Dr. Wu's ebook - Chapter 4: Identify the Tiger-Parent Within Yourself

The Career That Stemmed From Dr. Wu’s Experience as a Tiger Parent

In our last chapter, we discussed Dr. Wu’s realization that she had become the Tiger parent she never imagined she would be.

“It took me a while to finally come to the conclusion that tiger parenting did not work. I realized that I was the one holding my brother back.” Dr. Wu explained in our interview.

For Dr. Wu, this style of parenting was going far beyond high expectations. It was fully taking the wheel, in an attempt to guarantee her brother’s success.

She elaborated by saying, “I was micromanaging him. I wanted him to study, grow, learn, and succeed. I didn’t want him to suffer, so I planned everything out for him. I was forcefully managing his life, and it was not working. All this experience made me realize that being a tiger parent did not help with a student’s long-term well being.”

Dr. Wu then began to recount the many repercussions that came from her micromanaging her brother’s life, and how her parenting style seemed to stunt his growth. “It took him awhile to mature, because I was unable to let go of my insecurity and fear.”

In the end, Dr. Wu was able to see the fruit of her labor once she decided to step back and guide instead of directly manage. “He was able to see the real world once I learned to let go. This journey opened my eyes to the idea that our education in its entirety, both academic and familial education, shapes our self-confidence, personality, and how fast we mature.”

Identifying the Tiger-Parent Within Yourself:

Whether it is Tiger Parenting, Helicopter parenting, or just plain old micromanaging, parents find themselves under the umbrella of “Tiger Parent” for varying reasons. Some refuse to see anything less than 100% effort, while others just can’t see their child fail.

Below we have listed a few signs that you may be “over-parenting” your child. Take a moment to self-reflect, and see if you find yourself in any of these examples.

You Struggle to Release Decisions to Your Child:

Does it bother you if your child wants to wear mismatched clothing? Or choose colors that you don’t really like? Do you struggle when your teen chooses a class or activity that you don’t think is suitable?

You Jump in Every Time Your Child is About to Fail:

If your child is young, this could be as simple as putting the puzzle piece in the right place for them. At an older age it could be completing an assignment for them that they forgot about. Maybe you remind them many times to sign up for an activity they want to join before the deadline, but they kept procrastinating. Do you give in and sign up for them?

You Communicate with Your Students Teachers/Coaches More Than They Do:

It is very important to be involved in your child’s education. However, as they mature they should be the ones who are communicating with their teachers. If they need to know something about an assignment, the student should send the email. If they will be missing a practice, the student should send the email. If they need to know details about a volunteer activity, they should send the email.

Your Child is Not Given Additional Responsibilities:

In addition to our child’s school/activity load, it is important to give them an appropriate amount of responsibility in the home. Household chores can begin as early as two years old. When we are done playing with our toys, we put them away. When we take off our clothes, we put them in the laundry basket. Each year we add more responsibility. Once our children are in high school, they should be able to function in the home independently. In addition, they should have at least one assigned task that takes care of the whole family, and not just themselves (i.e, cleaning the bathroom, washing all the dishes after dinner