I know some tiger parents who put extremely high pressure on their children, for example, they applied many extra curricular activities, tutorials for their kids and made them very busy. Their children had lose their childhood and it's not good for their development.

But their parents think that it's good for them, it let them grow faster, know more and pushed their children to their limits.

So how should I communicate with those people?

I tried talking to them but most of them are not open-minded, so it's a bit difficult to communicate.


When I took a look at the answers, people might think it's OK for those parents as long as their children feels good, yes, I totally agree with that, but here's an example: (Happened yesterday)

Yesterday was the first day of the book fair, and also summer holiday starts, some of the parents used several thousand dollars just to buy exercise books for their kids for this summer, I agree that learning is important and is a must for children, but the problem is: is this necessary to have that much exercise for them?

Another example happened last month:

Some parents have their children applied for many extra curricular activities: e.g. Monday Piano, Tuesday Singing, Wednesday Swimming + Tutorial, Thursday Tutorial, Friday another extra curricular activities and same for saturday and sunday. When I talk to their parents, I notice their children's emotion, he's already very tired and was even forced by the parent to say "I'm happy". So I think it's a bit too much for a kid even though I agreed learning is very important for kid.

Also, some kids even started tutorial when they're one year old, they started to learn writing, isn't it a bit early??

  • 5
    Are you being open-minded when you talk to them to hear the potential advantages of what they're doing? People will often communicate better with those they feel are actually interested in a conversation instead of a lecture. Jul 16, 2015 at 12:51
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    "Their children had lose their childhood and it's not good for their development". You don't find it good, I'm not a big fan of this approach neither, but it all depends on your kids. The best approach for most kids is probably somewhere between "Lay on the couch watching TV" and "Not have any time for yourself besides extra-curricular activities", but there's a big room for nuance in that. They probably think your education is not good neither, and hopefully they don't try to "teach you" about their ways...
    – Laurent S.
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:29
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I don't see much "parenting" in what you describe as the "social interaction" with these other parents. This is not the place to express disagreement with their parenting style unless it influences you and your children - in this case, please explain, how.
    – Stephie
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:17
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    To clarify: is "communicate with" meant to be a euphemism for "criticize"? Jul 16, 2015 at 17:45
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    What is a "tiger" parent? "they're doing it the wrong way" doesn't sound open-minded - it sounds like you want to convince them of your point of view. Jul 16, 2015 at 19:16

6 Answers 6


To rephrase the question you're saying you have a conflicting view with other parents on how their children should be raised and feel it's your place to pass judgement upon them or to change their ways somehow.

It is not your place to do either, don't even try.

Talk to them about how happy your child is, ask them about decisions they've made and look for lessons you could take from them to become better at bringing up your own child both by doing and by not doing things they've done... and leave it at that.

  • 12
    Lots of wisdom in this answer. Education is a very very touchy subject and the only occasions I would do suggestions (always trying not to be judgemental) is when I'm asked or if I see people close to me going in directions that are merely to cause griefs to them, the child, or me and my family (If you let your little monster do everything he wants because you don't believe in discipline, so be it, but I won't let him behave like that when he is in my house)
    – Laurent S.
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:20

Assuming your opinion is the only right one is not really a sign of open-mindedness.

There's no way you can say with certainty what way is better and, most likely, the best way actually lies somewhere in between - leaving some freedom and forcing some extracurriculars. Your children do go to school, don't they? They would have even more childhood if they didn't, right?

Don't force your opinion on other people. If it really bothers you initiate a conversation about that topic and have some really good arguments prepared, like their children behing unhappy, even sick from those additional activities.

And if those people really, really, REALLY put their children through unnecessary stress, make them miserable, even sick, then notify appropriate government officials. Otherwise it's just your opinion and it's as good as other's.


I tried talking to them but most of them are not open-minded

You're being equally, if not more, closed minded. You have your method of parenting and see it as better as theirs.

It's not your place to tell other how to raise their children. Let them be. They don't walk up to you telling you to place your child in large numbers of extracurriculars, do they?

Of course, if you wanted to have a reasonable discussion about methods of parenting, one in which you respectfully listened to and took into serious consideration what they have to say, go for it. I'm sure that both you and them could benefit from such a conversation.


