Archive for February, 2011

Does Tiger Mothering Work on Boys?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Last weekend, I was speaking with two male electrical engineers from Korea, who had read with interest the WSJ’s article on Amy Chua.  “No way, would this Tiger Mother approach work on boys,” was their view, noting that Amy Chua has two daughters.

This got me thinking.  Girls tend to be more compliant than boys.  They’re able to sit still longer without fidgeting whether long hours at school or at the piano.  In fact, our school model seems designed for obeisant girls.  So why is it moms are better able to impose their will on daughters?  Is there something in the dynamic of mother and daughter that allows or even encourages this?

Are dads less likely to intervene or oppose this strict tiger mothering because after all moms know better with daughters?  Would they be less tolerant of tiger mothering of their sons and thus more likely to speak up against mom’s harsh parenting?  Are moms more tolerant and less strict with their sons?  Would they/could they impose their iron will with them?

The Asian violin and piano prodigies in Orange County are by and large young women.   Should we then conclude that Tiger Mothering might be gender selective, best reserved for daughters?

Was your mom far stricter with you than with your brother?  As a mom, do you take a less strict approach to parenting with your son, allowing him leeway that you would not allow your daughter?