Coming Out Of Cage: Journey of a Tiger Mom by E. Way is a book of self reflection where the author recalls how it was for her growing up in a traditional Chinese family where high emphasis is placed on academic results and achievements.
As the daughter of immigrant parents her parents placed a high emphasis on her achieving excellent academic results as they saw it is the BEST way for her to succeed in life and to make them proud.
They neglected the fact that they had to give her moral and emotional support and not just financial support so that she could have a holistic education during her childhood years.
E. Way herself adopted her parents method of bringing up her kids and used to pride herself on doing everything for her kids by providing for them the best education possible.
She unknowingly subscribed to the notion that Good grades and high test scores were everything. This brought upon her and her family lots of stress with unrealistic expectations.
Things started breaking down and there were torn relationships between herself and her kids. Her marriage failed and she tried to use her successes in work to “redeem herself” but found herself suffering from cancer instead. Her daughter too had a serious illness which was life changing. Everything seem to be failing.
You are not who you think you are,
You are not who others think you are,
You are who you think others might think
The focus that she had on outward appearance and fitting in with so called society norms had caused her a lot of agony. She was pursuing all the wrong things in life and feeling empty side
E. Way had an “Ah Ha” moment when she realized that her focus had been wrong all the time. You can say her eyes were open when she finally surrendered all to GOD.
I found this book an extremely refreshing read and could relate to what she has written as I’ve personally experience majority of the things which she had mention growing up in a Chinese household.
Sometimes what you think that is best for your child can be really damaging in the long run when one is not focus on fully nurturing the child as listed in the section where E.Way admitted the mistakes that she made.
Mistake #5: Mindlessly Saying Foolish and Hurtful Things
I personally have suffered the brunt of this mistake which E. Way has listed during my childhood. Growing up in a Chinese family many elders “think” that it would spur the younger ones to do better if they talk down to you or pass hurtful remarks about you and your demeanor. Unfortunately it does the opposite as it breaks down one’s spirit and drive.
Whatever you do is never good enough and they(the elders) love comparing everything and anything about you to make themselves feel superior/smart and you feel small
It’s all about FACE value and the “so- called” worth and respect that they perceive comes along with it.
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and
honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely,
and admirable. Think about things that are
excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting
into practice all you learned and received from
me—everything you heard from me and saw
me doing. Then the God of peace will be with
you.” Philippians 4: 8-9 (NLT)
It is not about putting a child down but on the contrary giving him the tools and teaching him how to be a better person by assisting him in reaching his potential.
Each child grows and mature at a different rate and as parents we need to realize that even though we want the best for them certainly things that we do for them – solving their problems etc is harmful for them in actuality.
Reading the book made reflect on my parenting style and reminded me not to make the same mistakes that E.Way did .
Do pick up a copy of her book Coming Out Of Cage: Journey of a Tiger Mom and I’m sure you would certainly gain some insight.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.