Tuesday, July 19

Tiger Mother: The Last Installment

Last time we saw Marilyn, she was 13 and getting bad grades in school. This last installment will go through her teen years to the end of the program.

At fourteen years of age, Marilyn had a pretty good bond with me. However, she dresses provocatively and flirts with boys. This is one thing that I know I'm uncomfortable with. I know that my mother has objected to some of the things that I've worn. I know that some things I wear are not as classy as they should be... But it'll always be strange to see your kids look attractive and no matter what the age. Your kids are always too young. As a Tiger Mother, I should probably restrict Marilyn's clothing choice. As a human being... I realize times are changing and clothing that I think is scandalous might not be.

Marilyn also experiences body image issues. She wanted a push up bra so because she's being teased about being flat chested. Other than my disdain for the push up bra, I really don't want to satisfy her every whim. This seems like a lesser version of that news story about an eight year old getting plastic surgery because she was being teased.

Her teen years are filled with a ton of questionable situations. The program got really creative. Here's a story I have to share... verbatim.

"It's Halloween! Marilyn no longer wants to trick or treat. She wants to go to a friend's house in an hour to help set up a Haunted House. You find out the friend is a boy you don't know yet, and furthermore, that Marilyn and one of her girlfriends from school will be "murdered" by him repeatedly in one of the scenes in the haunted house."

What? I gave her a few precautions and let her go... but have any of you ever experienced such silliness? She even went on a chaperoned date in the 9th grade.

At the end of the school year, I'm shocked to see Bs in Spanish, English, Geography and Fine Arts. At this point, I was incredibly upset with the program. She's still doing well in math, but I start asking myself how I let this happen. Though she is still a successful singer and orchestra member, that hardly consoles me.

The issues continue at age sixteen. Issues with her dating people for a short two months and declaring love, issues with her constantly wanting to lose weight. Then there are slightly more issues with her spending time with friends who do drugs and who drink. I experienced one of those feelings that other parents feel. "So young!" I don't disagree with drinking, even underage, but in high school, I never considered, never questioned the fact that I wasn't supposed to. To see her engage in these activities seems so foreign.

Her grades and PSAT scores still aren't where they need to be. At the end of her high school career, she ends up attending a state school. I'm disappointed; at the same time, that's where I am... so I can't be that upset.

One of the greatest lessons I learned from this time in her life, and another reason of why I am SO not ready for children is the fact that you have to love them in spite of their behavior. I gained a greater understanding of my parents point of view. My dad is much smarter than I am. On top of that, he works harder too. I wonder how he must feel to see his daughter not achieving as much as he could have, if he were given these opportunities. Maybe I'm not doing the best I am either.

Hats off to all the parents out there!


  1. This is really interesting. Kind of makes me want to do more in life than just continue to be slightly disappointing.

  2. Awwww, I'm kinda sad that this project has come to an end because I really really enjoyed reading your insight and perspectives. I would express the same feelings you had, and some of the things that occurred in Marilyn's teen years are exactly the things I fear will happen! >_< Such a tough challenge being a parent, and the dreaded feelings of disappointment that might ensue. That last bit you shared about wondering what our parents thought of us really hit home with me as well. Sometimes, I have to reconcile with those feelings and hope they've either accepted me, or at least set all their hopes on my younger sister! Hahaha. =P

  3. Oh yeah, that haunted house bit made me LOL!! It seems so ridiculous!!

  4. My son is 2 years old so I'll face this period later in my life however I am concerded about it. I know it's gonna be tough!

  5. I literally almost peed my pants.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  6. Sad to see this feature end because it has been so fascinating, but glad to see that your "daughter" escaped her teen years unscathed. My son's just a toddler so I'm not sure how the parental disappointment thing works quite yet but I'm hoping things just resolve somehow (wishful thinking?).

  7. parenting is tough. i think a lot about what will happen in the teenage years and how i will handle it. i'm still not even sure. how much pressure do i put on them? how can i communicate with them? will we fight? will they be dramatic? i don't know. i guess i have to just love them and talk to them openly and hope that i've raised them well and that they have good heads on their shoulders. anyway, i guess you never know for sure but you can just be there for them and try to guide them the best you can but eventually it's up to them!


  8. I am a puppy parent and I question if I could have a kid because there is so much that is chance and random and 0 control. I think I learned more once I left the parents nest about truly what I am capable of. I also think I learned more with my mistakes then victories. :)

    PS Love the HP outfits.

  9. Hmm, I haven't been reading your blog long enough to know what this feature you have going on is. But it seems like something that would made you reflect a bit, and think more about the things you do.


  10. Thanks for your sweet comment! I can totally relate to the last bit about your father. My father is one of the most brilliant, hard working people I know, and as much as he supports me, I wonder what it must be like for him to have a daughter so completely different from him. Wonderful post. :)

  11. I always hear "If I was given the oppportunities you had..." and never really bothered much to think about it. But as a parent to see potential in your child who doesn't strive for it is disappointing. But likewise its hard to live to whatever an extremely hard working parent is capable of.



Thanks for your comments!