I’m Not A Tiger Mum. And Yet…

I’m not a Tiger Mum.

I’m the kind of Mum who prefers not to helicopter around her when we’re at the park. Bigger kids might push her a little but I try not to intervene too much as it’s all part of her learning how things work; learning to stand up for herself from time to time. Nursery has been such a great experience for her so far and I can see her confidence grow from strength to strength.

Last weekend, we were in the queue to pay at Tesco and a couple of 8 year old kids were next to us playing with their football. Emma loves a football so immediately it caught her eye but she sat there nonchalantly eating her Babybel that I had bribed her with. Then all of a sudden, they openly started laughing at her, pointing and even called her a racist name. I couldn’t believe it, standing there frozen in shock that this was happening.

I’m not a Tiger Mum but I am right now.

As I stood there boiling with rage, I glanced over to the Mum and mentioned that I thought it was uncalled for, to which she replied that I was an a**hole and to ‘get a life’. I know I should have just left it. I should have just taken a deep breath and let it wash over me. They don’t matter and I shouldn’t have let it get to me. But I couldn’t just leave it. I had flashbacks to when I was laughed at as a child and all I wanted to do was protect Emma. It was unfair – she is not even 2 years old and can’t stand up for herself. How I felt was like an uncontrollable feeling to protect my girl. So I said my piece and walked away with dignity. I was so cross that I even forgot to eat my sneaky packet of Frazzles, which I’m sure has not happened before.

On the drive home, torturing myself at whether I did enough in that situation or if I did the wrong thing, I started to wonder why they were ridiculing her. Was it:

  1. My toddler was eating food in the trolley – if only they knew that the alternative is arch-backed rage that she can’t run around. That red wax cheese saves me every time.
  2. I was a dazed Mombie – was it me they were laughing at? Because I was staring into space, taking a few moments to just catch my breath after a busy day.
  3. Because kids are cruel.

I realised that there is no point running through these options because I will never know why.

But it disappointed me, is that what we’re faced with now, parents who will defend their children behaving badly to others? I remember when I was younger, that would not be the case and us knowing that we didn’t have the safety net of our parents defending us when we were jerks was such a positive thing. And ultimately isn’t that what we’re trying to achieve as parents – to bring people into this world that are decent human beings. Well I thought so.

I never thought I’d label myself as a Tiger Mum but I’m not ashamed of being one when the situation needs it. Sometimes it goes too far and you have to say something, because not saying something means accepting that it’s okay to treat someone this way. I’m just so glad that she is too young to pick up on this kind of behaviour. As we left the supermarket, she laughed hysterically as the trolley went over those bumps by the zebra crossing. Immediately I was brought out of this bad feeling by the joy on her face and it was all forgotten. I will always protect her as much as I can, and seeing her happy reminds me that’s all that matters really.



  1. March 28, 2017 / 6:02 am

    It shocks me how much parents allow their children to do while they defend their bad behavior. This mother should have instantly corrected the children who were old enough to know better than to call people racist names. Sadly though, it seems like they may be learning that firsthand if the mother thought it was ok. I’m so glad you said your piece but didn’t let rage take over, Emma has a wonderful role model in you! #DreamTeam

  2. March 28, 2017 / 6:55 am

    If I’d behaved like those children when I was young my mum would have been mortified. I’d have been made to apologise. I do think times have changed, and not for the better. Sorry this happened. x #DreamTeam

  3. March 28, 2017 / 7:04 am

    I’m so sorry that happened to you. Kids can be so cruel, but they have to learn that cruelty somewhere – and given the reaction of the mother, it’s easy to guess where they picked it up. You were right to defend your daughter, even though she might not understand what happened now – it’s important to stand up to bigotry when you see it, especially when it affects the people you love. #DreamTeam

  4. March 28, 2017 / 7:40 am

    So sad. The kids were cruel and rude and looks like they learnt it at home, from a parent who has no respect for herself or her kids. You should stand up for your kid and yourself when needed. That is not helicopter parenting. That is teaching your child to respect herself and you. #dreamteam

