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The Science Survey

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The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

Tiger Parenting: Is It All Worth It?

Tiger parenting is a parenting style that has been looked down upon but has also been seen as overly successful. However, are the longer term problems that can arise in a child worth it for some academic success?
Parents are supposed to gently nurture their children, while tiger parents push those duties aside for their children’s academic success. (Photo Credit: CDC / Unsplash)

Asian parents are stereotypically seen as strict, both academically and in day-to-day life. This parenting style seems to be proved by their successful children or in some cases, their friend’s successful children. This special kind of parenting using extreme strictness in academics is known as tiger parenting.

Tiger parenting is a term often used to describe an extremely strict and demanding approach to parenting, typically associated with Asian cultures. It emphasizes high expectations for academic achievement and success, often at the expense of other aspects of a child’s development, such as creativity, individuality, and emotional well-being. 

What do tiger parents do?

Tiger parents are known for their rigorous control over their children’s lives, including strict discipline, intense supervision of academic pursuits, and limited freedom for leisure activities. While some argue that this approach produces highly successful individuals, others criticize it for its potential negative impact on children’s mental health and overall happiness.

One of the ways tiger parents try to achieve this academically perfect child is through comparison. Tiger parents often compare their children to others, emphasizing competition and achievement. These constant comparisons can negatively impact children’s self-esteem and mental well-being, as they may feel inadequate or pressured to meet unrealistic standards set by their parents. 

Instead of fostering a supportive and nurturing environment for growth, tiger parents constantly compare their children to others which can create feelings of anxiety, stress, and low self-worth in children. Additionally, this type of behavior can hinder the development of a healthy sense of self and autonomy, as children may prioritize meeting external expectations over exploring their own interests and passions. 

Another way that tiger parents try to propel their children to success is through a constant stronghold on their child’s lives. Tiger parents will control their children’s extracurriculars and studies in order to get their children into the perfect environment to succeed. This involves scheduling numerous activities both related to and unrelated to school, such as sports, playing musical instruments, tutoring, or choosing what classes their child is taking. 

At times, this also means that these parents will monitor their children’s friendships to eliminate distractions in order to enhance their children’s chances of academic excellence. Some parents will even outright prevent their child from befriending someone based on the other child’s academics and behavior. 

Although this approach can create harmful pressure and stress on their child, tiger parents believe this is all necessary for their children to reach their full potential. 

Controlling every aspect of a child’s life, as tiger parents do, can lead to several problems. It can deprive children of the chances to explore their own interests and develop independence. With their parents choosing everything for them, there’s very little need for a child to branch off on their own and try to figure things out for themselves. 

Being constantly monitored can also create high levels of stress and anxiety which both negatively impact a child’s mental health. Additionally, this rigid control can strain the relationship between the parents and the child, leading to resentment and rebellion from the child as they grow older. Moreover, focusing purely on academic success can overlook the importance of developing emotional and social skills and hinder the child’s ability to navigate real-world challenges. 

Although tiger parents have good intentions with wanting to help their children reach their full potential, these parenting methods create lots of pressure and stress which can cause significant mental health problems, leading to significant long-term drawbacks on their child’s overall well-being and growth.

Benefits of Tiger Parenting

Despite the problems and harsh criticisms that come with tiger parenting, there are some benefits that can come out of this way of parenting. Tiger parents tend to encourage their children to work hard and stay focused, leading to excellent grades and academic success. They also tend to raise more disciplined children with effective time management skills through their strict teachings. The high standards they set for their children help them be more motivated and hardworking, able to overcome challenges and not willing to give up easily. 

All of this is highly advantageous in the long term. Academic success can open doors to prestigious universities and scholarships, providing a stable foundation for future career opportunities. Discipline and time management skills are essential for professional success and even just for day-to-day living, as these skills help individuals manage their responsibilities effectively. The ability to overcome challenges is crucial in order to succeed, not just in any career but also in life; resilience helps people adapt and thrive under any circumstances. Even though tiger parenting can have negative effects such as stress, the inability to make one’s own choices, or strained relationships with one’s parents, there are some benefits that help make a child’s life easier in the long run.

Is it worth it?

Whether tiger parenting is truly worth it in the end depends on various factors and perspectives. It has its pros, such as high academic achievement, strong discipline, and excellent time management skills, which can provide a lot more opportunities in the future. Children raised by tiger parents usually are able to develop a strong work ethic and the ability to overcome significant obstacles, which are incredibly valuable traits in any aspect of life.

However, there are notable downsides. The high-pressure environment caused by tiger parenting can lead to stress, anxiety, and mental health issues in children. Olivia Hsin ’26 said, “For tiger parent’s, tiger parenting may seem like an effective way to discipline a child, but I think it’s very destructive to the child’s mental health and will cause the child to become more rebellious.”

In the end, the value of tiger parenting depends on the individual needs of a child. Tasmina Maysha ’26 said, “I think it’s not helpful unless the kid actually takes the advice.” While a structured and disciplined approach to parenting can bring significant advantages, it is important to consider the emotional and psychological costs. It’s also important to keep a balanced approach that incorporates the benefits of high expectations and discipline, while also allowing space for personal growth and emotional well-being. After all, the intense pressure of high expectations often associated with tiger parenting can lead to several negative outcomes. Children raised in these environments may experience high levels of stress and anxiety as they try to meet their parent’s demands and expectations. The constant push for excellence can lead to burnout, diminishing their overall well-being and potentially causing long-term mental health issues. 

Also, the lack of warmth, nurturing, and emotional support in this parenting style can hinder the development of a child’s self-esteem and self-worth. Children might come to believe that their value to not just their parents but in life is solely based on their achievements, leading to issues such as perfectionism and fear of failure.

However, many parents still use this parenting style to try to bring their children to their highest potential without thinking twice about the potential negative effects on their child’s well-being. The lingering question is if it is all worth it. Are all the risks of long term issues in their children worth these perfect grades and other academic achievements? 

This question is hard to answer since children are all different; some might be less affected by strict parenting while for others, this style of parenting could really damage their sense of self. In some children, tiger parenting leads to academic achievement, while in others it just leads to burnout. We might never know a definitive answer to this question given the variables. Therefore, tiger parenting will remain a heated topic for many years to come.

However, many parents still use this parenting style to try and bring their children to their highest potential without thinking twice about the potential negative effects on their child’s well-being. The lingering question is if it’s all worth it.

About the Contributor
Jiangzhuo Wu, Staff Reporter
Jiangzhuo Wu is a Staff Reporter for ‘The Science Survey.’ Jiangzhuo enjoys journalistic writing as a way to share things that they find interesting and exciting. They love the way that photography can capture moments so naturally and at times can make you feel like you’re really there and reliving that moment of your life. Aside from journalism, Jiangzhuo enjoys listening to music, reading and watching movies and T.V. shows. Jiangzhuo plans on studying the field of law in college and plans on becoming a lawyer in the future.