Build positivity in children - Dolphin parenting vs. tiger parenting

Build positivity in children - Dolphin parenting vs. tiger parenting

In a strong contradiction to tiger moms, happiness researcher, Shawn Achor is propagating the skills of a dolphin dad to build positivity in children.

Dolphin vs Tiger

Kids love playful dolphins over roaring tigers! Watch out, we aren’t talking about animals here but parenting styles that are identified with these animals’ traits.

build positivity in children

Research have found that being stern is not the best way to build positivity in children.

Shawn Achor, who teaches at Wharton School of Business, believes that parents emulating dolphin’s combination of sociability and playfulness can build positivity in children rather than through the dreadfulness of a tiger – fear and criticism.

A leading happiness researcher claims parents are far better off imitating the loveable dolphin. It’s a direct contradiction to values and techniques displayed by ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom’s author, Amy Chua who advocates no TV and a strict, no-nonsense style of child rearing.

Achor’s theories are backed up by a study in the Asian American Journal of Psychology, which found that ‘tiger kids’ had a lower grade point average, suffered from more academic pressure with depressive symptoms and a greater sense of alienation.

Read on the next page the top essentials to be a dolphin dad.

Top essentials to be a Dolphin parent suggested by Achor

build positivity in children

Smiling and being optimistic as parents can build positivity in children.

A positive, rationally optimistic attitude

This will help you assess the multiple options and navigate for your child to pick the best parenting course of action. You can also build positivity in children every day by giving thanks at the dinner table.

Smiling causes a mirroring reaction in others.

He believes that parents should consciously be working at being happier. ‘While it takes more cognitive processing to be happier, the more that you do these positive habits, the more that you switch your default,’ he says.

The key to a child’s success is when you build positivity in children .

‘Most companies and schools follow this formula: if you work harder, you will be more successful, and then you will be happy,’ he writes. This actually works backwards according to him. If you are happy you will be able to work harder which will bring you success.

Remind your child of past achievements to face future challenges.

You can build positivity in children by giving them a trophy before a competition. This will help them stay positive and focused.

build positivity in children

Making learning fun and not being overly harsh will set your child up for success.

Try to maintain a ratio of five positive interactions for every negative one.

Mr Achor believes in making learning fun. So rather than waiting to reward your kids for finishing their homework, he recommends letting them wear their favorite pajamas while studying.

Set your child up for success

He cites, if you want them to exercise more, try hiding the TV remote and put their sneakers by the door. Instead of being overly harsh, build positivity in children to set kids up for success.

So which are you a ‘Tiger Mom’ or a ‘Dolphin Dad’? Although the theory suggested by Achor is true, you do not have to rely on it on occasions like when your kids break your iPhone or throw tantrums at the mall. There is that delicate balance that we as parents need to strike. Giving kids enough freedom and setting rules are the two halves of responsible parenting. Without either of them, parenting is incomplete.

Got a parenting concern? Read articles or ask away and get instant answers on our app. Download theAsianparent Community on iOS or Android now!

Written by

Roshni Mahtani

app info
get app banner