I am not a “Tiger Mom” as Amy Chua defines in “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, but because I am Asian, I understand why she parents with no tolerance for failure and an undivided attention to academics and approved extracurricular activities. I too want my children to be prodigies, but will get there in an environment that is focused and includes play dates and a vacation to Disney. Maybe I am a Buffalo Mother (the buffalo (or ox) comes before the tiger in the Chinese zodiac and is more level-headed and reasonable).
I agree with Amy Chua that “nothing is fun until you are good at it.” It’s completely logical that you have to invest time to get good at something. I don’t want to force my girls into something that I consider acceptable, I want them to find something they enjoy, something they are interested and passionate about and want to spend time doing. Of course, I would love them to like the same passions I have…snowboarding, surfing, golf…it would only be perfect because I could spend time doing my favorite things with my favorite people. But, my girl’s lives are their own and so are their interests and passions.
This past year my Princess started to really show interests in certain activities.
She loves to cook. Real food, fake food, in her indoor kitchen, in her outdoor kitchen, any food, any kitchen.
She loves to drive. She definitely gets this from her father.
She loves to ride horses. I will secretly live through her if she wants to be an equestrian.
She loves to ride her bike. It will make my husband’s life if she becomes a BMX rider.
She loves to play golf.
She loves to dance.
She is so creative.
She loves acrobatics.
I started to have anxiety ensuring I expose my girls to their soon-to-be interests and passions. I have calmed this anxiety with a plan to (1) expose them to a wide variety of activities, (2) be attentive to the ones they enjoy and do the best at, then (3) find the best instructors and facilities to advance their skills. As a parent who likes to be in control, I am realizing more and more as I go through raising my girls through their different stages of life that not everything will be perfect, not everything will go as planned, and to just do my very best.
Love the Buffalo Mother,