Friday, 5 June 2015

More Parenting Labels, This Time It Is The 'Cat Dads'

Notice how almost every parenting label to date has had 'mother' or 'mummy' tagged on to it like Tiger Mother, Yummy Mummy? The closest that Dads got to was in the catch all 'Helicopter Parenting' label. Even here, the term was more often used in reference to a mother's parenting style than the father's.

Now it is the turn of Dads and the moniker is 'Cat Dads'. The origins of this label come from a Chinese comedy series titled: 'Tiger Mom, Cat Dad' which, in turn, was inspired by a debate that took place between Amy Chua and Chang Zitao. The former is the Chinese American woman who wrote a book about how Tiger Mothers raise more successfully driven children blah! blah! Chang Zitao, a real life Chinese Cat Dad, thought that the best role that a Dad could play was as a buffer to a mother's excessive power driven mothering style. 

As always the proof is in the pudding or, in this case, in how your kids turn out. Amy Chua has two children at Harvard University. Chang Zitao has a daughter who also went to Harvard. Neither's parenting style seems to have borne any strong evidence of being better than the other's which must have been disappointing to both of them. 

As a result of this conflict both parenting styles are now featured in the Chinese comedy series. 

The protagonists are an ambitious disciplinarian mother and her easy going husband. They have regular clashes over which parenting style is best for their daughter. The mother character believes that their daughter is spoilt and does not measure up to the success of her peers in school. The father character wants his daughter's happiness to come first before her schooling. 

Such a conflicted sense of parenting must do a child's head in. Having been brought up in Asia myself many decades ago I cannot understand why folk over there have not found a way of combining the two - that working hard for one's success can be fun. Instead success and fun are always presented as uncomfortable bedfellows or dichotomies are divergent as loving or hating Russell Brand. 

Here is a trailer clip of the Chinese comedy series. If you ask me, it seems to more resemble a trailer for a remake of The Omen starring Damian rather than a laugh a minute type of show. 



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1 comment

  1. Agreed two parenting styles from two different parents must be tough on children. Try being a single parent.

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