Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tiger Moms and Blogging Teachers

I know you have heard all about the "Tiger Mom" who wrote a book about how to raise children with tough (some say cruel) love. Her interviews have been interesting as she expresses disgust with the soft teaching by American mothers and fathers in the U.S. Being Chinese, she shares how the tough approach by her parents prepared her for success in a hard world.

Many have become offended by her remarks. As a mother of an amazing daughter adopted from China, I am sure I am joined by others who wonder, "Am I too soft? Am I too hard? How am I preparing my daughter for her future? Will she be in therapy as a result of my parenting? or better yet...How long will she be in therapy for my parenting?"

Obviously, hearing this Tiger Mom proudly tell how she reacted to her daughter's hand-drawn picture for the mother's birthday by throwing it in her daugher's face and telling her she deserved better than that and to draw another one irked me. Hearing her little girl had to practice through dinner without food and water until she got her violin song perfect enraged me even.


Yet I do understand this "achiever" drive, and the mother is right about the world. The world is not nice. We in the U.S. have no idea what others in India, China, and many other countries struggle with daily, just survival. We are soft.

And as today's news about the teacher fired over a blog berating her lazy students, seems to reaffirm the "glory" of "telling it like it is," "being honest about kids today," "calling kids names."

What concerns me even more than the teacher's frustration and attitude for her students is that she is expecting her own child. Will she, too, be a Tiger Mom?

I am writing this because I, am a RECOVERING achiever. In my desire for affirmation and acceptance and reassurance from this hard world, I started by making lists and goals in elementary school. I continued by gaining two M.S. degrees and a Ph.D. I aspired to be the first female high school principal in a large, successful school district. I published articles. I wrote a book. I taught at two universities. (I even cringe sharing that with you now. In the past, I would have put this information first. God is truly changing my wiring about how silly it all was and fleeting and unsatisfying.)

I am here to tell the Tiger Moms of this world and the disgruntled teachers, it is never enough. Doing more, working harder, making goals are all nice things to do. People need to work and achieve the potential God gave them, yes.

But it will never be enough.

There is within each of us empty places still needing to be filled. If we live long enough we will find things, even lots of friends, fame, financial success, all of these will not fill those places.

Only the Holy Spirit, once we accept and acknowledge Jesus, can fill those places.

I know you agree with me. I feel badly for the Tiger Mom and the teacher. Their solutions and views leave out the love of God. It is only through that love of God people will change. It is only through His love the mother and teacher can remove their arrogance and remember how even they with their brilliance and plans and answers fall short without acknowledging God's mercy and grace as needed in their lives.

So, join me in praying for them and their children, won't you? Join me today as well in remembering that the world is often cruel but our Father is kind and good. He is with us and that is the most important lesson any child or adult can ever learn.

For His glory,


  1. So interesting - I'm finishing up reading this book right now. At times I admire her tenacity (the Tiger mom), but most of the time, my jaw is dropped wide open as I read how cruel she was (is) to her daughters. What amazes me is that she writes this about herself with no editorializing - just lays it all out there.

    What's even more interesting to me is that I see a glimpse of the Tiger mom in our own mother. Do you? Not near to the extent of this woman, but still...maybe that is why you have achieved so much in life. Achievements are not necessarily a bad thing - just as long as one remains balanced with earthly joys and heavenly goals...which you do quite well.

    Keep writing, sister.

  2. Thanks, Rebecca, for your kind words. Ironically, when Andy and I were talking about this book, he said he saw glimpses of Tiger Mom in Mother as well. He said she enjoyed seeing us achieve as she often pushed us to perform. I was out of balance for years in achievement mind set, my own fault, and only since Mother's death have I realized that achiever obsession was a lie from Satan. I bought into the lie that my worth is defined by my accomplishments and my schedule. It is silly, I know, but a real challenge for me to address. Letting go is not easy. God is rewiring me, thank goodness. Thanks again for encouraging me with your wisdom and kindness!