  5. March 28, 2017 / 9:31 am

    Shitty parents = shitty kids. I’m glad you said something. I probably would have gotten in a fight, lol. #dreamteam

  6. March 28, 2017 / 10:04 am

    If Tiger Mum means a fierce, strong woman protecting her babies, then yes you are and that’s a fantabulous thing! People are wonderful but they are also cruel and unless someone stands up to them, or in this case teaches them what’s right and wrong they may never know and so the cycle goes on…. You did the right thing! But you don’t need me to tell you that (: #DreamTeam

  7. March 28, 2017 / 10:11 am

    This is so sad! I’m a bit of a shouty mum, mainly because I have a temper, and people sometimes tell me I shouldn’t discipline other people’s children (I don’t make a habit of it- but will step in where the situation needs it!) I remember being in a supermarket when my eldest was about 15 months old, he was in the wrap, snuggled against my chest with his dummy in, and the lady at the checkout starting ranting to me about dummies and how they were for lazy parents. I was so angry and so upset and ended up writing a huge complaint letter to the supermarket.

    There’s a reason I now do most of my shopping online!

    As for parents that are just as vile as their children. Just ugh. I don’t understand it. I’m glad you said your piece before leaving! #Dreamteam

  8. March 28, 2017 / 10:22 am

    Good for you.
    I remember changing my 15 month old baby in a change room once and some young child of about 7 or 8 called her a b*tch! I was a tiger mom right there, with no remorse. If the parents of that child won’t sort it out, I most certainly will not participate in condoning that behaviour as well! No need to wander where those horrible children get it from is there. Disgusting.
    Equally good that you showed your daughter that it is okay to stand up to bullies as well!

  9. March 28, 2017 / 11:01 am

    You’re not born racist, it’s learnt behaviour and they must have picked it up from somewhere. The mum’s reaction suggests it’s from home unfortunately. You were right to stand up for yourself and your child. I hope I’d have shown half your dignity in the same situation. (Gosh, if the Tubblet had done something like that in my hearing she’d be in a whole heap of trouble. And you’d have got an apology).

  10. March 28, 2017 / 11:14 am

    Ekk – slippy slope for those kids. Sad that they don’t have a good role model. Good on you for putting them right. It’s one good more voice standing up for what is right. #dreamteam

  11. March 28, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    Oh gosh Bridie, I’m so sorry that happened to you, how cruel some children, and adults can be. I’m not a tiger Mum either but if you hurt my children, that’s a whole different story. Good on you for saying your piece, racism is disgraceful and I am ashamed that it still exists in todays society. Go you, you may not think you’re a tiger Mum but we’ve all got that fight in us when it comes to the children. #dreamteam

  12. March 28, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    The situation totally called for a tiger mum. How dare they! I mean kids can be cruel sometimes but 1. they learn this from somewhere.. and 2. parents should correct/tell them off/apologise for their behaviour.

    But, yes you shouldn’t go over it as their negativity will not do you any good. I’m guilty of going over situations like this and it’s just draining.

    So sorry you had to experience this x


  13. March 28, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    This post broke my heart a little. I can’t (don’t want to) believe that people can be so horrible. I feel sad not only for you and your little girl who had to go through this but also for the 8yos who don’t stand a chance with a mum who condones such behaviour.

    I like to think if I saw something like this happen I’d stand up to it. I am so sorry you had to experience this.


  14. March 28, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    First, I am very sorry that you had to let your inner tiger mum out, it was totally unnecessary and should have been dealt with by their parent.

    Secondly, jolly well done to you for letting that tiger out and saying your piece. If the other mother refuses to see that her offsprings behaviour is wholly unacceptable then she needs to expect a good dressing down. Well done, your gorgeous little girl will grow up to be a strong, confident young lady #DreamTeam x

  15. March 28, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    I would have completely lost it.
    I guess the children had learnt their bad behaviour from their mother. So sad.


