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Are You a Helicopter Mom or a Tiger Mom?

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 11, 2006
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2,806
Hi,

I was talking to my niece the other week. She said that she was thinking of me as her Mom had gone through her childhood momentos. She found a spelling Bee word list from the second grade. We both remembered it well.

When I first moved to Chicago I stayed with my brother who had two daughters. When my 7 yr old niece came home from school with a notice about a Spelling Bee, Aunt Annette,(thats me) wanted to step in and make her a winner. I consulted with her and laid out my plan. I would be the tutor. After dinner she would have to give me one half hour - one hour each evening. The Spelling Bee was in about two weeks. She agreed.

All went well for about a week, then she began balking. She wanted to quit, and I reminded her of her agreement. She cried. One night she screamed at me, and begged her Mother to make me stop. Her mother told her I was in charge of Spelling. We finished the list and Aunt Annette took the day off from work to attend the school Spelling Bee. I was looking for my winner. Her competition was the whole school-- up to eighth grade.

She came in second. I was really so happy. It was great and she was so happy. My real lesson to her was that work paid off. But you had to do the work. Here comes the kicker---Her teacher forgot 2 pages of words. The word she missed was on the missing pages. Now, I was mad at the dumb teacher.

I wanted to protest by my brother and sister in law wouldn't let me. Honestly, the spelling comes up every five yrs or so. It was worth making her cry.


Aunt Annett--Tiger Aunt




My niece said she looked at the list last week. She said, OMG they were hard words. So at age 50, she has renewed pride in her acheivment.
 

jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Messages
4,156
No, I don't think I'm either a helicopter mom or a tiger mom, I would classify myself as an attentive mom. I also don't think helicopter mom and tiger mom are synonymous. To me a helicopter mom is overly attentive, cautious and hovering (clingy) in a child's life, whereas a tiger mom is strict, controlling and pushy (forcing a child to be successful) at the expense of their happiness.

I have been a working mom throughout my kids' lives, they are 19 and 17, going back to work 7 weeks after delivery, as customary in the US). However both dh and I have always made a point of being present for them (work/life balance), I always made time for their field trips, school performances, and weekend sports. We always ate dinner together as a family, with all devices off. Every night.

As for my kids, I think I was blessed that both were self-motivated. I would like to think that they learned by example. Dh and I take our careers seriously and do not take time-off "just for fun". We use our time-off purposefully, like to attend parent/teacher conferences, to take our kids to Drs and dental appointments. My kids have never feigned illness to stay home....in fact, both had perfect attendances up from K-8th grade, and missed maybe 1 day of high school for their driving test.

My kids were also blessed in that they did not have academic challenges, and did not need tutoring or help from us. I recall that even as early as Kindergarten or first grade, when part of their homework was to read to someone....I would ask my kids to read to each other....and to this day they always helped bounce project ideas and assignments off each other because they are close in age. One kid is stronger in "science/math" areas whereas the other is more language/social science areas, so they have always helped each other out. They do come to us for guidance such as what classes to take, and what clubs and activities to join...but we have never forced them into anything. When my younger one decided to switch from piano to drums in 4th grade, I said sure, as long as you talk to your music teachers yourself, and commit to what you choose and do it well....

Attentive Mom-signing off
 

lulu_ma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
1,310
This is an interesting thread-especially coming off of remote/hybrid learning! I am a bit of both. I was more of a helicopter mom when my kids were really little. Now, I'll label myself as a quasi-Tiger mom.

Last summer, when I figured out that the 2020-2021 was going to be either remote and/or hybrid, I signed up my then 5 yo up for this app called Reading Eggs. Since my G's school was full time, 5 days a week in September and I was still concerned about Covid-19, I kept her home for remote kindergarten. It was quite a challenge as the school day consisted of 15 minutes of live grade level teacher time and the rest was google slides.

My game plan was to send G back to school in November, but there was an outbreak at school. One thing lead to another and G didn't return to school until the end of April. She was taught in person for about 5 weeks. School just ended last Friday and I just read G's report card. She's reading at K/L level (middle of 2nd grade) and she's doing 3rd grade math! But to be fair, G loves to learn and is pretty self motivated for a now 6 yo.

p.s.
my older two children just completed 7th and 9th grade, respectively. I didn't push them too hard this past year. Fortunately, they both did well.
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
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May 17, 2014
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4,536
Tiger! Sooooo Tiger! But he's a super competitive, highly motivated child with lofty dreams who wants me to push him to make them come true.

Actually we push each other. Sometimes I tell him certain things aren't worth it but he thinks they are, so he drags me along with him and sometimes I have to pull him up. We're great team and because we're so similar we really "get" each other!
 

Mekp

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
406
I am neither.
We unschool and a lot of that philosophy (ie. being child led, gentle, non-coercive, etc) is present in all of my parenting. Being overly involved and protective or overly involved and pushy doesn't align with that.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 17, 2008
Messages
24,008
Neither...I don't have enough energy to be a Tiger or Helicopter Mom.

I was teaching my upper teen kids to use the washer and dryer the other day. My daughter says, "I don't know why we have to do this."
She then proceeds to take her dirty clothes and throw them in the dryer. I then said, "This is why you have to learn how to do your
laundry. You just threw your dirty clothes in the dryer instead of the washer.":shock:;-)
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
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May 17, 2014
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4,536
Servant to the cat, and possibly tiger mum to the new puppy.

DK :))

Omg I was a total tiger mum when my Golden was a puppy. Trained within an inch of her life. I used to wake up at 5 am to train her.

