You have heard about the Tiger Mom, and probably gasped with judgment and self-righteousness. That was my initial reflex. With further contemplation, I began to formulate an idea that maybe we all have a little tiger in us. The Tiger Mom may be a bigger tiger than most, or maybe she is just more honest and forthcoming. Conscious parenting is a tool for taming our tiger. Offering unconditional love and acceptance, and honoring the pure potential in our children is conscious parenting.
Like most parents, the Tiger Mom loves her children and believes she is parenting for “their own good.” No doubt she loves them; she is definitely conscious of her intentions. And she has missed one key component of conscious parenting. Conscious parents operate from the source of love, not fear.
We can use the Tiger Mom’s parenting behaviors to point out our moments of dominance and conditional love. Maybe your roar is only heard at home. Maybe you carry a verbal whip. Maybe you are a gentle tiger – roar then hug. Maybe you are a passive-aggressive who seems to offer support with simultaneous resistance and resentment. Maybe you are borderline tiger with extreme black and white thinking.
We all have a little tiger in us – it is the default settings of our ego. These are the characteristics that we are working away from and accidentally slide back into when we are not at our highest self. They are everything that blocks us from our best and true self. As we see in the Tiger Mom, it may come in the form of selfishness, resistance, control, anger, or over-protection. The underlying emotion of all these, and the food to fuel our tiger, is fear. The challenge is to recognize our fear and tame it.
I have chosen not to read her book, so I am using the term, “Tiger Mom,” metaphorically. I am sure there are many lessons to learn in the book, and I will offer what I believe are the three key lessons to differentiate the theory of Tiger Mom from a Conscious Parent.
- Conscious parents operate from the source of love, not fear. It takes grace and courage to offer unconditional love and acceptance. When we trust in the innate goodness of our children, there is no need for dominence, control, embarrassment, or resentment.
- Conscious parenting is present tense, living in the now. There is no judgment of the past. Any “what ifs” and “shoulds” are fears of the future. Hope, love, and potential lay in the moment.
- Conscious parents foster the pure potential. They guide their children on a journey of primary greatness of character and the development of the authentic self. A child’s pure potential coupled with unconditional love and acceptance is significance. Mainstream society is focused on the public recognition of secondary greatness – and our tiger gets its charge there too. Without the food to fuel our fears, the tiger sleeps.
As we increase our awareness and work through our ego and unresolved issues, our tiger is tamed and we are able to parent with unconditional love and acceptance. The first step to conscious parenting is to raise our awareness above our fears and ego, so we can raise our children.
True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. ~ Jason Jordan
Cultivating Unconditional Love,