What I Really Learned From My Tiger Mom

I learned to sit at my desk until I could recite the content of each class of the day by heart.

I'm kidding. That's what my tiger mom wishes stuck with me.

If you had a tiger mom too, you probably have heard along the same lines of how she worked very hard throughout school, had no fun, but got straight A's. Naturally, that means that her children needs to do the same. Unfortunately for my mother, my siblings and I were exposed to the Western culture of my dad, and we realized that wait ... cram school isn't a worldwide requirement?!

To be honest, the tiger mom tactic does work for some people. As for me, although I am still not able to memorize mathematical equations for hours on end, I learned some life lessons from her that has made me who I am today. Here are just a few of them:

1. To confront or not to confront.

Not everyone communicates the same way. When I needed to confront my mother about something, it was always a very sensitive situation. Her Asian culture was not one that was inviting to confrontation. It was at times, very uncomfortable.

But does that mean I should avoid confrontation? Not really. At times when I did avoid confrontation, that tension built up always led to further drastic situations. Although it was not always the easiest way, confronting in a healthy, loving manner helped improve our relationship and other similar situations with other people.

2.  Being a Fru-GAL. (I'm hilarious.)

I remember the first time I got a paycheck.

I’m talking as if it was a long time ago, but really, I only wish it was a long time ago. I spent the entire paycheck almost within two weeks. Then I got a parking ticket and wish I had saved (and wished the handwritten "no parking" sign was bigger *cough*).

The example my mother set of being frugal and saving is one that I strive to follow. I mean, she is somehow able to help me graduate debt-free from college, all the while feed my family's addiction to ice cream. She's basically Wonder Woman.

3. Work Ethic

Though I may not be the doctor or engineer her culture values, I realized that she has limitless work ethic. I mean, she came over to The States to obtain her master's degree, barely knowing any English! I cannot imagine getting my undergraduate, much less a master's degree, without knowing the language. She inspires me to not just to go for it, but be ambitious and fight for my dreams even if they seem out of reach.

Tiger mom or not, mothers teach a lot of lessons. Mine just doesn't know it.

Cover image source: Unsplash, Peter Hershey