Beyond The Tiger Mom

[Book Review]

I find that I am living in a 'rojak' country in many ways. The food, the fashion, and of course, the parenting style. Generally, we have Asian-style of upbringing, but we are largely influenced by the western culture and practices when we start parenting our own children. With the availability of Internet, we got more and more confused what kind of parenting style we should adopt. And one thing is for sure, we are increasingly shaped by the western research about children. BUT, are the research studies done by the western culture really relevant to us Asians? I often have this question and I'm glad to have my hands (and eyes) on this book - Beyond The Tiger Mom, that provides me with more insight to the east and the west parenting styles and how we can actually reap the benefits from both.

Maya Thiagarajan, the author of this book, is an Indian born in Chennai. She lived and studied there until she reached her teens when she left India and travelled to the US and spent 15 years studying and teaching there. She moved to Singapore in 2010 and is now teaching in an International school here. Because of her experience in teaching and exposure to different cultures, she gave a good insight to the different parenting styles in her book.

This book's thesis is that Western and Eastern parenting philosophies have vastly different strengths and weaknesses; therefore, parents on either side of the world can learn from each other - an in order to truly raise successful children in a global world, perhaps they need to learn from each other and blend the best of both worlds together. This book offers research-backed suggestions on how to combine the best aspects of Asian and American parenting and education philosophies. - Maya Thiagarajan

True to what she has penned, Maya provided many solid examples of the worthiness of both styles. She did not belittle any of these 2 different parenting styles, instead, she uses a comparative lens to examine the 2 different approaches. It is a win-win when we, as parents, are able to abstract the superiority of both approaches and adopt them.

In her book, Maya highlighted hot topics like 'Why are all the Asian kids on the Math team', 'Raising readers: is the West really best?' and 'Raising resilient children: how do we deal with failure?'. The research and interviews she used to back up her writing are invaluable and have given me a deeper understanding to these topics. After each chapter, she even provides practical tips which serve as a quick reference because we all do have short memories.

Overall, this has been a good read, a book I find it hard to put down because the topics discussed are close to my heart. I didn't take me long to finish the book, but it took me more time to pen this post because I was constructing in my mind how I can best share this gem with you.

Before I leave you, I have my copy to give away! This copy was given to me for review sake. Since I have finished reading it, I think it is right to pass-it-on. If you would like to get my copy, please share with me your parenting view on my Facebook post. I will do a random draw by 22nd Jan (Sun) 2359 and mail it out to you. Normal postage to local address will be absorbed.  I hope you could get it before CNY and read it over the long break. If you didn't win or decided not to participate (after all I only have a copy to give away), you may purchase the book here.


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