Extreme Parenting

Extreme Parenting There is a child who is never allowed to attend a sleep over or have a playdate. A child that must constantly practice the violin, do homework, and is never allowed any free time to do as she pleases. This is the child of an extreme parent. Parenting methods have long been a subject of controversy, but a new trend in parenting called “Tiger” parenting may be the most controversial of today. The method of extreme parenting or parents that go to extreme lengths to give their children a head start over their peers can actually be quite detrimental to a child’s proper development.
Extreme parenting is considered effective by some but, ineffective and bordering on abusive by others. Extreme parents, also known as “Tiger” parents, go beyond normal extremes to compel their children to succeed. They do this by forcing their children to participate and excel in a certain activity. They often use harsh punishment for failure, but believe that their actions better their children. They are different from the “typical” parent because of how they define their child’s success and happiness.
According to the article “Key Events in the History of Extreme Parenting” from Facts On File the release of Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother in January 2011 sparked a debate between people who see Amy Chau’s extreme parenting style as essential to help children reach their full potential and those who think it borders on child abuse. (Key Events) The subject of extreme parenting is a sensitive one in which many people have very strong and differing opinions. Most people agree that children need discipline in their lives but the line between what is appropriate and what is not has been blurred.

Both extreme and permissive parents believe that their style of parenting is what is best for a child’s personal growth. An extreme parent is very involved with their child’s life and often makes all of their decisions for them. These parents will use harsh disciple to keep their child in line. A permissive parent allows their child to have a great deal of freedom and will use few or no forms of discipline. Both kinds of parents, of course, believe that their way is the best. What harm or good can come from a parent being too controlling or demanding of their child is the main dilemma for parents.
Another main area of discrepancy is what each kind of parent considers abusive behavior. In an article by C. J. Newton, a learning specialist, he helps to distinguish exactly what constitutes emotional child abuse. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect describes it as “acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders. ” The article then goes on to list the various kinds of abuse. These include belittling, coldness, cruelty, harassment, isolating, and rejecting. Newton) However, not all parents may agree with this definition of abuse or feel that the benefits still outweigh the faults. The children of “Tiger” parents may be good at school, sports, or playing instruments but there are definite drawbacks. Many different studies and surveys have been conducted on the subject and they have all come up with very negative results. I also conducted a survey on extreme parenting. The survey was given to 50 random students who are currently members of Professor Van Eck’s English 250 class at Ferris State University.
The results of this survey were also considerably critical of extreme parenting. “Tiger” parenting is extremely rough on children and can hurt them psychologically and emotionally. The lasting scars that this parenting style inflicts on children can never measure up to the benefits. Supporters of extreme parenting say what many people consider aggressive or extreme parenting techniques are just a part of good, responsible parenting. Amy Chau is the Chinese American mother of two daughters and the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
In her book she describes how she raised her daughters in what she calls the Traditional Chinese way. At the beginning the first chapter Chau lists of some of the things her daughters where never allowed to do. These include: attend a sleepover, have a playdate, be in a school play, complain about not being in a school play, watch tv or play computer games, choose their own extracurricular activities, get any grade less than an A, and not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama. (3-4) One common form of discipline extreme parents use is pking.
According to the article “Corporal Punishment” on Facts on File more than 90% of parents admit to having pked their children and between 60% and 70%, admit to pking them regularly. The article goes on to point out how critics of pking think it is outrages that children remain the only people in America who may be legally beaten. (Corporal) However, most of the students in my survey found pking to be an acceptable form of discipline. The three forms they objected to were slapping, verbal insults, and yelling. I completely agree with these results.
None aggressive forms of discipline are the best kind. This is one of the main reasons extreme parenting is inappropriate. A parent should discipline their child with punishments such as time-outs, groundings and taking away their privileges. Spanking is the only exception but, should only be employed for special circumstances. It is difficult to say exactly what constitutes an appropriate time to pk your child. However, pking a child should never be a regular occurrence and a parent must always be in control of their emotions while doing it.
If a parent must pk their child regularly it may begin to turn abusive and is obviously not fixing the problem. A more relaxed parenting style is better for building children’s self-confidence, because the children see that their parents’ love does not depend on their academic success. When a parent is constantly focused on their child’s academic success the child will begin to feel they are not good enough for their parent. Obviously, this is will hurt their self-esteem a lot. “Tiger” parents see their tough love approach as preparing their child for whatever the world throws at them.
