The Dolphin Way™
In her bestselling Tiger Mother book, Amy Chua gave a name to—and stirred up a controversy about—an authoritarian parenting approach common in major Asian countries and increasingly admired in the West, an approach that has become aggravated by modern-day pressures and expectations. The effect was swift and far-reaching: Tiger parents felt vindicated, “helicopter” moms and “wolf” dads felt encouraged, and everyone’s anxiety level increased. In a Wall Street Journal poll regarding Chua’s response to readers, two-thirds of respondents said that the “Demanding Eastern” parenting model is better than the “Permissive Western” one.
In her new book, The Dolphin Way™, child, youth, and adult psychiatrist Shimi Kang, M.D. conclusively dismantles the myth of Tiger parenting and offers a new, intuitive model designed to overcome the problems of both the “Eastern” and “Western” parenting styles.
Dr. Kang’s approach fosters sustainable skills that all children need to thrive in a 21st century marked by globalization, competition, breakspeed technological advances, and financial insecurity. Kang calls her approach “The Dolphin Way™” to conjure up images of the intelligence, skill, and agility of these joyful, clever, and truly social creatures, which are also generally accepted as the world’s most altruistic animal species. The Dolphin Way parenting™ is not authoritarian Tiger parenting nor is it permissive “jellyfish” parenting. It is a balanced approach based on bonding, role modeling, and firmly guiding children towards a balanced way of life leading to internal drive for health, happiness, and success in the 21st century.
As someone who was never in a single scheduled activity yet entered medical school at 19, Dr. Kang is proof that The Dolphin Way Parenting™ works. And as Medical Director for the culturally diverse city of Vancouver’s child and youth mental health community programs, she has a close-up look at the negative impact of the Tiger Parenting approach: suicides, addiction, anxiety disorders, nearsightedness, high stress levels, and lower satisfaction for both parents and children.