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Western Parenting Styles Influence the World, But ‘Tiger Mom’ Style Is Now Enticing

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Historically, Western societies’ methods of parenting have managed to influence the child-rearing habits of other parts of the world, in particular, Asia, but the tide is shifting as more parents in America and Europe begin to adopt the “Tiger Mom” structure.

So says University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Professor of Applied Psychology Dr Xinyin Chen who analyzed the parenting styles in the West which encourages individualism to the parenting styles in the East which emphasizes collectivism.

“In most Western societies, such as Europe and the US, individualism, independence and self-orientation are viewed as important,” Chen writes in an article published today in Child and Family Blog. “Parents encourage their children to develop skills that support these values, such as assertiveness, self-confidence, self-expression and autonomy. They want their children to develop a positive sense of self and personal worth.”

In the piece titled, “East and West May be Reshaping Each Other’s Parenting,” Chen compared more westernized parenting styles to those of Eastern world nations.

“In more collectivist cultures, such China and Korea, parents are expected to assume greater responsibilities in child development,” Chen wrote. “To fulfill that expectation, they tend to be highly involved in child rearing and child education, sometimes using ‘high power’ strategies.”

Where American parents may engage children more, Asian and Eastern parents do not as much.

“They may order their children to do certain things, providing little explanation or reasoning. They want their children to obey them, so they emphasize compliance and obedience.” Chen states.  “In a ‘high power’ approach, if children don’t listen, parents may use force or punishment. This approach reflects the parents’ goals: to develop children who listen and who learn qualities such as cooperation, compliance and self-control, which could be useful for adapting to the society.”

But each model has its own benefits, he argues.

“The US emphasizes individuality and self-confidence, which have been seen as cornerstones of economic success,” writes Chen. “But the message from Japan, China and Korea is that their traditional values—self-control, modesty and compliance—might lead to greater achievement.”

He credits globalization and industrialization for the infusion of Westernization of Asian, African and South American cultures with these societies growing “more individualistic, and parents are adapting their child-rearing styles and values.”

And as parents rely less on their children to care for them in their older years, Chen notices that “parents say they are raising children more for enjoyment. They want their children to develop independent skills and positive self-esteem.”

Likewise, teens in China are reporting that “over the past 15 years, parents have become less authoritarian and less power-assertive, as well as more sensitive to their feelings and needs, encouraging them to exercise greater independence and autonomy.”

But in the same vein, in the West, attention to “Tiger Moms” and because of immigration, and the growing multiculturalism of the West, parents in America and Europe are getting exposed to the child rearing habits of people from Asian, Africa and South America. Peer group interactions contribute to a melting pot of values where children learn from peers with different cultural values, and parents, too,  “also have increasing opportunities to learn about new values through their interactions with families of different backgrounds,” Chen notes.

“In the West, concerns about the importance of education have made parents ready for fresh thinking” he adds. “They’re open to the idea that pushing their children hard to achieve academically may have something more to offer than laissez-faire Western approaches that have failed some children.”

Read Chen’s blog article HERE

We Kinda Dig that scary Tenant Agreement ‘Tiger Mom’ Amy Chua Made her Millenial Daughters sign 

Tiger Mom Amy Chua and daughters


When you’re known as the “Tiger Mom” and you’re a Yale contracts law professor, of course you’re going to draft up a fierce enforceable tenant agreement before you let your adult children co-habitate with you in your swanky Manhattan apartment for the Summer.

We can’t be mad.

Amy Chua, who penned the infamous book “Battle Hym of the Tiger Mom” had some pretty funny, albeit strict, clauses in the contract she made her millennial daughters Sophia and Lulu sign before they moved in.

Chua’s 20- and 23-year old girls are working in NYC for the summer.

Although, she lives in Connecticut full time with her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, Chua said they had saved up their entire life for that apartment.

She was not keen on becoming a “tenant farmer” in her own life, Chua shared in a funny column she penned in the Wall Street Journal. 

The entire family signed the legally-enforceable contract.

Here are the key clauses (we secretly love) that the girls must abide by:

1. To occupy only the junior bedroom.

2. To greet Jed Rubenfeld & Amy Chua with spontaneous joy and gratitude whenever they visit.

3. To make their (joint) bed every day, and not to fight about who does it.

4. To never, ever use the phrase, “Relax—it’s not a big deal.”

5. To always leave all internal doors in the apartment wide open whenever Jed, Amy or any company whatsoever (including relatives) are in the apartment, with an immaculately made bed in full view and no clothing or other junk on the floor of the bedroom in sight.

6. Whenever any guests visit, to come out of the bedroom immediately in a respectable state, greet the guests with enthusiasm, and sit and converse with the guests in the living room for at least 15 minutes.

7. To always be kind to our trusty Samoyeds Coco and Pushkin, who Sophia and Louisa hereby agree have greater rights to the apartment than Sophia and Louisa do, and to walk them to the dog park at least once a day when they visit, within 30 minutes of being asked to do so by Amy.

8. To fill the refrigerator with fresh OJ from Fairway for Jed on days when he is in town.

9. To keep the pillows in the living room in the right place and PLUMPED and to clean the glass table with Windex whenever it is used.

ADDITIONALLY, Sophia and Louisa agree that the above duties and conditions will not be excused even in the event of illness, hangovers, migraines, work crises or mental breakdowns (whether their own or their friends’).

Sophia and Louisa agree that if they violate any one of these conditions, Amy and Jed will have the right to get the Superintendent or a doorman to restrain them from entering the apartment; and to change the locks.

Read the entire piece at the Wall Street Journal here.