Yet, According to the article by Pinky McKay, the mother of five, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, when parents comfort their crying babies it actually helps teach their brains to manage stress well. This is based on a recent studies that show leaving babies to cry alone increases their stress hormones. This abandonment could also lead children to have stress disorders such as panic, anxiety and depression later in life. (McKay) While the children in this article are very young it proves that tough love is not always the best technique.
A parent needs to always support their child. They should push their child to succeed but, in an encouraging manner. Extreme parenting encourages conformity but not creativity. These extreme parents make every big decision for their child. By controlling their every move they do not allow them do discover their own interest or abilities. My parents were strict but in no way extreme. When it came to being punished, often just the threat of a punishment would be enough. They set up an environment were certain rules and behaviors had to be abided by. My siblings and I knew what the consequences of our bad behavior would be.
Simply having clearly defined rules lead us to be, for the most part, well behaved children. When it came to extracurricular activities are parents did not control are decisions at all. Because they allowed us this freedom we all became very unique individuals with varying interests. For example my one brother was in a lot of sports and enjoyed being active. My other brother never played any sports, but was in every school play. Strict parents have a very limited idea of what constitutes success and set their children up for failure. Most extreme parents focus on their child’s academic achievement.
This causes their children to see academic success as the only kind of success. Therefore, if they do not do well in school they are complete failures at life. Yan Sun has been a professor of political science at the City University of New York since 1992 and has published two books as well as numerous academic papers about China. Sun’s article in The New York Times describes why in China there is such a strong emphasis on education. She explains that it originated from a tradition of preparing the best and brightest for the challenging imperial exams.
Today, this strict parenting is fueled by parents concerns about academic competition and professional opportunities. The gaokao, a college entrance exam has even been known to push students to suicide. Sun concludes by discussing how too much parental guidance can lead to a loss in creativity, individuality, and leadership skills. (Sun) The most alarming part of this article is how students have committed suicide because of an exam. This just goes to show how too much emphasis on academics can end disastrously.
These students obviously saw academics as the only kind of success and if they couldn’t do well on the exam then they had no reason to live. This is an extremely sad and untrue belief. Successful adults are not always the ones who excelled in school. Success comes in many different forms and in many different ways. An excellent example of someone who was successful without academics is Mark Zuckerburg. He is the CEO of Facebook and the youngest billionaire in the world. Zuckerburg attended Harvard University for two years before dropping out to further develop his social networking site Facebook.
If his parents had been extreme parents they would have never allowed him to leave Harvard to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams, and we might not have Facebook. His father encourages parents to support their children’s strengths and passions with a balance of “work and play. ” Just because a child is successful at school does not mean they will be successful at life. The new trend called “Tiger” parenting is notorious for being harsh, yet these parents insist that they do it for the betterment of the child. However, a recent study indicates that this extreme parenting is a lot tougher on children then these parents may realize.
According to an article by Stephanie Pappas, a Houston-based science writer with a Bachelor of arts in psychology and a minor in medical humanities, Desiree Baolian Qin, a professor in the department of human development and family studies at Michigan State University, conducted a series of studies to evaluate the effects of “Tiger” parenting on children. To do this she compared Chinese-American ninth graders with European-American ninth-graders at the same highly competitive U. S. school. Qin explained that strict parenting and high academic achievement are common in Chinese immigrant families.
She discovered that the Chinese students reported higher levels of conflict in their families, mainly around education, and lower levels of cohesion. These students were also more stressed and depressed than their American classmates, and showed lower self-esteem. Qin concluded that “the more conflict and less cohesion in a teen’s family, the more likely they were to have poor mental health”. When the students were questioned many complained that their parents constantly talked about academics, reacted passionately to their failures, and regularly compared them to other high achievers, such as their old siblings.
The results for this study speak for themselves. Both the American and Chinese students were considered high achievers, but the Chinese students showed a considerably larger amount of issues. There is a big cultural difference between western and Chinese parenting styles. “Tiger” or Chinese parents usually consider themselves to be superior to “western” parents. They feel that their strict parenting style helps their child be successful. However, the results from this study indicate that “Western” and “Chinese” parenting styles lead to equally successful children.
The only difference is that the “Chinese” students feel a lot more pressure and thus have more mental issues such as depression and anxiety. After, looking at these results it is hard for one to say that “Chinese” parents are really superior. In fact, these results imply that “Tiger” parenting does a lot more harm than good for a child. These Chinese children may turn out to be very successful adults but it is not necessary to use such harsh parenting. Children may become afraid of their parents because of their strict rules and even begin to hide things. “Tiger” parents say it is not their job to be their child’s friend.
