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Is Tiger Parenting Effective in Child Rearing?

Updated on January 27, 2014

Despite the fact that many people are advocating for strict form of parenting as a means to achieve good end for their children, few know its negative repercussions with regard to child rearing. This form of parenting also known as tiger parenting should be abandoned due to its negative aspects on children. Tiger parenting is a phrase used to express the parental concern in using strict and tough means for their children to excel at school (Santrock, 2008, 135). For instance, the tiger mother or father may require his child not to get anything below an A in his or her academic achievement.

The exacting standards and requirements for tiger parents is that their children become regularly among the best in academic performance. In an endeavor to achieve that purpose, such a parent usually utilizes a work regime that is strict. They may also go on to insist that the children utilizes their spare time in studying or doing musical practice. Tiger approach in parenting emanated from the assumption that using a strict strategy in parenting leads to top performance among children. This is concerning academic, musical prowess or a later professional success in their life.

The tiger approach to parenting received more attention when Chua (2011) a law professor released a book entitled the battle Hymn of the tiger mother . This book which was actually the author’s memoir was concerned on her tiger parenting style, which aroused global debate with regard to the merits and demerits of an extremely strict approach to parenting. In particular, Amy Chua advocated for a parenting strategy that was very strict in an endeavor to achieve specific goals for children. Although she argues that the use of this strategy proved successful in raising her own children, the publication of this book a roused much controversy and debate in 2011.

The issue of whether this type of parenting is effective or not in achieving academic and professional excellence has itself been controversial. For instance, recent studies articulate that children who are subjected to regular pressure in achieving excellence in most cases develop symptoms of depression and being anxious (Deater, 2013, 77).

According to Juang, tiger parenting emanated from Chinese behavior (Juang, 2013, 5). Moreover, the emphasis in this type of parenting is raising children that are academically successful and not necessarily those that are well adjusted, happy, creative or those that are self determined. Success in the sense of tiger parenting is achieving an extremely high standard of social acceptable activities. Tiger parenting approach is also based on outcomes that are visible. Apparently, it does not focus on building a child’s self esteem, learning to love, establishing really friendship and so on. Although this does not translate that children raised under tiger parenting are devoid of such experiences, it should be noted that this type of parenting is not concerned on these aspects at al.

There are however, some individuals who observe that tiger parents should be praised for their inflexible high standards, domineering and strict parents. According to such critics, the current depiction of tiger parenting is excessively negative. This is because many children raised this way have been smart, and successful in academic and professional aspects. Being strict on their children to achieve greatness is just but an expression of love to their children (Liu, 2013).

In carefully evaluating an individual’s life and his or her whole experience as a human being, you will find that a tiger approach to parenting is quite problematic. Success according to Chua’s parenting method contains many diverging paths and may not have a specific outcome. Significant success ought to be a companied by happiness, love, and self-fulfillment. It should also be taken into consideration that although Amy Chua and others who employed tiger parenting approach in achieved academic success were successful, not all children succeed academically with this approach.

Research has shown the ineffectiveness of this approach by showing that children raised authoritatively portray maladaptive tendencies such as poor social skills, anxiety and even depression. This is because these children were expected to perform unreasonably highly. Having and extremely high expectations and demands for children has a negative impact on their cognitive as well as social abilities(Santrock, 2008, 410). In fact these studies on parenting styles continue to reveal that specific aspects of tiger parenting technique such as blaming, yelling or coming up with past mistakes would only lead to negative outcome. In particular, this may lead to poor academic performance and increased psychological maladjustments. These aspects should therefore, be abandoned at all costs. Instead, what may bring up health club among these children include, mentoring, warmth, independency and love (Deater, 2013, 74).

Although it is actually not wrong to harbor a high expectation from your children, it would be good, according to my perspective to have these kids select their own activities. Further, it would be also sound to make them involved in the specific activities. For instance, it my be necessary to push children to become the best, according to their potential, but at the same time, it is necessary to encourage and praise them for what they have done well or to motivate them in doing something better.

Tiger parents should also note that there is a wide gap between younger generation and older generation. Although they may feel mandated in maintaining this kind of relationship to a specific point, this type of relationship may ruin the children’s life in particular ways. Tiger parenting may lead to academic or professional success in these children’s life but will certain injure their social life where these children will become socially dysfunctional. What tiger parents ought to consider is that their children cannot be the same as themselves. This means that they should nurture them according to their own potential.

What tiger parents should also realize is that raising children in an extremely strict manner is against God’s will. In fact, God does not allow or condone tiger parenting as a form of raising children. Rather, children are expected to be disciplined using the right way and procedure. In essence, it is wrong to spank children, discourage or ridicule them. Also disciplining them with anger will lead to breaking their heart and this will therefore lead them to develop low self- esteem.


In essence, with human systems, there is a low ability in effectively controlling the processes or outcomes. Even if a person can reduce the outcome to simplistic or complicated terms, the complex outcome will still affect the complex interactions of these humans. Systems that are complicated may be embedded within the complex ones or vice versa. This means that irrespective of the kind of prescription an individual employs, or rather irrespective of the tightness of the control mechanism used, the impact of complexity has a means of finding itself in the affairs of humanity.

In conclusion, tiger parenting approach may be effective with regard to rote learning or instilling discipline but inefficient in instilling values of humanity, creativity or personal leadership. In stating it differently, tiger parenting may lead to academic or professional success in these children’s life but will certain injure their social life whereas, they become socially dysfunctional. What tiger parents ought to consider is that children cannot be the same as themselves. This means that they should nurture them according to their own potential and not to the potential of somebody else. In my perspective, the best parenting approach is not one which is too strict or lenient but a blended one.

Works Cited

Chua, Amy, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother". Penguin Press Hard Cover. ISBN 978-1-59420-284-1.


Deater, D.K, Tiger Parents, Other Parents, Asian American Journal of Psychology, 4(1) 76-78, 2013.

Juang, L.P., Qin, D.B., and Park, I.J.K. Deconstructing the Myth of the Tiger Mother” Special Issue on

Tiger Parenting”, American Journal of Psychology, 4(1), 1-6. 2013.

Liu, Grace, “Why tiger moms are great” Available from

Santrock, J.W, “A topical approach to life-span development”, New York: McGraw-Hill. 2008


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