I’m So Not a Tiger Mom

Call me crazy. Call me lazy. Call me the worst mother in America. But it won’t make me care about getting my kids into an Ivy League school.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you haven’t read the Wall Street Journal’s  “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” The essay, an excerpt from Amy Chua’s memoir The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, helps Western parents understand why Chinese parents are able to produce so many “math whizzes and musical prodigies.” I urge you to read the article. I couldn’t possibly do it justice here.

Many around the internet are calling Chua’s methods abusive. And while I   disagree with a good deal of her article, I applaud Chua for calling out Western parents’ tendency to inflate their kids’ egos to no good end. She makes valuable arguments about kids only feeling genuine pride when they’ve actually achieved something. I believe in keeping score. I believe in winners and losers. I believe it’s time to stop telling kids they’re the best when they’re not.

However, while everyone’s debating Chua’s methods, I’m still wondering why it matters so much where your kids go to college anyway. Frankly, I don’t think it matters where you went to college. Obviously the Ivy League opens doors. But does everyone you know with a good job and a good, healthy relationship have Harvard, Princeton, or Yale on their resumes? No school is a guarantee of long-term happiness and success.

Now of course I’d be proud if my kids went to Harvard. I’m not made of stone. But I don’t value that goal to the point where I’m willing to spend the next fifteen years drilling my kids with flashcards, supervising three-hour long violin practices, or forbidding sleepovers, school plays, and summer camp like Chua did when her kids were young. And it’s not that I think “Tiger Moms” are bad moms. I hate that term anyway–“bad” mom. I simply disagree with the underlying assumption of Chua’s essay: that my kids earning straight A’s or getting an Ivy League education will guarantee my happiness and theirs.

Why wouldn’t I want “the best” for my kids? I guess I have a different definition of “the best.” Above all else, my husband and I want our kids to be good. Not only good at something, good.

Lest you think Bryan and I don’t have our own hang ups about how our kids present themselves in the world, I should clarify. We nudge them all the time. Much to our friends’ chagrin we make our kids call adults outside of our family Mr. and Mrs. as a sign of respect. We spend a great deal of time teaching them how to treat each other, how to be a friend, a host, and a guest. We impose our values on them all the time. Aside from an obvious “imposition” like no TV on the Jewish Sabbath, keeping certain kosher laws, etc, we lecture them about gratitude several times a day. They get sick of it. We don’t care. We are their parents. It’s our job to guide them. It’s our job to help them become adults that we would want in our lives. Goodness. Goodness matters to us more than anything else, even more than academics. It’s true.

I don’t know what kind of mom this makes me. I’m certainly not a Tiger Mom. If you’ve read my manifesto calling for an extra-curricular crackdown, then you know I’m not a “soccer mom” or a “self-esteem mom” either.

I don’t have the answers. If I did, maybe I’d have a book out about parenting and I’d get to do the talk-show circuit like Amy Chua. Mr. Lauer, I’m free any time!

EDITED on 1/21/11 to share this link to THE BEST article on Chua’s book I’ve seen. “War Cry of the Values -Based Parent” by Rabbi Shumley Boteach in The Huffington Post.

The following two tabs change content below.
Nina is a columnist at The HerStories Project and Tcjewfolk.com, and a contributing writer at Kveller.com and Greatnewbooks.org. Her essays have appeared regularly at Brain, Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward and have been syndicated in The Times of Israel as well as Jewish newspapers across the country. Her short stories have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines, and she loved participating in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother. Nina lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

Latest posts by Nina Badzin (see all)

48 Responses to I’m So Not a Tiger Mom
  1. Jana @ An Attitude Adjustment
    January 12, 2011 | 6:13 am

    The point you make about college is a great one. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a piece back in 2005 about this very thing (http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/10/10/051010crat_atlarge), and when I was teaching, I eagerly shared it with my students. “Ivy League” colleges are great and all, but they don’t guarantee happiness and success; similarly, one can be super-happy and successful if she or he hasn’t gone to an Ivy League. (Though I can’t remember a time I’d call myself super happy. Ha. Maybe that’s what’s missing!)

