Tiger Babies Strike Back


This book is my first work of non-fiction. I come out against the strict parenting style of Chinese American “Tiger Moms.”  I say Chinese people are not Number One all the time. Some of us occasionally get Bs, and are not ruining the academic curve for everyone else and playing violin solos at Carnegie Hall by the time we are twelve.

What is a Tiger Baby, anyway?” Take this short quiz and find out:

Do you have strict parents who are always up in your grill, criticizing you and giving you no love even though, really, you can’t be all that bad?

Are you Asian American and not on the honor roll?

Do you seem okay on the outside but inside you feel empty, but not because you are actually empty, but because everyone else around you is messing with your good vibes?

These are warning signs that you are a Tiger Baby. Maybe you feel things too deeply, and are constantly being made to feel that you need to “toughen up.” That’s what everyone is always saying to me. Perhaps you are too sensitive, but that is not a bad thing. My book is about how good it is to be emotionally available. But people like us, we get our feelings hurt a lot. And I’m just so bored with that dynamic. I’m here to show you how to rise up from your pile of stuffed animals and strike back. Hence, the title: Tiger Babies Strike Back.

You are a cupcake with buttercream frosting but there’s a rusty nail inside you. You are a homemade marshmallow embedded with broken glass. Seriously. Rise up and tell these people who are walking all over you that you’re not gonna take it anymore. Being a Tiger Baby isn’t bad. On the contrary, it means you are not an idiot. Woo-hoo!

Now what? You will hafta read the books if you wanna know something more. You know what they say, looking is free, but reading the whole thing is gonna cost ya.

buy now

Regardless if you actually have anything more to do with me, I appreciate if you have read this far.

From the Back Cover

Kim Wong Keltner is a Tiger Baby all grown up with a daughter of her own… but is she a Tiger Mother? Heck, no. This book describes—in hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking, detail—exactly why not.

A battle hymn for every non-Tiger offspring of Tiger parents, Tiger Babies Strike Back examines why generations of kids have been made to feel inferior, isolated, suffocated, and humiliated in dogged pursuit of one goal: making their elders look good. In search of answers, Keltner delves into her own childhood, family history, and community traditions to expose the seamy underbelly of perfectionistic parenting. Can the Tiger-parented take back their emotional lives and love their own kids unconditionally? Keltner herself is living, hugging, fabulously flawed, Care Bear tea-party-throwing proof that they can.

Traversing the choppy seas of American and Chinese traditions, Keltner dives into the difficulties facing women today—Chinese American and otherwise. At once deeply relevant and playfully honest, Tiger Babies Strike Back combines personal anecdotes and tough love advice for a humorous, provocative look at how our families shape—and sometimes shake—our personal foundations.