We need Tiger Parents. I was somewhat amused to see the level of concern in reaction to Amy Chua’s Tiger Mom manual of parenting. I’m not a parent or a parenting expert and I don’t wholly agree with her approach, but she started a major debate that peaked with David Brooks calling her a wimp (I’m somewhat sympathetic to his argument.) and one of her daughters writing a letterin her defense:
The card was feeble, and I was busted. It took me 30 seconds; I didn’t even sharpen the pencil. That’s why, when you rejected it, I didn’t feel you were rejecting me. If I actually tried my best at something, you’d never throw it back in my face.
I was stunned to find only one comment noting the absence of Tiger Dad. As a prospective parent, I certainly don’t want the entire responsibility of raising my children alone. That’s one of the many benefits I saw in marriage: a partner in all things, including child rearing
Just as the Tiger Mom brawls are winding down, the President again bemoans the lack of quality education in this country. (In all fairness, he’s done a consistent job of noting the role of the parents, including, “Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done.”) And the Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced a move to an 11-month school year.
So now the conversation switches from Tiger Mom to the need for Tiger Schools. My question (and latest column): what about Tiger Parents? Data and anecdotal evidence confirm that parents are the determining factor in a child’s overall success. Yes, schools are important, but they’re not enough. We need parents.