    I haven’t read the Tiger Mom piece because I’m working on my own piece about how news is bad for your health. So.

    But now I suppose I will have to read it, to have a more informed idea. I suspect that being a Tiger Mom really doesn’t make your kids any happier. I suspect that the pressure might cause them to spontaneously combust, or at least need therapy. And I also assume that if you’re busy being a Tiger Mom, you don’t have much energy left for yourself. Doesn’t sound good to me.

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 10:28 am

      Jana! Thanks for that link! Gladwell always provides a nice, clear perspective. And your point about being a Tiger Mom leaving no time for yourself–EXACTLY!!

  2. Amy Sue Nathan
    January 12, 2011 | 6:50 am

    Crazy stuff. I’m glad that I’m at the actual point of considering college for my daughter — almost — she’s ONLY in 10th grade. And my son is already in college.

    Guess I missed the tiger mom boat.

    Funny thing – they’re both FINE!

  3. Graham
    January 12, 2011 | 8:01 am

    Ok — I’m new to your blog — and also not a Mom — and I haven’t read the book — I hope everyone won’t think ill of me as a result.

    That said, Nina, I have to push a little on the premise of your posting. First, are you certain that your perspective on this is not going to change as your kids get closer to college? Granted, perhaps what you are saying is that you aren’t going to go crazy over whether your nine-year-old is publishing their first book (as a way of getting an ‘edge’ on the admissions process).

    I guess the big question is — Ivy League or not — do you believe that elite schools are worth the ‘costs’? I would imagine, having graduated from an elite university yourself, that you might end up wanting your kids to have some of the very same benefits you enjoyed. Certainly I can see where the ‘cost’ (both monetary and otherwise) of these schools may outpace the benefits. But reflecting back on my own experience at Wash U — I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And that’s not to say that I wouldn’t be a happy, well-adjusted, employed, and self-sufficient adult had I attended the University of Wisconsin along with most of my high school peers. I also don’t believe that I would have been substnatively happier, more successful, or well-adjusted had I attended Harvard or Princeton or Yale — but I don’t poo-poo the enduring value those institutions deliver to their students. Nor do I underestimate the ‘intangibles’ that my Wash U experience provided — far beyond the perceived ‘value’ of the name on my resume or diploma on my wall — which I do not believe I would have found at just any other institution.

    Just my 2 cents…

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 5:43 pm

      Hey there, Graham. Thanks for the excellent comment. You did a lot to start a good discussion here. I have mixed feelings on some of the brand name college stuff. On one hand, I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world . . . the friends I made in college are still important pillars in my life. And for sure there was a certain self-selection to our friendship. (Here are the “intangibles” you mention.) We all got into the same school, all chose the same school. I met my husband there too, so . . . YES, you have some very valid points.

      I guess I believe elite schools can be worth the cost (in terms of dollars) BUT I’m not convinced that a child getting into one should have anything to do with a parent’s pride or shame in the child. I’m not sure it’s worth the sacrifices it could take . . .

  4. Amy Sue Nathan
    January 12, 2011 | 8:14 am

    I *think* the premise is parenting grooming their kids for college while the kids are still in a bouncy seat — kids progress at different rates at different times in their life — not always an indicator of future performance.

    My son struggled in junior high; went on to excel in high school and attend a world-class university. Not ivy league, but a great school.

    My daughter’s interests change with her eyeliner.

    Let kids be kids while encouraging them to do their best in all aspects of their life.

    No one is dissing good schools here. But really? I have a friend who is almost 50 and reminds people all the time he went to Yale. Dude, get over it.
    Glad you went, glad you graduated, glad you’re successful. Move on.

