The term tiger mother is creeping into the British press more often (such as this article in today's Daily Mail). A tiger mother is a strict, pushy parent, who expects high academic grades from her children. The term was popularised by the American author of Chinese background Amy Chua, who has written a book entitled Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
In a Wall Street Journal article earlier this year she listed some of the things that she has never allowed her daughters to do:
• attend a sleepover
• have a playdate
• be in a school play
• complain about not being in a school play
• watch TV or play computer games
• choose their own extracurricular activities
• get any grade less than an A
• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
• play any instrument other than the piano or violin
• not play the piano or violin.
Regarding getting her daughters to practise their musical instruments, she says "For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It's hours two and three that get tough". She says that Chinese parents are blunt, to the point of abusiveness, to their children, calling them lazy, fatty, garbage and such like and insists that it does the children no harm.
In addition to all the hours she spends cajoling - or forcing - her children to practise their music and improve their grades, Amy Chua still manages to find time to be a professor at Harvard Law School. Oh dear, I feel very inadequate!