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Tiger vs Natural Parenting Styles

Tiger vs Natural Parenting Styles

As far as parenting styles go I mix two very different parenting ideologies. I take some of the characteristics of a Tiger Mother (although I’m sure true Tiger mothers would think I’m more Tigger than Tiger); and I incorporate elements of a Natural Mama.

Natural mothering employs a gentler style of parenting. Natural mothers believe in breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, gentle disciple etc. I never made a conscience choice to be a natural mama, but I have found myself gravitating towards many of the ideologies associated with it. I am a complete extreme breastfeeder, I love breastfeeding, and the thought of doing anything different with my children is utterly alien. We have stumbled into co-sleeping, and I am utterly converted. My babies sleep better through the night, I am less tired… it just makes sense! The baby wearing bit I have tried, but I find it awkward, especially with toddlers, although I can see the appeal, and know people it works for. And then we come to “gentle disciple”, I probably fall down here- this is where the Tiger comes out.

I am a firm believer that Western culture is doing a lot of damage to our children by failing to equip them for the real world (this is one of the reasons we home educate). The reality is our children will have to live and work in this global village, where they will not be merely competing for a job with the boy down the road, but they will be in direct competition with the boy in China, who has been drilled from a tender age to be the best.

However, Chinese young people do tend to have poor mental health, as they are placed under immense pressure to achieve. But we in the West must be able to find a balance. Where we stop celebrating mediocrity and selling our children short.

After reading “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” I decided to push the children a little more academically. The Girl had her maths doubled, she has risen to the occasion. I also doubled the amount of violin she was to practise every day, again she rose to the challenge and is progressing nicely. The Jedi Boy, is slightly different. But I moved him forward quicker also, and he too met and exceeded my expectations.

I want my children to have a wonderful childhood, but they also have to be equipped to survive in the world. They need to be able to work hard, to push themselves, to be uncomplaining when things are tough. The world they will be living in will not be able to provide them with everything on a plate, they will have to be fighters.

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