05 Dec '11, 2am
Sleepy song of the Snake Mother: #parenting
ANIMAL-STYLE parenting, it seems, is all the rage these days. First, there was the savvy, self-styled and self-satisfied Tiger Mom, Yale law professor Amy Chua, and her two high-achieving tiger cubs. Then came the cane-wielding Wolf Dad - Chinese businessman Xiao Baiyou - who recently published his parenting manual to controversy, claiming that his strict methods ("Beat your children every three days") made sure three of his four children made it to Peking University. Littered along the way have been a panda dad (writer Alan Paul, who is "happy to parent with cuddliness, but not afraid to show some claw"), and a lion mother (a blogger who believes in bringing up kids to survive as "life is hard and the world can be a cold place"). Even koalas, hippos and pussycats have been dragged out of the menagerie to help parents brand themselves. Inevitably, the backlash against anim...