whether it's performance in school, on the soccer field or in a musical recital, children are expected to give it all or go home.
Friends take a backseat to work.
Social situations aren't the strong point of a tiger parent. Instead, it's all about work, work, work. Slumber parties, playdates and hanging out with friends after school always take a backseat to homework and practice—no exceptions.
You use dicey discipline.
Nothing is off limits in the pursuit of perfection. Chua admitted that when one of her daughters hadn't mastered a challenging piano piece, she hauled her child's dollhouse to the car and threatened to donate it to the Salvation Army, piece by piece, until the song was mastered. As a result, her kid stayed glued to the piano for hours, forgoing food, water and bathroom breaks to get the job done. It's a bit extreme, but tiger parents justify their means by attributing them to the eventual success of the children.
You reject all things childish.
You threaten more than ask.
There's no democracy in this den. Instead of asking children to get their homework done, help with chores or practice piano, tiger parents go right for threats instead. These intense parents are so afraid of failure that they have to resort to negative consequences to get the job done. It sets kids up for a worst-case-scenario mindset, rather than participating out of actual desire.
The schedule trumps all.
Leisure time? What's that?
You make your child study to get into kindergarten.
You choose what's important.
You've always wanted your child to be a star violinist, so you make her take violin lessons ad nauseam. But if she's really a jock at heart, forcing her into music doesn't take her personality or preferences into consideration. Of course, a tiger mom assumes that what's important to her will naturally be important to her child, even when that may not be the case.