  16. March 28, 2017 / 1:10 pm

    I have never heard the phrase tiger mum before. It is sad that kids are so cruel, but I think you did the right thing here by sticking up for your daughter in a dignified way. I have no idea how I would react if I was put on the spot like that. #DreamTeam

  17. March 28, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    What an awful situation to be in! Shame on that mother, I would have lost it had that been my children behaving that way! #dreamteam

  18. March 28, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    I’m sorry those kids, and that parent, were so awful to you. I’ve no idea how I would have handled that. Those poor kids, as well – that’s not parenting. That’s neglect. #dreamteam

  19. March 28, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    Oh my goodness I am shocked. What an awful situation. As others have already said unfortunately they obviously aren’t getting a good example from their homes as you aren’t born prejudiced. I would never stand by listening to any member of my family be openly cruel to somebody, and equally I would jump into protective mode if someone was cruel to any of them. How heartbreaking for you, so sorry you had to experience this. I’m glad you said your piece.
    I don’t think labels like tiger Mum and really that useful – I think we all have it in us to be strong and fierce and protective when it’s necessary and especially for our kids. #DreamTeam

  20. March 28, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    I’m boiling mad with you! It’s sad that kids would talk like that to a little one, but I’m guessing the way their mom responded to you shows why they may act they way they do. Sigh. I’m sorry your lovely day at the park was ruined with that kind of nonsense! xoxo #DreamTeam

  21. March 28, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    Hi, so sorry that experienced this you sound like you handled it well and in a dignified manor. Unlike the other mother. I hope all is well now #dreamteam

  22. March 28, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Without having heard your words I think you dealt with it very calmly (I hope you gave them hell). Who cares why they did it? They shouldn’t have f***ing done it. You should never have had the need to be a tiger mum because their mum should have dealt with it. I am not afraid to tell my kids off in public if I think they need it (they are only little though so the discipline is reflective currently) but I know if my kids had said something like that I’d have gone Tiger Mum for you!!

  23. March 28, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Jeez what is weong with some people??! I would have been furious but then if the parents are as bad there’s no point wasting your time trying to talk to them- dregs of society unfortunately. I hate that well mannered, innocent kids have to encounter this type of behaviour. Good for you for saying your piece and walking away. Morons.

  24. March 28, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    What an awful experience for you, and a terrible example set by the other parent! Good for you for not letting it slide, so easy to just freeze in those situations! #DreamTeam

  25. March 28, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    I’m really sorry you and your little girl had to put up with those idiots. Sadly, there seem to be lots of parents who genuinely don’t care about their kids behaviour. I applaud you for saying your piece. The parent was probably defensive because they hadn’t been openly challenged before but I bet it smarted a bit – at least I hope it did.

  26. March 28, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    I’m glad you posted about this as a release. It’s crazy how some people think it’s ok to treat others badly. I’m sorry that you had this experience. Some day your little gal will be just as strong as her mama.

  27. March 28, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    What a shocking thing to happen. Shame on the other mum, her children behaved disgracefully. Well done for sticking up for your daughter. Cx #DreamTeam

  28. March 28, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    Ah, I am so sorry you experienced this. I would consider myself a Momma Bear, but I do not defend my kids bad behavior. I also do not hover her either. She is about to be 9 and full of confidence and kindness. I like to think that this is because of me. Keep up the good work Momma! #DreamTeam

  29. March 28, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    Things like this always make me go cold, its shocking how some parents speak to others when it is their children in the wrong. I would never defend my child for making a cruel comment to another child who has done nothing wrong. Hopefully these parents are the minority and most of us fill our children with kindness and love rather than cruelty and hate. xx #DreamTeam

  30. March 28, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    Kids are just a reflection of their parents sometimes and I would have spoken to that women too x Be strong, no one has the right to be rude this day and age and it should be confronted x #DreamTeam

  31. March 28, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    That’s terrible. Thank goodness Emma is too young to understand. It would break my heart to see someone laughing at my daughter when she was just trying to reach out. But there are some horrible people out there who have no morals or standards. So their children don’t stand a chance. Sadly I’m pretty sure it was like that when we were younger – we probably just didn’t realise and were fortunate enough to be kept away from nasty people. Good on you for saying something and for snapping out of it and moving on. It’s hard but all you can do is say your piece. I hope I would be brave enough in the same situation! #DreamTeam

  32. March 28, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    What? That is just terrible. I don’t understand why people just can’t be kind. Obviously those parents need to teach their kids a lesson or two about kindness.

