Helicopter Mom vs. Tiger Mom
A popular subject among tutors and other in the teaching profession is whether they have encountered a helicopter mom or a tiger mom. Hence, Helicopter Mom vs. Tiger Mom. Firstly, what is a helicopter mom or tiger mom? I have heard, and I am sure you have heard, of terms such as helicopter mom and tiger mom being thrown around when talking about parenting styles. Secondly, is it even good to be called a helicopter mom or a tiger mom? I have also been told that the difference between a Helicopter Mom and a Tiger Mom is where each work: one at the zoo, the other in the air force. This brings up the final question: Which environment is it better for my child to be in?
What is a Helicopter Mom?
The general consensus of what a helicopter parent is one who ‘hovers’ over his or her child. In other words, the parent gives his or her child a false sense of freedom by always protecting the child. This leads this child to what others may call a “sheltered” lifestyle in which the child does not have enough experience with challenges or responds well to failure. To put it succinctly, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” and helicopter parents do the former, but not the latter. Performing the latter requires much more effort from both the parent and the child to not rely so heavily on a safety net. This means child will have to endure failure, sometimes several, before he or she may succeed, but the tools developed through failure he carries with him for the rest of his life.
Enter the Tiger
By contrast, a tiger mom takes an extremely aggressive approach in raising her child. The most defining description of a tiger mom can be found in Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, who essentially coined the term ‘”Tiger Mom” in this book. A first generation immigrant aggressively applies the strict upbringing from her home country. The book and her attitude towards her child could be best described as, to add a twist to an adage, “It’s my way. There is no highway”. Going back to our fish proverb, a tiger mom would be on the other extreme. Instead of giving a man a fish the tiger mom would refuse to let a man eat until he catches his meal.
So to answer our first question: Is either of these a positive description of my style?
My answer is it depends. Going back to the introductory metaphor, the Helicopter Mom vs. Tiger Mom can be likened to working either at the zoo or military. The strict regimen of the tiger mom places her in the military whereas the overwatching nature of the helicopter mom makes her like a zookeeper in letting her child roam, but not too far and not into anything that wasn’t planned already. And to answer the second question: which one is better? Each child has different needs, but I can wholeheartedly answer that flexibility is key to the best results and that utilizing only one of these forms is too extreme to get any meaningful results out of your child.
Are you Helicopter Mom vs. Tiger Mom or somewhere inbetween?
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