What Is Tiger Parenting? 5 Key Characteristics and Its Impact on Child Development

What is Tiger Parenting? Key Characteristics and Impact

Are you familiar with the term “tiger parenting”? Perhaps you’ve heard it mentioned in conversations or stumbled upon it in articles discussing parenting styles. But exactly what is tiger parenting? 

Is it an effective approach to raising successful children, or does it come at a cost? Let’s explore the concept of being a tiger parent, and discuss the effects and benefits of tiger parenting on children.

What is Tiger Parenting?

Tiger parenting is a style of parenting that originated from Eastern cultures, particularly Chinese and Korean, but has gained attention worldwide. It is characterized by a strict and demanding approach, emphasizing discipline, high expectations, and an emphasis on academic and extracurricular achievements. 

The term “tiger parenting” was coined by Amy Chua, a Yale Law School professor, in her book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” Tiger parenting style is often associated with parents who adopt an authoritarian approach, where they exert a high level of control and authority over their children’s lives.

For example, imagine a tiger parent named Mrs. Lee and her daughter Lily. Mrs. Lee sets exceptionally high standards for Lily’s academic performance, expecting her to consistently achieve top grades in all subjects. 

Mrs. Lee closely monitors Lily’s progress, meticulously tracking her study hours, and even hiring tutors to ensure she excels academically. Lily’s daily routine is strictly structured, with limited time for leisure activities, as Mrs. Lee believes that rigorous studying is the key to success.

Related: Declawing Asian Tiger Parents: 10 Easy Steps To Keep Them At Bay

In this example, Mrs. Lee’s parenting approach exemplifies tiger parenting. She has set extremely high expectations for Lily’s academic performance and maintains strict control over her daily activities. The emphasis on achievement, discipline, and parental involvement are key features of tiger parenting.

Defining Characteristics of Tiger Parenting

So what is tiger parenting style like? Here are some of the core aspects of this type of parenting –

1. High Expectations

Tiger parents set extremely high standards for their children, expecting nothing less than excellence in academics, music, sports, or any other pursuit.

2. Discipline and Structure

Strict rules and routines are integral to tiger parenting. Children are expected to follow rules without question and adhere to a structured schedule.

3. Emphasis on Achievement

Success is highly valued, and tiger parents focus on cultivating their children’s skills and talents to ensure future success.

4. Authoritarian Parenting Style

Tiger parents tend to have an authoritarian parenting style, meaning they have high control and low warmth, often adopting an “my way or the highway” approach.

5. Parental Involvement

A tiger parent is highly involved in their children’s lives, actively monitoring their activities, progress, and performance.

Now that we know what is tiger parenting, let’s explore the benefits of tiger parenting and the negative effects of tiger parenting style.

Benefits of Tiger Parenting

While tiger parenting has its drawbacks, there are certain benefits attributed to this parenting style:

1. Academic Excellence

The emphasis on academic achievement and high expectations can lead to improved academic performance and a strong work ethic in children.

2. Goal-Oriented Mindset

Tiger parenting instills a sense of ambition and goal-oriented thinking in children, helping them strive for success in various aspects of life.

3. Discipline and Time Management

The structured approach of a tiger parent fosters discipline, self-control, and effective time management skills.

4. Cultural Values

Tiger parenting often emphasizes cultural values, traditions, and respect for authority, helping children develop a strong cultural identity.

Related: 5 Kinds Of Fear-Based Parenting Every Parent Should Steer Clear Of

Effects of Tiger Parenting

Here are some of the most obvious probable negative effects that a tiger parent can experience –

1. High Levels of Stress

When you know what is tiger parenting, you realize stress and anxiety can become the biggest risks for your children.

The pressure to meet their parents’ expectations can lead to heightened stress levels in children, potentially affecting their mental and emotional well-being.

2. Limited Autonomy

Tiger parenting can restrict a child’s autonomy, stifling their creativity, and preventing them from exploring their own interests and passions.

3. Strained Parent-Child Relationships

The authoritative approach of tiger parenting can strain parent-child relationships, as children may feel controlled, misunderstood, or unconditionally loved only when they achieve success.

4. Emotional Well-being

The intense focus on achievement may neglect the emotional and psychological needs of children, potentially leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem.

5. Perfectionism and Fear of Failure

Constantly striving for perfection can instill a fear of failure in children, making them risk-averse and reluctant to step out of their comfort zones.

Striking a Balance as a Tiger Parent

While tiger parenting has both positive and negative aspects, it is crucial to strike a balance between discipline and nurturing to ensure the holistic development of children. 

Here are a few suggestions for achieving this balance:

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Instead of setting unattainable goals, encourage your child to strive for personal excellence and growth.

2. Foster Independence

Allow your child to make choices, take risks, and learn from mistakes, promoting their independence and self-confidence.

3. Focus on Emotional Well-being

Pay attention to your child’s emotional needs, create a nurturing environment, and encourage open communication to foster a strong parent-child bond.

4. Encourage a Well-Rounded Approach

While academic performance is essential, encourage your child to explore a variety of interests, hobbies, and extracurricular activities, promoting a well-rounded development.

5. Flexibility and Adaptability

Knowing what is tiger parenting helps you recognize that each child is unique and has their strengths and weaknesses. Adapt your parenting style to suit their individual needs and support their personal growth.


Tiger parenting, with its emphasis on discipline and high expectations, can have both positive and negative effects on children. 

While it may cultivate academic excellence and a strong work ethic, it can also lead to stress, strained relationships, and limited autonomy. Striking a balance between discipline and nurturing is vital for the holistic development of children. 

By setting realistic expectations, fostering independence, and prioritizing emotional well-being, parents can create a supportive environment that encourages their child’s growth and success while recognizing and respecting their individuality. 

Remember, parenting is a journey of discovery, and finding the right balance is key to raising well-rounded and thriving individuals. Ultimately, the goal should be to create an environment that promotes growth, resilience, and happiness in our children.

Related: Helicopter Parenting: How Keeping Children From Failing Can Promote Failure

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the tiger model of parenting? 

The Tiger Parenting model is characterized by strict discipline, high expectations, and a focus on academic and extracurricular achievements.

What is a tiger mom behavior? 

Tiger mom behavior involves strict parenting, demanding high academic performance, and setting rigorous standards to ensure a child’s success.

What is tiger vs elephant parenting? 

Tiger parenting is strict and demanding, emphasizing academic success. Elephant parenting is nurturing, providing support while encouraging independence and resilience.

benefits of tiger parenting

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