You may be asking yourself what the heck is Paper Tiger Parenting. I’ll be really honest here, it’s a flimsy form of parenting that looks really good, but is, essentially, a smoke-screen. It’s parenting by the seat of your pants; shooting from the hip; running with scissors, and all while making it look like a well-planned and executed ballet. Damn straight, I’m a Paper Tiger Parent. And I’ll bet there’s a lot of people out there just like me.
Paper Tiger Parenting 101
In order to evaluate whether or not you’re a Paper Tiger Parent, you must first decide if you:
- Give a damn. Because, if you do, you’re probably not (but keep reading anyway).
- Are just reading this to kill time because your kids are asleep and you don’t want to do the dishes. You, sir (or ma’m), quite possibly could be.
- Want validation that your parenting style is actually a style or if you just have no style whatsoever. If you want the validation, you probably are not, but keep reading anyway. Heh.
- You just do things with your kids because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do, and it’s fun, but not because you’re working on some “greater plan” to make them something special. You’re just trying to be a parent and if that means you have to actually PARENT (the “p” word), then that’s just what you do.
If this sounds like your kind of parenting, here’s four examples so you’ll know exactly how to execute with a practiced ease:
- When your kid yells at you, feel free to do your normal thing and give them consequences, yell back at them, whatever you need to do, depending on their age. But be sure to hear it from the other moms that your kid says you “let them” yell at you.
- Tell your older kids over and over and over that they need to do chores to save up money for things like buying tickets to the school dance. But when it comes to the day of the school dance, be so excited that they’ll be out of the house for a few hours, just give them the $3 they need and forget about all the lead-up. Chores-Shmores.
- “Encourage” your toddler to do things like climb up stairs by screaming “NONONONONONO” while they don’t listen. Or, even better, while they look back at you and smile.
- When your toddler insists on having chips for breakfast, tell them no repeatedly for like 15 minutes, but when minute 16 comes around, give in, give them the whole bag of chips and then watch them pour the whole bag out on the table. At that point, be sure to take an Instagram photo of it (see below).
So, totally not hard. Just be a total pushover. Like the paper tiger. Put-up a good front, but totally fold when the rubber hits the road.