Me, the Tiger Mom.....
Posted November 22th, 2013
There have been times when I felt like the sky was throwing handfuls of sleety rain in my face....
But at the time being, I am enjoying life more now that I have matured and I see it differently. I am profoundly in love and am loved the exact same way.
The old saying, "You learn from your errors"....is oh, so true!!!
When our children become teenagers in this day and age, they simply change. I am not being drastic but telling a little part of my side of the story. I will be sincere, as always....and remember, lies have short legs, so my words will ring true one day.
Let's just say that I attempted with love and a stern hand, to raise 2 teenagers....but in some way I feel that my success is incomplete. But, as we are often reminded, when there isn't chemistry between the parents, well, life becomes more difficult and while driving, the wheels of your car seem like flat tires.
My culture and my story while growing up taught me to respect the rules of a "No" from adults as a reason to improve and better oneself......even though it was fastidious, but necessary. When I was young, it didn't even flash thru my mind to disrespect an elder, let alone lie directly to someone's face without even being prudent. Superficiality is their number one thought and I must say, this scares the shit out of me.
I was under the impression that you should never stop learning ..... ask the tough questions early ....... and practice humility, which should be our greatest value.
We were at a dinner with 2 Italians the other evening here in Hong Kong....she was from Bari and he from Alessandria...so the 2 of them were from totally different parts of Italy. I must admit that they were on the same wave-length. It could be the mentality of being an Expat or just being simply open minded.
I asked where their children were planning on going for University and the Father gave me the best reply I could ever have imagined .... "Our children have the following list on their minds: London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Milano. There is no difference where they want to go, as long as it is the best place to prepare themselves for the difficult challenge that awaits their future."
In awe and flabbergasted I asked if this was really their childrens thoughts ....... ?!
At that exact moment I understood my failure towards my own daughters' education. They are too frightened to leave the city where they were born and their "protected nest". I wasn't capable of teaching them my open-minded and well-travelled mentality to explore other lifestyles and societies......cultures, that is!
Of all people.....me, at 13 years old living ALONE in San Francisco and then on to New York at 15 years old on Scholarships.....to study, study study, striving to become an even better more talented ballerina. And then on to Italy at 18 years old....and then Hong Kong and then ..... and then ..... and then .....
I can't find an explanation. I can't find a justification for anyone that could possibly think, in this day and age, that our world starts and finishes in the same place where one was born.
I want Elizabeth and Dylan to be citizens of the world.
They speak Italian with their Father, English of course with me and Cantonese at school. Then in 2 years they will be doing Mandarin. But this is only the beginning onto the continuous paths towards new windows of the world and different cultures.
So, that will be roughly 4 languages.....by the time they are, let's say, 13....
In the Oriental Culture, education is treated with an iron hand and mind. The Mothers are called "Tiger Mom" ....... because they push their children to give an excellent achievement and to dig into whatever discipline necessary to enrich one's curriculum.
Without exaggerating, I am one, too ....... Elizabeth and Dylan since they turned 3 years old, are taking Taekwondo, swimming, tennis and piano. They help set the dinner table and they wait for me to sit down and pick up my fork before starting to eat. They get up at 6:00 am every morning, and by themselves, change into their school uniform after washing their faces and brushing their teeth, all alone and in silence to not wake me, waiting until I get up (6:15 am!!!). Let's not forget that they aren't little soldiers but extremely vivacious children that are ready to fight for what they want, with incredibly good manners and respect.
I remember when I was little and was bored stiff when my Mother told me what to do or gave me her opinion. Well, I must admit that her teachings made me a better woman.
Life can be hell or something spectacular, it depends how you would like to deal with it ......
From when you are young you need to learn how to live life, not let it live you ......