  5. Jen Erickson
    January 12, 2011 | 8:40 am

    I have two sons in high school. One is a freshman and one is a junior. I don’t know about anybody else, but just getting through the freshman year of high school was a victory. Hormonal, sassy, big for their britches and then, one fine, glorious day they returned to a normal human being. Only with a deeper voice and several inches taller. You throw grades and GPA into this mix and I had no fingernails left thinking they would be living in my basement forever. I was stressing constantly about their grades. They weren’t. I agree with Amy in that you “let your kids be your kids and encourage them to do their best in all aspects of their life”. I was the first in my family to attend and graduate from college. I will be happy wherever my children go and encourage them to check out a variety of schools. I think what matters is what you do in the time you are there and what you do when you shed that backpack for briefcase. Figuratively speaking.

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 5:47 pm

      Amy and Jen! I’m so grateful we’re cyber-buddiesand you guys can provide the much-needed “parent of a teenager” aspect on my posts. Both of you mention the reality of of a kid whose interests change. From reading Chua’s essay, it seems she would say that a “Tiger Mom” wouldn’t accept that. It’s certain activities or nothing… and it’s certain activities whether you like it or not.

  6. liz
    January 12, 2011 | 9:19 am

    I agree with you. We should nudge and encourage BUT kids need to learn about how to deal with life, and them being stroked and awarded and made to be a “winner” for every damn thing…we just aren’t doing them any favors!

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 5:49 pm

      Exactly. No favors at all. I want my kids to get the message that they have to work hard to achieve their goals. They will certainly get that message from us. What they won’t get is that they MUST attend an elite university. However, if that’s what they want, they’ll definitely hear from us that it takes a lot of hard work to get there. There’s no “hoping” you get in–it’s work hard or don’t bother. That’s just the reality. Competition is stiff out there.

  7. Jennifer Karol
    January 12, 2011 | 9:40 am

    I agree that an Ivy League education won’t promise happiness, wealth, or health, but what they do promise is a better opportunity. These “elite” schools often have a more extensive active alumni network, better “connections” for internships, and better career placement.I agree with you that I don’t think you should start prepping your kids and age 5; however; if in junior high and high school your child shows a penchant for math or science and starts talking about wanting to be a doctor, why not encourage them to reach for the stars and go to one of the schools that have the “best” programs for what they are interested in (whether this school is ivy league or not) and (whether their interests are dance, science, or culinary arts).

    As a parent I just want my daughter to have every opportunity – and going to an elite school provides more opportunity. Now excuse me while we work on our flash cards; we have our Mandarin tutor coming in at 11am.

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 5:52 pm

      Why doesn’t Romy speak Mandarin already! She’s so behind! Bad mom, bad mom, bad mom! Seriously though–I hear you on wanting the best opportunities . . . I just worry about the over emphasis on one definition of “the best.”

  8. lori sica
    January 12, 2011 | 10:07 am

    I could not agree more. We live in a world where kids are not allowed to be kids. So we end up with a generation of adult children, poor decision makers, teen parents, who think responsibility is a dirty word.
    And yes I want my children to not only be good at something, but love what they do. There are no letters you can put after your name to that equate to success like loving what you do.

  9. Jack
    January 12, 2011 | 10:19 am

    I am far less concerned about where my kids go to college than I am with trying to ensure that they go to one. After 20+ years in the workforce this state school graduate sees limited benefits to spending that kind of money on an Ivy League education.

    There is some truth to the value of the alumni association but it doesn’t preclude the benefits from being available elsewhere. If you are applying for your first job it is helpful to have a Harvard or Yale listed on your resume, but after that it becomes less useful because experience matters more.

    I have had as much or more “career success” as my friends who went to Ivy league schools. But the best part is that I didn’t graduate with $100k plus in loans.

    It takes serious money to pay off those loans and they can stick with you for a decade and more.

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 9:40 pm

      LORI- Amen!!!