However, they cannot be a proper parent if their child is scared of them. Lylah M. Alphonse is a senior editor and writer at Yahoo! ‘s Shine and a Boston-based journalist, writer, editor, and blogger. In one of Alphonse’s articles she gives her point of view on extreme parenting used by mothers like Amy Chau. Alphonse describes how Chau once threw a birthday card in her daughters face and told her it wasn’t good enough. After describing this situation she poses a very good question: “That kind of “motivation” rarely works on an adult. So why is it OK to talk like that to a child? (Alphonse) This kind of discipline is undoubtedly very hurtful towards the child. When a child constantly fears that they will disappoint their parents it could cause them to pull away. They may not tell their parents about a problem they are having because they fear their reaction. This can be very dangerous for the child. Children need to be able to confide in their parents. For example, they may be struggling in school but are afraid to tell their parents. This could lead to them falling even farther behind. Because “Tiger” parents control every aspect of their child’s life, they become dependent on their parents.
These children count on their parents to make every decision for them and thus lack the vital skill of decision making. Over 68% of the students in my survey said that they believed strict parenting leads to less confident children. These extreme parents may help steer their children in the right direction but they won’t always be there to make their decisions for them. Being able to make big decisions is not easy but it is a skill everyone should have. Because these parent structure every part of the child’s life they are not properly prepared to live on their own as adults.
One of the hardest decisions I have had to make is what career field to enter into. While my parents helped me to make this decision by making suggestions and guiding me the end decision was ultimately mine. An extreme parent may even make this decision for their child. However, it is not their decision to make because it is the child who must live with the results of it. In the end It is better for a child to be happy, than successful. Author Kate Wharmby Seldman is the Health and Entertainment Editor at Opposing Views and she reported on some very extreme parenting in one of her articles.
The article is about a beauty pageant mother in San Francisco who regularly injects her eight-year-old daughter with Botox to “get rid of wrinkles,” so she can compete in beauty pageants. The mother claims this helps her daughter gain an edge in beauty pageants. (Seldman) This mother is not your typical kind of extreme parent. She is not pushing her daughter in school but, in beauty pageants. Many will probably agree that what this mother is doing is very extreme. While giving her daughter these injections may give her a leg up in these competitions it cannot be pleasant to receive them.
Nobody likes to get shots, especially not little girls. Plus, her daughter is so young it can have little effect anyway. This mother is causing her daughter unnecessary pain and raising her daughter to have an extremely skewed sense of self-worth. Personally, I would choose happiness over success any day. Perhaps the worst result of extreme parenting is that the bad memories will stay with the child forever. Lac Su is an executive for TalentSmart, a global think tank and management consulting firm and a writer after 5 p. m. and on the weekends.
In an article written by Su he shares his own personal experience with being the child of “tiger” parents. He begins his article with stating how horrified he was after reading about Amy Chau new book. Su describes how he was also raised by “tiger” parents and that still today he “bears the wounds” from it. Su’s parents would constantly remind him that he was stupid because he didn’t excel at school and forbid him to spend time with friends no matter how hard he worked. Perhaps the most terrifying story he tells is how his parents would force him to eat the brain of a cow every weekend in an attempt to “cure” his stupidity.
Su ends his article with a plea to Chau saying, “I would trade every last bit of my success in life to live without the deep wounds given to me by a Tiger Mother. ” (Su) Childhood experiences shape our lives and stay with us forever. Some of my fondest memories are from when I was a kid. I can remember playing outside with my siblings almost every day. We spent most of our time in the woods behind are house, exploring and playing games. Even so, my siblings and I all did well in school. We knew that we could play as long as we wanted to, as long as we finished our work first.
Simply put childhood is the time to be a child. Extreme parents are ruining this precious time for their children. They are so concerned about their children’s future that they sacrifice the happiness and carefree experience of being a child. You only get to be young once. Parents shouldn’t spoil this experience for their children. In conclusion, extreme parenting is simply too extreme and should be avoided by parents. There is no one perfect way to raise a child, nor is there a perfect parent. Nevertheless, certain parenting techniques should never be used. “Tiger” parenting may get results but, it is not the only way.
A happy child does not spend all their time practicing the violin, doing their homework and learning to speak a foreign language. It is much easier to order someone to work harder when they are struggling, than to talk with them about why they are having problems and try to find a solution. It is okay for a parent to have high expectations for their child but they should convey those expectations in a caring and lov ing way. Discipline can be extremely beneficial to a child but too much will do the opposite. The most important thing to remember is that a child must still be allowed to be a child.

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