It's served her well though. Very stable, bomb proof temperament and even though she's ancient and rules the roost now, you can still see how well trained she is.
 

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 11, 2006
Messages
2,806
Hi,

Oh, Jasonsmom, how lucky you are. You and your children sound so American Pie. So nice to read your post.

Daisy, what would the board do without you.
Slick, I loved your post.
Tyty, what is a mother for? I love this thread.
I had to think what unschooling meant. The Montisorri school is the only thing I could think of. Unschooling--quite original.

Mellowyellow-- I personally understand the tiger mom better than the Helicopter mom. Hes going to do great!

I had a friend who really had lovely children. But, she worried more about the oldest boy than the others. She was a helicopter mom to him. When he 18 and went for his first summer job, as a helper in a local camp. She sat there and helped him fill out his application. She told him what to write. I may have looked it over, but at 18 I would hope that my child could fill out a job app. Her daughter who was 16 could do all of that by herself and get a job by herself. Mom wanted him to succeed so badly she watched him closely.

Annette
 

Austina

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 24, 2017
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5,653
Neither, I wanted the best for him, but I didn’t micromanage everything he did. I saw my role as a mother to prepare him for life in the big wide world, so I taught him to be independent.

He’s turned out OK, never been in trouble with the Police, never taken drugs, runs his own very successful business, and is married to a lovely, lovely girl. He followed his dreams, moved to the US 10 years ago (I think,) became a citizen, and wants us to emigrate so we can be close to them. Job done! :mrgreen:
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 7, 2013
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Omg I was a total tiger mum when my Golden was a puppy. Trained within an inch of her life. I used to wake up at 5 am to train her.

It's served her well though. Very stable, bomb proof temperament and even though she's ancient and rules the roost now, you can still see how well trained she is.

As soon as I knew I was going to foster him with the view to adopt, I booked his puppy training classes an hour each week over 4 week to start just over a month after I have him!

DK :lol-2:
 

nala

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 23, 2011
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I had the joy of sharing my DD with 3 other parents—her actual dad, his wife, and my hubby. I kid that it took four of us to raise such an awesome young lady, but I’m only half kidding. The beauty of coparenting after divorce is that your child is exposed to values, experiences, and lifestyles that you yourself never envisioned. At some point you give up control and hope for the best. She is a healthy, goal-oriented, successful young lady who is not afraid to take risks. I so admire her for that and am indebted to all those adults in her life. So to answer your question—neither!
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
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I’m a flawed parent. I make my share of mistakes but I love my kids with all of my heart.

I have had it out with two teachers. one grabbed my son by the neck and left marks with her fingernails. The other berated him in front of parents, kids and teachers until he cried. I don’t care for bullying.

That might make me a helicopter parent.

My son is a gifted guitar player. I didn’t push. If he wanted to play he would play, if he didn’t, he wouldn’t. I let it be his thing. Now it is a form of therapy for him.

That’s free range parenting

He’s terrible in school. I’ve tried everything in the book from punishment, to bribing, to begging. Nothing works. Now I just ask for passing.

I don’t know what you call that but I’m pretty disappointed in myself that I didn’t succeed in this particular situation.

I’m not a tiger mom at all. I had parents that pushed way to hard and crossed the line into abusive. I think when that happens people overcompensate by being the complete opposite of what they experienced.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
1,243
I was raised in an achievement focused environment. While I have "succeeded" on paper, I think I have permanent emotional and mental damage from it as a result.

After hundreds of hours of therapy, I've gotten to a place where I understand that it's rooted in unconscious lack of internal self-esteem development due to nothing ever being "good enough," continuous improvement, being results oriented, etc. It's not something I desire, but happened due to well intending parents and high achieving managers.

I need to figure out what kind of parent I want to be. I'm afraid I might over compensate with a lack of achievement focus for my kids, and focus on health, happiness, and being a good person. Ultimately, it should be a balance and a process/excellence focused approach.
 
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Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 30, 2019
Messages
11,881
I’m a flawed parent. I make my share of mistakes but I love my kids with all of my heart.

I have had it out with two teachers. one grabbed my son by the neck and left marks with her fingernails. The other berated him in front of parents, kids and teachers until he cried. I don’t care for bullying.

That might make me a helicopter parent.

My son is a gifted guitar player. I didn’t push. If he wanted to play he would play, if he didn’t, he wouldn’t. I let it be his thing. Now it is a form of therapy for him.

That’s free range parenting

He’s terrible in school. I’ve tried everything in the book from punishment, to bribing, to begging. Nothing works. Now I just ask for passing.

I don’t know what you call that but I’m pretty disappointed in myself that I didn’t succeed in this particular situation.

I’m not a tiger mom at all. I had parents that pushed way to hard and crossed the line into abusive. I think when that happens people overcompensate by being the complete opposite of what they experienced.

I think your doing more than ok so
Don't be disappointed in yourself
 

123ducklings

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 10, 2020
Messages
890
I love that you invested time with your niece — a special bond that made a lasting impact. My family tease that I can verge on being a Tiger Mom. My oldest two started reading at ages 3 and 4, for example. It was their own interest and readiness that got us started though; I feel I’m being supportive rather than pushing them. As for helicopter-ing, I think you’re a lot more prone to that when you have only one child, maybe two. I’m very involved in their lives, but I realized pretty quickly as our family grew that it’s impossible to be everywhere at once. I believe it’s better for kids to have independence. My kids are still young and at home; check back with me in 10-15 years when they’ve had a chance to tell me all the ways I’ve failed as a mom ;)2 We all do our best!
 
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