      JACK- my husband is enthusiastically nodding over your comment. He’s actually yelling out statistics to support exactly what you’re saying and shouting things like “not everyone is looking to work in the same 10 investment backs in Manhattan!!” If you ever come to Minnesota, the two of you need to meet for a drink.

      • Jack
        January 13, 2011 | 1:15 pm

        He sounds like a very smart man. :) On a serious note every January or so I write the same post about the private school dilemma. It is hard to send these kids to private school.

        But that is a slightly different topic than this one.

  10. Barbara King
    January 12, 2011 | 11:18 am

    Perhaps because I’m out of the loop on “momming” I missed learning about the Tiger Mom. Hmmm, shame, blame and pressure—and that’s a good thing? Nina, I like your style of parenting—probably because it mirrors what Michael and I tried to do. Interestingly, it compelled us to be “good” as well because we found kids practice what they see over what they hear. Thanks for the post!

  11. Lisa Pierson Weinberger
    January 12, 2011 | 1:19 pm

    I grew up in a small town where the concept of applying for entrance to nursery school (let alone actually having children or parents interviewed for a coveted spot) was unheard of. When I was three, my mom dropped me off at the local JCC and that was that. Thirty years later, I find myself trying not to get caught up in LA’s “pre-school panic” where young parents fear that if their children do not obtain a spot at an elite pre-school, they stand no chance of leading a successful life (reasoning: if my child does not get into this “feeder” preschool, they won’t be accepted into that great private elementary school, and as a result will never gain entrance to that elite private high school, and therefore stand no chance at going to a good college…which of course means a life on the street).

    Before I had my son, I looked at these people with disdain. My JCC and public school education gained me admittance to Wash U. I went to a public school for my graduate work, but found myself receiving job offers for the same positions as students from Harvard or Stanford Law School. I decided that I had been just as “successful” as people whose educational pedigree was more impressive than mine.

    Now that I’m a parent and am looking ahead at my child’s educational path (and, yes, he’s only 15 months old), I understand how parents allow themselves to become obsessed with the name of a school rather than its fit for their particular child. Everyone wants their child to have every opportunity — and, without question, “big name” schools offer a cache that can be very helpful in the professional world. BUT, I still do not think that cache is worth the overwhelming pressure that is put on children and teenagers to achieve academically at any cost. I hope that, as Ethan begins his educational journey, I can keep myself from falling prey to the Ivy League panic so that his formative years are not focused solely on academic success.

    The film “The Race to Nowhere” does a great job of exploring this issue further (http://www.racetonowhere.com/) for anyone who is interested.

    My apologies for posting such a long comment — when it comes to this issue, I can’t help myself!

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 9:45 pm

      LISA- there’s no question that the pressure in some cities is worse than others. Maybe I’m delusional, but I don’t feel it very much in Minneapolis. In fact, in the affluent suburb where I was an English teacher, only a small percentage of students even applied to schools out of state. This was a FAR cry from the competitive atmosphere in Highland Park where I grew up. Although even there, I’m not sure that competition starts as early as pre-school . . . maybe because most of us in HP and all over the North Shore went to our public high schools for the most part.

      I think you’re right about parents hoping one school will be a feeder to the next school and so on . . . as if there’s a magic quality to the formula.

      But I digress . . . I’ll have to see that film. I’ve seen others mention it on several different blogs.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

    • Lisa Adams
      January 13, 2011 | 6:21 am

      I’ve heard everyone RAVE about that movie. They are bringing it to us next week; just got the email this morning. Can’t wait.

  12. Scary Mommy
    January 12, 2011 | 1:35 pm

    I would love my kids to go to Ivy League schools, I would. But, if that’s what it takes to get them there? No thanks. I’ll do it my way. And, hope that they attend good schools in spite of me.

  13. julie
    January 12, 2011 | 2:25 pm

    You took the words right out of my mouth, Nina. I spent 16 years teaching high school English and I can’t count the number of my students who sacrificed their CHILDHOODS to the gods of College Admissions.

