Beyond the Tiger Mom

East-West Parenting for the Global Age

Non-Fiction - Parenting
224 Pages
Reviewed on 09/02/2016
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Author Biography

A global citizen, Maya Thiagarajan has lived and worked in India, Singapore, and the US. She earned a BA in English from Middlebury College and a Masters in Education Policy from Harvard University.

Maya began her teaching career with Teach For America, where she taught at a public school in Baltimore City for two years. She went on to teach high school English at some of America's most prestigious independent schools. After a decade of teaching in the US, Maya moved to Singapore and began teaching at The United World College of South East Asia (UWC).

Struck by the different approaches to education and parenting that she encountered in Singapore, Maya began to interview Chinese and Indian parents living in Singapore. Using her own experiences as well as the stories of parents whom she interviewed, Maya wrote a book titled Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age. In Beyond the Tiger Mom, Maya looks at the differences between Western and Asian approaches to parenting and education.

In addition to teaching and writing, Maya also conducts workshops for parents and teachers on a range of education related topics.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age is a parenting book that tries to strike a balance between the Asian and Western ways of raising children. Author Maya Thiagarajan is a practicing teacher and has experienced both worlds, and this gives her book the credibility that is wanting in many other parenting books. Starting with math, she observes how Asian parents especially favour the subject because mastery in math could mean good paying jobs, and that it is an exact science so there is a clear line between the right and wrong answers. This is in contrast to the Western mother’s emphasis on reading and forming your own personal opinions. She also tackles memorization, playfulness, and the important effect of culture in raising children.

Maya Thiagarajan’s book, Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting, is a must-read for all parents. Very few self-help books are as witty, informative, frank, and entertaining as this one. Contrasting the objectivity of Asian moms to the directness of the West, the author presents the two contrasting styles without directly favoring any of them. Personally, reading this book makes me think that a healthy balance between the two opposing systems is ideal, but this is better said than done. Every parent should try to provide their children with the environment that helps them achieve their full potential, and Beyond the Tiger Mom sincerely tries to help. This is a parenting guide that does not pretend to have all the answers, but you can be sure that, after reading this book, you will have a better idea on how to deal with the bittersweet job of being a parent.