  33. March 28, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    Oh my word, that really winds me up!! I really hate people (and their little people) sometimes! Only the mean ones obviously. Good for you to have your baby’s back #dreamteam

  34. Nige
    March 28, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    I would of totally lost it this is shocking and completely unacceptable behaviour in 2017. I blame the parents because there children very bad values thanks for hosting #dreamteam

  35. March 28, 2017 / 11:25 pm

    This is so awful! I’m so sorry Bridie that you have gone through this but go you for standing by what you believe and saying something! I probably would have been one of the extremes, saying nothing or going absolutely crazy!

  36. March 28, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    Oh hun, my heart sank for you as I read this. I am SO glad you said your piece. I would have done just the same! How dare they?! If anyone so much as tried to be unkind to my little man I would be there in a shot. It’s just something in me I can’t help. So glad Emma made you smile again. Bless her heart! Now go get some Frazzles! 😉 xx #DreamTeam

  37. March 29, 2017 / 2:18 am

    We went through bullying and parents who didn’t care throughout my son Tucker’s early years in school. Now that my daughter is in school I am so stressed that she will go through the same thing. It’s not easy, and I think we all become a tiger mom now and again. #DreamTeam

  38. March 29, 2017 / 6:29 am

    Oh my goodness me I so hear you. Raising a mixed race kid in Japan I am soooooooo sensitive to anything I hear from other kids that might be classed as racist. It even drives me nuts when kids say “hello” or “no, stop” to him in English. I pointedly talk back in Japanese and refuse to respond in English. Because, hello this is Japan, why do they have to treat him differently and act weird. They don’t behave like that around my husband.

    But you know kids are ignorant, and often they repeat what they hear from their parents. I hear mothers talking among themselves about me and my son, because they assume I can’t understand what they are saying. I could tell you so many stories about how

    So, if these kids used a racist name then they’ve heard their parents talk that way. I feel like it has sadly got more acceptable to be racist in the UK compared to when I was a teen or young adult. There’s so much anti-immigrant talk in the uk press.

    Anyway, I could talk on this topic for HOURS. But I do know it is not your fault. And the mum and her kids are not nice people.

  39. March 29, 2017 / 8:15 am

    Absolutely shocking. I would have marched up to the mum and said something. If the kids think racism is acceptable now and are not corrected then I fear for their future. I happily tell other kids off or say very loudly ‘so and so may do that but you know it is wrong’ so they know others find their behaviour unacceptable #dreamteam

  40. March 29, 2017 / 9:46 am

    Oh my god, this is heartbreaking. Children can be so mean. Kids are essentially the envioment they grow up in.. #dreamteam

  41. March 29, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    I’m so sorry tat this happened to you little girl:/ it’s really unfair:( I will tell you why they did that because they know that they can. What was their Mom reaction? It’s telling me that she don;t know how to raise those kids properly.

  42. March 29, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    It’s disgusting the way they treated you and your little one. #DreamTeam

  43. March 29, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    I can’t believe that mum said that to you, completely uncalled for. I’m so sorry that happened to Emma, children can be so nasty. I think I would have said something to the children if I was in that situation! #DreamTeam

  44. March 29, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Well based on the reaction of the parent you know where they learned behaviour like that. Well done you for saying your piece, absolutely the right thing to do in that specific situation. Unfortunately, there are disgusting ignorant people in the world and then some of them have children. So sorry for what happened to you, I have told kids off before in the park but that is always when their parents have been nowhere to be seen, leaving me to supervise and protect my own child from their bad behaviour. God that winds me up.
    Remember you are doing a good job as a parent and that’s all that matters. #DreamTeam

  45. March 30, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    Oh god I would have ripped her f*** head off. You absolutely did the right thing by confronting them but not making a huge scene. I’m guessing that the other mum was embarrased and probably didn’t really know what to do so jumped to deffence mode. I’m also guessing she was a massive ass hole so don’t be hard on yourself. some people are just pricks!