So how should I communicate with those [who push their children to their limits]?

You talk to them the way you would talk to any other parent. Respect their decisions and parenting style, try to learn from them, and share your concerns about their children with them.

Try to avoid placing blame on the parents or their parenting style, that will often put parents on the defensive, and they won't be open to discussions you might be trying to have.

If you play a role in the child's life, such as an educator or caregiver, try to learn the parent's style - not just enough to mimic it, but enough to understand the foundation of their style. Why they approach life the way they do, and how they teach their children to approach life this way.

Once you understand them, and have walked in their shoes, so to speak, you might be able to improve your relationship with their child. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to use the same techniques and approaches, but knowing how the child is raised and what the child expects gives you a much stronger ability to communicate with that child and meet their needs.

Unless the parents have asked you specifically for parenting advice, it's unlikely that you'll be able to change them simply by communicating your parenting beliefs. This doesn't apply only to so-called "tiger parents" either - most parents will react defensively when told by anyone that their patterns and beliefs are wrong.

When they come to you for help, or ask for suggestions on how to approach something with their child, then you might be able to make suggestions, but trying to change their whole methodology probably isn't the best thing you can do for their children.

Instead, try to focus on how you can provide perspectives to their children they may not be able to experience at home in your function as an educator or caregiver.

If you have no role in their child's life, or their life, then your parenting wisdom will have to wait for those close friends, family, and those whose lives you are involved with. Trying to share your parenting ideas with someone you have no relationship with will have little to no effect.


I'm a "tiger parent" to one of my daughters, but not to the other one. Here's my take.

My oldest daughter does multiplication and division since age 3, she's now eight and does simple calculus. She loves science, especially physics, and since she knew that science would tell her how fast she must ride her bicycle before jumping the curve in order to have enough speed not to fall over after jumping the curve, she would not let me not teach her E = 0.5 * m * v^2 and the corresponding E = m * g * h. She programs in python and participates in SE under my supervision.

My little one, not so much. She likes to learn new words in English but she won't make a full English sentence (our native language is Hebrew). She doesn't like math, and only reads when she gets a lot of attention and praise for it. She is very silly, always cracking jokes and rhyming words. She helps us with her baby brother, and even changes diapers with supervision, of her own vocation.

So I treat them differently. My big one gets books and my little one gets balloons at the start of the summer holiday. Right now they are both in the grass downstairs playing with the balloons. I know that I don't even have to tell them not to leave balloon plastic, they leave the grass cleaner than they found it. After dinner the big one will probably read a book while the little one does something that I cannot even imagine yet, every day something different.

Although some "tiger parents" might push their kids too far, I'm lucky to be a father to a "tiger daughter". She pushes me to learn, to teach her! Do recognize that these children exist, and in my opinion not pushing these children to their limits is worse than pushing 'normal' children to the limits. When in doubt, give a push.

  • I agree fully with everything here... but this doesn't at all answer the question, which is how to talk to tiger parents. I think this might be an excellent answer to a different question ("Is it okay to be a tiger parent" or similar), but not this one.
    – Joe
    Jul 17, 2015 at 21:50

I'll share two related experiences. I was brought up by tiger parents, or chronically disapproving parents in a different cultural framework. In some respects it was torture but no pain, no gain. If this hadn't happened I may have grown up a more 'normal' person and I may have been happier but I probably would have been less successful. Is the added success and the nice lifestyle and the satisfaction I get from my success worth the (possible) extra pain I experience from insecurity? I don't know, but I don't think pushing is always bad, it's just different. Tuning the approach to the child is optimal but that is a very fine line to walk.

Second, I felt and still feel that my sister's husband is spoiling my nephew. Not in a harmless way, but in the way that he is now diagnosed ADHD because (I believe) he has no self-control because (I believe) he's never experienced any external controls from his parents. I spoke to her about it and tried to be as gentle and careful as possible and it was a terrible idea. She did not hear a word I was saying because the issue cuts so close to people's emotions that they cannot rationally process what you are saying.

Considering that what you're saying is an opinion and it could ruin your relationship for almost certainly no benefit to the child I recommend: Just. Don't. Do it.

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