    Instead of trying extracurricular activities for fun or (gasp) having a part-time job, these kids spent huge chunks of time studying for AP classes in which they were often inappropriately placed; and their “free” time volunteering for causes in which they did not believe because it might look good on a resume. I’m not saying their parents weren’t well-intentioned or that these weren’t good, hard-working kids deserving of success.

    But when these kids were still rejected by the Ivy League (because, let’s face it – the competition is STIFF these days) they were literally heartbroken. What had all that sacrifice been for? They were surely not happy.

    And the kids who did get in? More often than not, they hadn’t had a fulfilling high school experience. They’d been stressed. And pressured. By themselves and their families. A rare few were natural overachievers who thrived on the competition. Brilliant, geniune success stories you couldn’t help but smile over.

    But I refuse to risk that with my own kids. They are smart. Kind. Polite (I agree with all that you said – even the Mr. Mrs. thing). Most importanly, I think they’re happy. And I am going to let them stay that way.

    Sorry for the rant – but a friend of mine just told me her 7th grader is taking the SAT’s for practice. Not PSAT. SAT. 7th grade. I wish her well.
    But her poor son? I can’t even imagine….

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 9:54 pm

      SCARY MOMMY–ha! Exactly!

      JULIE–I agree with every single word here. In the high school where I taught, they let kids decide where they wanted the honors track or the “regular” track (at least for English). There was no test or anything to determine ability. Basically every ninth grader who could finish a book signed up for honors, which made “regular” English really . . . well, lower than regular. The entire system was flawed with everyone scrambling to put “honors” on their course list. And never apologize for “ranting” on my blog. That’s what I’m here for! :)

      • julie
        January 12, 2011 | 11:21 pm

        We had the same terrible schism between “honors” and “regular” = yuck!
        I miss the teaching all the time. But the politics and paperwork? Never.
        Thanks for bringing this up! (and for the visit and comment to my blog… I’m working on getting a jumpstart on my femininity. Beginning with brushing my teeth tonight!!! ;-)

  14. Pop
    January 12, 2011 | 2:32 pm

    Great discussion so far!

    I however, have little to add to the discourse beyond a stupid comment:

    When I saw this blog post in my Inbox, I thought it was some comparison to Cougar Moms.

    • Nina Badzin
      January 12, 2011 | 9:55 pm

      Give me a few years, Pop!! I’m not quite there.

  15. Scott Hooks
    January 12, 2011 | 3:38 pm

    Happiness. That is all I want for my children. Being a parent may be your most important job, but it isn’t your only job. Pursuit of [your own] happiness is the most important principle of life. So what leads to happiness?

    I suppose the answer depends on how much balance you believe there is between nature and nurture in how a person ulitimately chooses to lead their life. I for one believe that setting a good example of happiness yourself and helping a child accel at something they have a natural ability, fondness, or even just a tendency for (i.e., nurturing the nature) is the most effective way to ensure a happy child that becomes a happy adult.

    I certainly apply my own moral standards to what I consider appropriate methods for achieving happiness, as all parents should. Ultimately, I strive for my children to be RICH, but not monetarily. I want to teach them Respect, Integrity, Confidence, and Humility.

    Yes, in a society where who you know is a big (potential) influencer of business success, there are benefits to the connections that can be made at an elite school – no question. But a passion for something, a healthy work ethic, and an entrepreneurial mindset are far more important. The best thing you can do for your kids is to be an example of happiness that inspires them to do the same.

