Most, if not all, of us are probably familiar with the term ‘tiger mum’ — especially because of Amy Chua‘s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. While some of us may even identify with Amy and call ourselves ‘tiger mums,’ others among us may not.
If you’re not a tiger mum, what other kind of mum could you be then? Here, we describe what a ‘panda mum’ is like — read on to see if the description fits you!
What is a ‘panda mum’?
A panda mum (or dad) is one who guides their children more than anything.
Things aren’t nearly as structured in a panda household. Children are encouraged to follow their own path, with parents supervising more than pushing.
Learning is encouraged through imaginative play and exploring, rather than reading or studying. Emphasis is placed on self-esteem and feeling good about oneself.
The philosophy behind being a panda mum
The philosophy behind this parenting style is to encourage children to do things for themselves because they are inspired on their own, instead of being pushed.
Panda parents believe that tiger parenting is unhealthy because children are forced to do things they would not otherwise do without such an authoritative parenting structure.
A panda mum believes that her child should do something because he or she is inspired to do so, not pushed to do so.
On being a panda mum: The pros
One major plus to this parenting style is teaching children to be self-sufficient without always having a parent or adult nearby. A panda mum inspires her children to do things out of free will.
On the other hand, a tiger mum usually moves her child to act because there will be consequences (the wrath of the tiger, if nothing else). Panda parents claim that their children will become much more adjusted to real life as well as learn to be comfortable and secure on their own.
Being a panda mum also has its disadvantages.
On being a panda mum: The cons
Panda parenting is all about feeling good, building self-esteem and learning creatively.
Thus, it doesn’t appear to exactly apply to real life, i.e. when children leave home. No one will care about their feelings, their self-esteem, or how creatively they learn if they cannot buckle down, hit deadlines and nail real expectations.
There might be consequences when the tiger boss realizes that the panda child has been coddled and been given free will. The real world is not so much about free will.
Also, panda parenting does not seem to fit very well into traditional college level education. In today’s world, children need to be able to succeed and finish college for any chance at a successful life.
Being a panda mum or tiger mum: What works best?
Find the parenting style that works best for you and your child.
There is absolutely no “one size fits all” miracle method for raising perfect children who will grow into successful adults. Any book that promises this for $49.99 is a waste of money.
Children are complicated. Add to the complications the fact that every single child is different and requires different needs, and it becomes apparent that there is no way one method could work for everyone.
That being said, being a tiger mum may be much like being an authoritarian government, in which the government controls all aspects of the citizen’s lives. Authoritarian governments often fail because every aspect cannot be controlled and eventually people revolt.
On the other hand, panda parenting is much like being a laissez faire (let it be) government, in which there is little to no intervention or control. This type of government is much like an anarchy though, which obviously would not be successful either.
Thus, the most successful governments are probably somewhere in between having total control of the citizens and no control at all.
Personally then, when it comes to parenting methods, I’d say they should probably fall somewhere in the middle — find a balance between being a tiger mum and a panda mum.
So, mums, we’d like to know: are you a panda mum or a tiger mum? Or are you somewhere in between? Let us know by leaving a comment!