  46. March 30, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    Oh my god, you definitely did the right thing. With the attitude the mother had it’s no wonder her kids behave that way, but it’s important someone stood up to them so they’ll maybe think twice next time.

  47. March 31, 2017 / 2:17 am

    How disgusting! How are children going to learn what is right and wrong when their parents lets them get away with behaviour like that! By the sounds of things you handled the situation considerably better than I would have!! #dreamteam

  48. March 31, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    You are a total legend! Well some for saying something. I can’t believe that parents can be like that. Kids are cruel but it is up to parents to teach them right from wrong. Your little go will totally know this and know that she has a mummy who will stand up for herself. So much respect for you! #dreamteam

  49. April 1, 2017 / 11:25 am

    Ive not come across the term Tiger Mum before, but I think given the circumstances you were perfectly justified in becoming one. Children are cruel, that is a sad fact of life, but the response of their parents is unexcusable. #dreamteam.

  50. April 1, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    I am totally a tiger mum when it comes to Ben. I will fiercely stick up for him when needed and will not hesitate to do so. More so now that he cannot stick up for himself, and when he can; I will teach him to stand up for himself.
    As a child I was very weak and didnt have my own voice leading to many demons, but with my encouragement he wont be how I was! #Dreamteam

  51. April 1, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Oh my darling, I had tears in my eyes reading this. Utterly horrendous. Dignity would have gone out the window were I you, I know I’d have caused a huge scene.
    You dealt with it well and I’m just so sad and so sorry that you experienced this. Sending you love xxxxxx

  52. April 1, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    Wow this has got me thinking what I would have done, I guess you don’t know until your in that situation. But I would be the same as you, possibly wishing I’d done or said more. Sometimes you’re so shocked in the moment you don’t find the right words until later. So sorry this happened, it’s just all kinds of wrong. Your job is to protect your little one, so don’t feel bad for doing what is a natural instinct.

  53. April 2, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    My jaw was literally on the floor reading this lovely. I can’t believe that anybody would think it could be acceptable to let their children behave in such a way. The sad thing is that the parent that lets this go unchecked is only doing their own children wrong. How can they ever learn if they aren’t shown the appropriate way to speak to and respect other people? It’s heartbreaking – and you did exactly the right thing. I’m just sorry that you had to go through it. Big hugs xx #DreamTeam

  54. April 3, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. People so so ignorant sometimes it makes me really angry. Also, how can a mother defend such appalling behaviour from her children – there I judged but how could I not!? Very sad. #dreamteam

  55. April 3, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    I feel completely outraged on Emma’s behalf. How dare they say anything against someone else, much less someone who is too young to defend themselves?! Disgusting that the parent didn’t step in to parent as she should’ve done. Well done you for saying something, I would’ve been absolutely seething. Hope you’re ok lovely xxx #DreamTeam

  56. April 3, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    Oh no, what a horrible situation to be caught up in. I see this all the time. Nasty comments and name throwing, with parents either pretending they don’t know what their little darlings are saying, or ready to jump in to justify their actions and what’s coming out of their mouths. It’s shocking and no one should have to put up with this. Ever. Emma’s got a great mum in you and she’s seeing someone who is willing to take a stand and make a difference. Thanks so much for being a fab host on the #DreamTeam with me. xxx

  57. April 8, 2017 / 8:33 am

    It’s infuriating that parents don’t deal with their children when they are bein arseholes. There is so much hate in the world that I worry about the situations my children are going to deal with! We can only hope that the things change as we raise our children to stand up to people like that! You shouldn’t have had to be in that situation in the first place, and neither should your little girl.

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