  16. Leslie Paskoff
    January 12, 2011 | 3:52 pm

    Nina, I’m glad you wrote about this recent WSJ piece. I found it so interesting to read about this particular perspective in child rearing. While I personally don’t agree with Ms. Chua’s parenting style, I too, must agree that often we Americans try to make our children happy and comfortable at the expense of raising them to be capable and self sufficient. Being a good person is good. Being good and capable (I’m not referring to a specific skill or grade but rather having the ability to navigate life) is even better. My French niece was once in the car with me when I was dropping my kids off at school. I told my children to ” have a nice day–enjoy school” and she said that a French mother would never say that. A French mother would tell her children to “work your hardest in school today.” I think the ideal is to set high enough expectations so your children can come closer to reaching their potential, for THEM. It shouldn’t be about the parent’s honor or embarrasment if the child doesn’t reach a certain goal. In terms of Ivy League schools, I agree that they are not in any way the be all and end all. Prestigious, yes. Does it make it more likely you’ll have a better life? I don’t think so. But that’s another whole topic….

    • Nina Badzin
      January 15, 2011 | 9:10 am

      LESLIE- thank you for the thoughtful reply (literally as in, filled with thought). You raise some great points. I especially liked this line: “Being a good person is good. Being good and capable (I’m not referring to a specific skill or grade but rather having the ability to navigate life) is even better.” I 100% agree!

  17. Lisa Adams
    January 13, 2011 | 6:15 am

    Hi Nina… I need to come back and read more of the comments (limited time at the moment) but I will throw in an anecdote to the mix. I only applied to one college back in the day because with early decision that’s how it was done. I got into Cornell University and thought that was the greatest thing. My brother went to Princeton. Now he and I had done well and our parents could brag.

    Long story short, once there I realized huge classes (Intro to Psych was 2000 kids) I realized that’s not what I wanted. I wanted a smaller, more personal education– even if I had to give up the Ivy name. I transferred junior year to Franklin & Marshall College. I loved it, I know it was the best decision I made. My parents later got very involved with the school and now my father is the Chair of the Board of Trustees… the school is now an integral part of our lives. And, I met my husband there, to boot… so it was the perfect place for me. I was glad I realized my “mistake” of choosing the wrong school quickly enough to change.

    The key is that when I called my parents and said, “I’m unhappy here. I want to transfer and here’s why,” they supported me and said, “What can we do to help?” They didn’t say, “not possible” or try to dissuade me because I was giving up an Ivy League education. It’s that response that made my heart soar as their child. I will always remember that reaction and try to implement that practice with my own 3 children, ages 12, 9 and 4.

    Education comes in many places and in many different ways. If your eyes are open you can learn every day, and from people you may least expect it. I’m a very tough mom but I believe there needs to be wiggle room sometimes.

    • Nina Badzin
      January 15, 2011 | 9:13 am

      Thanks for sharing your story here, Lisa! I love the words in your last paragraph–there’s an idea for an entirely different post.

  18. Madeleine Sherman
    January 13, 2011 | 9:57 pm

    Plato, Einstein, Newton, Beethoven, Confucius, Picasso, Michaelangelo, Lao-Tze all managed to be successful without a) going to Ivy league colleges or b) pursuing lucrative careers in professions that have high prestige.

    If Ms. Chua is reaching for the stars on behalf of her own children, she had better look at what exactly that means instead of lazily assuming that Harvard, Yale or Princeton followed by a great investment banking or Medical career equates to personal success, or a fulfillment of parental responsibilities.

  19. Michael Begich
    January 13, 2011 | 10:00 pm

    You make the critical point when you say “I simply disagree with the underlying assumption of Chua’s essay: that my kids earning straight A’s or getting an Ivy League education will guarantee my happiness and theirs.” However, I would content that Chua really only cares about her own pride and happiness. If your kid grows up to be a concert pianist, or a reknown scientist, or the President, you should be proud of him or her. She would be more proud of herself, and that’s what I can’t understand.

    • Nina Badzin
      January 15, 2011 | 9:15 am

      MADELINE AND MICHAEL:

      you both picked up on what I really wanted my main point to be . . . less about the idea of Ivy Leagues and more about the danger of a parent’s sense of self being so intimately wrapped up in our kids’ “successes.”

