Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tiger Mom

My kids are in swim lessons. The first lesson we signed up for was for 4 wks, 2 evenings a wk. Now they are doing morning lessons simultaneously for 2 wks- tuesday thru friday. I learned a few things today.

1. My kids are the ONLY kids taking more than one lesson at once, and the only kids that are repeating the same level over and over because it is the TOP LEVEL and there is no other lesson. They pass each time.

2. I am known to some of the parents as a Tiger Mom. This is apparently a mom who pushes her kids to their limits without any sympathy. This is the mom who does not compliment falsely, one who says you are not quite there yet, and do not give up. Only this isnt a good thing. I actually do know what a Tiger mom is, and the articles that I read did not depict a kind mother at all. Which I am. I wont lie to my kids though.

3. If you tell a kid to keep treading even though she is tired, she can likely keep treading. This will cause the swim coach surprise. He will say, "I have never been able to get a kid to keep going once they think they are done." Well she wasnt done, I said she wasnt. The lifeguard will not let her drown-if she suffers total burn out and does not get a 2nd wind, the lifeguard will pull her to the side. As it happens, her 2nd wind hits at about 4 min. If they let her quit at 3.5, she wont make the requirement of 5. I know from having her tread with me-she can do 7.

4. My kids according to the staff, are the hardest workers, the most respectful and the best listeners in any class. Good to know. I wonder if that is because we raised them to be all of those things.

5. Other kids at the pool say things like, "give me my goggles" to their parent, they also scream at them, and make other demands in the same manner. Their parents do what their kids say. I wonder if this is possibly why their kids are poor listeners and keep the rest of the class distracted.

6. I tell my kids what their weaknesses are, I encourage them to tackle these. To keep working to attain their goal. I am encouraging, and when I compliment it is usually because they have accomplished something that many adults have yet to accomplish in a swimming pool. When I say, your breathing is wrong, then my kid tries again so I have the opportunity to HONESTLY say, that was an improvement, or good job. I think it means more,and then they do not find out later that I lied and they actually stink at breathing technique.

7. People think I am mean. But my kids are very well behaved and they work hard. They know they will make their goal because they have done it, again and again. We are hard parents, but we are kind. We work with them, not against them. We try not to teach them habits that they will have to unlearn. How do people think Olympians are created? It is from hard work, on part of the Olympian and the guardians/coaches throughout their lives. They probably did not get to quit when they got tired, did not get to boss their parents and coach around. Probably they were told when they were all done and until that point-they gave it their best. I am not raising Olympians, I am raising kids who wont be expecting a hand out, wont expect to not work for what they have.


Tima Murrell said...

I completely agree with you. But I fear that sadly I am one of a very few.

Anna said...

It is posts like these that make me miss you guys. You are such a wonderful force of nature, Jo. And you haven't the slightest mean or ill intended bone in your body. So you keep on being that "tiger mama"