Tiger moms go up against Polar Bear moms

While perusing the Playvolution Library website (www.classic-play.com), I became inspired to write this article.

While perusing the Playvolution Library website (www.classic-play.com), I became inspired to write this article.

What is a Tiger Mom? A Tiger Mom has very strict rules about how her little kittens (who will never lose their mittens) will be raised. There will be no sleep overs, no play dates, there will be no grades less than an A and they will only play the violin or piano for two- to three-hours per day with extensive practising and competitions on the weekends. To find out more about the habits of a Tiger Mom, Amy Chau released her book entitled, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Then I came across an article written by Russell Gienapp who introduced me to a new, meaner kind of mother… the Polar Bear Mother.

The Polar Bear Mother exposes her cubs to conditions so fierce that it turns running water into ice and snow.  Even worse, her little ones are exposed to art, science and math, all outdoors!

With the highlights of the 2014 Winter Olympics still fresh in my mind, I felt the need to pass on what I learned about Polar Bear Mothers, which may explain why Nordic countries like Norway is still one to beat in the Winter Olympics, and why Finland’s test scores outperform those of Chinese students.

Rules of the Polar Bear Mom:

• Dress for the weather. Rule number one of the polar bear mom is that her children go outside dressed for the weather.

• Never complain about being properly dressed. Polar moms do their best to console their offspring as they play together for hours making snow angels and tobogganing in the park.

• Play outside no matter the weather. They are forced to go into nature.

• Master the art of getting dirty. These poor creatures aren’t allowed inside until they are dirty from head to toe. Polar bear moms know the first 30 minutes of playing in the dirt is easy, but it takes numerous hours to master the art of getting dirty.

• Polar bear moms insist on fresh air, sunlight and play. Every day these frolicking kids are exposed to the elements, play and physical activities. These activities develop creativity, gross and fine motor skills, social development and discipline, with an understanding about the world they live in. Polar bear kids learn to climb trees, ski, play in the water, make channels and puddles, jump in the rain, pick dandelions and roll down hills.

• Science, language and art is taught at the preschool level. Polar bear moms push learning about animals, plants, animal tracks and picking berries at a very early age

• Kids have to go and play on their own. Polar bear moms make children play outside with no plan! A polar bear mom sees only the social, physical and cognitive benefits for this.

– Tanja Carlson