Fiona Duff: Tiger Mother? No, but I really earn my stripes

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My son has just finished his Highers. All over Edinburgh, Tiger Mothers will be breathing a sigh of relief as they can once again reclaim their lives.

What, some of you may ask, is a Tiger Mother? Well, that’s the sort of woman who channels all of her energy into rearing her child to be the best at everything they do. If the fruit of their womb decides to play the violin, they will practise for at least an hour a night; family trips will be educational and woe betide their offspring if they ever slip from the top of the class in any given subject.

At parents’ evening, the Tiger Mothers spend 20 minutes with each teacher instead of the programmed five-minute slot. They will want to know the minutiae of everything their beloved is supposed to have learnt.

Thank goodness for mothers 
like me who can help get the schedule back on course with the briefest of chats. I ask if my child is polite and instruct the teacher that if a kick up the bahookie is required they can feel free to administer it. Then off home in time for Coronation Street.

Tiger Mothers will have spent the past couple of months making sure their child does not avert their eyes from textbooks, and in the meantime coffee with friends will have gone by the wayside.

Now, of course, they will be chewing their fingernails to the quick as they await the dreaded results . . . whenever they are due.

There is a new book out about playground politics called The Hive, and it identifies a new type of school mum who sounds more terrifying than the Tiger Mother – the Queen Bee.

I’m not sure who that is at my children’s school, but if she tries to ask me to arrange a fundraising coffee morning I’ll have to tell her to buzz off.