Friday, September 16, 2011


I am a zookeeper.

And I don't just mean that my house is a zoo.

Or looks like one.

Or smells like one. (I still remember my cousin's daughter looking into our car after a road trip and saying, "it smells like animals!")

I'm talking about my parenting style.

Have you heard about this book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua?

It's basically an explanation of a Chinese parenting method which produces successful tiger children.

Well, the other day on facebook a friend posted a link called Against Tiger Mothers.

It's the opposite view of the parenting method. He advances the idea of coyote parenting.

The idea being that tigers are the "specialists" and that coyotes are the "generalists" in our world.

I like both ideas.

Some of the children I raise will be tigers.

And some of them are definitely coyotes.

But, at least one of them might be a koala.

Sometimes it takes a while to see what animal they are.

That's my job as the zookeeper.

Figuring out what animal my child is and then following the appropriate "raising" technique.

Being a zookeeper is definitely not easy.

There are so many different kinds of animals.

In fact, in my zoo there are no two animals of the same kind.

But that's what makes a zoo great; the variety.

(And the variety is what makes it so loud, and messy, and smelly!)


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