  20. 30ish Mama
    January 14, 2011 | 12:26 am

    I’m all for giving your kids every opportunity you can but I would never want to be a tiger mom. That kind of pressure doesn’t do anyone any good. Mom and kids would be too stressed for any real learning to happen.

  21. Jill Kemerer
    January 15, 2011 | 8:59 am

    I read the article, too, and am posting about it next week. I enjoy your take and agree that the name of the college we go to doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Nice blog!

    • Nina Badzin
      January 19, 2011 | 10:08 pm

      Looking forward to reading it, Jill.

  22. Tanya
    January 15, 2011 | 11:27 am

    Loved your perspective on Chua. My mom is half Chinese half American. Her mom is Chinese. I know what you’re talking about and I know what Chua’s talking about. I’m blessed that my mom gave me the best of both worlds!! I know what type of mom Chua is and I’d never ever want to be that. I know what type of mom she’s criticizing and I wouldn’t want to be that either. I’m very happy living in the middles with slightly stronger Chinese tendencies. Ohh and I make my kids call adults Mr and Mrs too.

    • Nina Badzin
      January 19, 2011 | 10:09 pm

      Thanks for your input, Tayna! I’m striving to be in the middle, too.

  23. World Spinner
    January 17, 2011 | 10:06 am

    I'm So Not a Tiger Mom | NINA BADZIN'S BLOG…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  24. amber
    January 17, 2011 | 3:44 pm

    Straight As do not happiness make. But good manners and respect for others? Can go a long way. I think you get to be called a Smart Mom.

  25. Julie Wiener
    January 19, 2011 | 11:17 am

    Dear Nina,
    I really like your blog in general, and this Tiger Mom post in particular — am so tired of parents obsessing over elite colleges, rather than character/behavior etc. You may like my article in today’s Jewish Week:
    http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/roaring_back_tiger_mom
    and my blog: http://www.thejewishweek.com/blogs/julie_wieners_mix
    best,
    Julie Wiener

    • Nina Badzin
      January 19, 2011 | 10:10 pm

      AMBER: “Smart Mom” . . . I’ll take it! :)

      JULIE: Thank you! Going to check out your take on the issue right now.

  26. Dirty Hamster
    January 20, 2011 | 5:32 pm

    Three children, 1 natural, 2 step-children, none went to a ivy league school. All three are smart, happy and sucessful. One is a peds nurse, one a business owner and the third is hospital security. All three are married and all three have 2 children, who are happy and healthy. Enough said.

  27. iowadogblog
    October 19, 2011 | 9:13 am

    Ok, I checked out this post based on a comment from your recent post about the baby product, and I feel just like the commenter (can’t think of her name) did about being on the same page! As I (HOPEFULLY) leap into the world of parenting soon, I feel like I have a blogging-parenting guide in you. I checked out your post about the extracurricular crackdown, and though I don’t have kids yet, I couldn’t agree more! I hear from my friends and colleagues all the time about entire weekends eaten up by tournaments, evenings eating dinner at 8:30 because of all the practices, and constant chauffeuring around town. I have pledged to myself that I will not let these extracurriculars take over our lives, but I also understand that parents feel a lot of pressure to let/encourage their kids to be involved in the “cool” sports (like all the club sports–ick) and to offer enrichment through a million different classes. So anyway, thank you for this post and the others in which you model a thoughtful, loving, reasonable approach to parenting. They give me hope!

    • Nina Badzin
      October 19, 2011 | 12:01 pm

      Awww, thank you so much! What a thoughtful comment. There’s no question that my husband and I are a bit more old-fashioned than your average parent these days. Our marriage and our own lives have not been lost in the mix, and we’re big on not letting the kids get away with running the house like you see so much these days. We feel we’re in the minority a lot though. Can be lonely out there in the minority!

      So glad you found me by the way! Going to check out your blog now (If I haven’t been there already . . . I’m losing track!)

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

CommentLuv badge

Trackback URL http://ninabadzin.com/2011/01/12/im-so-not-a-tiger-mom/trackback/