Parenting Under the Influence . . . of Tiger Mom

My five year old was refusing to cooperate in her swimming lesson. I'd been patient with my daughter’s outbursts in her first few lessons and she'd gained confidence.

We were in her fifth lesson when the big anti-swimming show began. I decided I was having none of it.

I became angry. Very angry.

There was shouting and I made almost reasonable threats:

“If you can’t listen to your swimming teacher, I'll assume you can’t listen to your ballet teacher either!”

Predictably, it ended in tears.

I felt guilty, yet my guilt disappeared when I remembered the words “Tiger Mom.”

I set boundaries in the home but I’m certainly no Tiger Mom, which is why when I became one (and I realized I could name her) I didn’t feel too bad.

If kids grow up with Tiger Moms every day, surely I can afford myself to be a Tiger Mom for half-an-hour. I was unrepentant for my show of anger.

But, I’m no Tiger Mom.

Before the next lesson, I sat down calmly with my daughter and explained to her, again, why I needed her to learn how to swim.

“Mommy,” she said, “perhaps if I had a pair of goggles, I mean pink goggles, then I would swim nicely.”

Goggles! Why hadn’t I thought of them sooner?

In the next lesson, my daughter behaved wonderfully.

Not the power of Tiger Mom but indeed a new pair of pink goggles!


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