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Are you a Tiger Parent?

Tiger Parenting is a term that has become fairly common place since Amy Chua’s bestseller, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was first published in 2011. But Tiger Parenting is hardly a new phenomenon and parents have been pushy, I’m sure, since time began. Ultimately, it’s all about wanting our children to succeed or, possibly, about the fear of them failing.

There does seem to be an extra layer of ‘pushiness’ attached to being a London / Home Counties parent so I was amused (but not entirely surprised) to read a piece in the Evening Standard’s ES magazine the other week entitled, 'How to build a child genius: a guide for modern Tiger Parents' which you can read via this link.

This tongue-firmly-in-cheek article gives a list of ‘essential’ things that tiger parents should do to launch their child on track to become a child genius. The list includes the following:

1. Socialise with the “right” friends
2. Know how to use a computer
3. Learn a musical instrument
4. Learn a foreign language
5. Use flash cards
6. Learn philsophy
7. Take up martial arts
8. Go to Perform (I definitely agree with this one)!!
9. Play Chess and other board games
10. Eat healthily
11. Guide them with homework

Children growing up today are extremely fortunate given the sheer breadth of activities available for them to explore compared with even just a decade or two ago. That said, it seems that modern parents have a tendency to put an excessive amount of pressure on children to be the best at whatever they do.

Having queued myself last week for the best part of an hour to enrol my children in their school’s extra-curricular activities, I know too well how competitive parenting self-perpetuates. At the extreme end, there’s a certain North London leisure centre where parents queue up outside all night in the hope of enrolling their little ones in gymnastics classes…!

Wanting the best for your children is one thing but being too assertive about it and placing too many demands and pressure on the child can have a detrimental effect on their well-being. Moreover, it can actually put them under undue stress for them and potentially adversely affect their confidence.

I’m all for getting children to try different activities to enrich their core learning but it is necessary to get the balance right and ensure that they are also having lots of fun at the same time.

As any regular Perform goers will know, we work on the premise of the 4CsConfidence, Concentration, Communication, Coordination. Underlying all of this is FUN. Children at Perform have so much fun through the games and activities we play; they don’t realise that they are learning important life skills at the same time.

So, whatever activities and classes you embark upon with your children, keep in mind that the more fun they have, the more they will enjoy doing it and, in turn, the more they will grow and develop. 



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    From Cassie Greenwood
    The balance is so hard to achieve! My Daughter did a year of perform classes before we moved to Leicestershire in July (where you sadly don't have classes). I always felt the way you balanced the sessions was perfect- developing a child very naturally, encouraging rather than forcing. I hope that I've learnt from this approach and find the middle ground going forward.
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