The Dolphin Way

Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into a Tiger

How the Tigers, Dolphins, and Jellyfish Parents Differ

The tiger parent is an authoritarian parent, taking over their child's sense of internal control and self-motivation. The jellyfish parent is a permissive parent. They tend to lack impulse control. The dolphin parent is the balance of these two extremes and are authoritative in nature. Like the body of the dolphin, they are firm yet flexible. What kind of parent are you? Read More

On Tiger Mom

It seems that the table doesn't capture the core difference in parenting style - the role of effort. In Tiger's family, the parents believe that effort is the key to excellence and performance. Whereas the liberal parents believe that individuality and self-paced, self-motivated action will do. And liberal parents will praise their children for whatever the outcome, excellent or otherwise.

jellyfish term

I read a book a few months ago by Barbara Coloroso. I am sure it is at least ten years old. She used the terms backbone, jellyfish and brick wall. You may want to read her book before claiming that you coined the term jellyfish parent.

Agree with "Jellyfish Term" submission by anonymous

I was shocked when I saw Dr. Kang speak on Global Noon News in Vancouver about her book "The Dolphin Way". I am quite a fan of Barbara Coloroso and attended many of her talks in the 90's. Clearly Dr. Kang has liberally "borrowed" the ideas of a brickwall, jellyfish, and backbone parent from Barabara's book "Kids Are Worth It". I wonder if Dr. Kang's publishers are aware.

The 3 classic parenting

The 3 classic parenting styles of authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive are well known and used widely with different terms. The Dolphin Way metaphor goes far beyond just a parenting style to a complete lifestyle resulting in the "dolphin" traits we want to see in our kids - intelligent, joyful, and community connected. The book is great and tackles 21st century issues parenting issues head on.

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Shimi Kang, M.D., is an award-winning, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and author of The Dolphin Way.

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