Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tiger Mother vs Monkey Mother

Tiger Mother is currently the talk of the town.  People can not get enough of her hardcore nature. It's kind of like a car accident, you can't look away. Only, it would have to be a highly organized and educated car accident. Violins must be involved!

It got me thinking about myself as a Mother and how my culture has inspired me. My children are obese, watch a lot of TV, and can't tell you where the United States of America is.  Whoa Rachel, low blow. I know. I just couldn't help myself.

Anyway, you all know this blog is a bit Rio/Brazil centric. What better than to compare Tiger Mother to Middle Class Brazilian Mothers?

For the sake of this post, I will be referring to Brazilian Mothers as Monkey Mothers.

So the Monkey Mother is just as playful as she sounds. She doesn't have what Tiger Mother would consider control over her children, but her children do laugh.  There's a lot of dancing around and fun to be had.  Monkey Mother's children throw fits but not too often.  That may be because the children usually get what they want in the first place.  Don't misunderstand me now, I'm not saying the Monkey Mother is a push over, although she is a little bit.

Monkeys are clever by nature, and Monkey Mother knows how to happily co-exist with her children. Sure, she may be drinking her cold beer with a baby biting her ankle at 10pm but to each their own.  You see, the Monkey Mother uses a little bit more finesse than the whole I'm the boss thing.  Personally, I think the monkeys live in a bit more of a democracy than a communist nation.

Of course, a democracy with pre-school aged monkeys gets as loud and messy as you would imagine.  But the kids go to school and take classes. Many of these little monkeys dance, play instruments, and speak a foreign language.  They may have never heard of a time out and no is almost as foreign as the Chinese Language itself, but that's just a cultural thing. It works like organized chaos and never ceases to be fascinating.

I find myself somewhere in the middle of this crazy jungle we call Motherhood.  But if I had to choose one of the two, I do believe I'd have to stick with my opposable thumb friend, the monkey.  I mean, if you've ever seen me groom, I kind of look like one. 


  1. I'm definitely more monkey than tiger myself. My mother would prob be more tiger... but I don't play violin or piano and I regularly fail, so not convinced it works. It all just made me cranky.

  2. Your Mom was one? My Mom was quite monkey. I couldn't convince her to put me into dance class. ;)

  3. Just wanted to say I adore the post photo! How "awwww" worthy!

  4. I just love this picture Tracy!