Welcome to the Chinese zodiac for kids and parents!
About the Tiger Child
An exuberant little daredevil, your Tiger child is alternately the cuddliest little bundle of irrepressible joy and an uncoachable wild child. He’s born with an unerring homing device for fun (and parents of Tigers may add, trouble too) — wherever it is to be found, he’ll beam himself into the center of it before you can blink. Charismatic and bright, he’ll talk an ear off, sharing his many schemes and dreams with his captive audience of the moment.
An ultimate optimist (and this world could sure use some unfettered optimism!), your Tiger child will always bounce back from any setback, much like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh. His insatiable curiosity about life will lead him into more than his fair share of adventures and resulting scrapes, but you can’t keep a good cat down! Create spaces in your home and schedule for this child to exercise and romp freely — he’s not one to sit quietly in the corner with his picture books while you do your needlepoint. If you do require some peace and quiet, make an adventure out of a household task that only he can perform. (As an example, one mother of a Tiger would have her rambunctious tot untangle all the necklaces in her jewelry box!) Supply ready outlets for social interaction and sport to keep both of you sane. And don’t be surprised when your Tiger child wows you with his natural athletic grace and ability — bouncing’s what Tiggers do best! Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!
Though his life may seem volatile to the more tame members of the zodiac, it will also bring a Tiger’s share of laughter, luck, passion, and adventure. You may want to tear your hair out a few times during his younger years as he tests his mettle in various hair-raising acts of daring, but with the right balance of discipline, love, understanding, and trips to the ER, this child will be the lovable perpetual sunbeam in your life.
Your little Tiger is born with all the charm and unsinkable optimism he’ll need to navigate the ebb and flow of fortune in life. He possesses a big heart to rival his healthy ego, and he naturally dispenses love and charity to those people and interests that capture his imagination — from family and pets to the needy and downtrodden of the world. It is said that the sign of the Tiger wards off the three primary dangers to the home: fire, theft, and ghosts — so you’ve got that insurance policy working for you, which is nice.
Tigers are a ton of fun, forever hatching the next delightful and elaborate escapade. He’ll make friends easily with his gregarious and big-hearted personality, happy-go-lucky attitude, and irrepressible sense of humor. There may be a tendency in childhood toward rough play and bullying of younger kids, but this child is for the most part a sincere and affectionate friend.
Best boon companions: As Tigers grow up, they will discover a natural co-conspirator in the Horse, who possesses a similar joie de vivre and love of action — all the better that the Horse can bring a leavening quality of commonsense to some of the Tiger’s more hare-brained schemes. The forthright Pig likewise provides a stabilizing effect to his friendship with the Tiger. Perhaps most copacetic of all, the loyal Dog can actually reason with the Tiger, making him a trusted advisor and devotee.
Better left alone: Less likely to make harmonious music with the Tiger is the Snake (too subtle and detached to provide the Tiger with the spotlight treatment his ego demands) and the Monkey, who will bait the Tiger into volcanic reaction through his constant teasing.
Like Alice who tumbled down the rabbit hole, Tiger children are curiouser and curiouser! They have tremendously inquisitive and agile minds and can be exceptionally good students when their interest is engaged. Should the pace and content of your child's lessons not meet his interest bar, he could display a propensity for daydreaming and disruption in class. You can be an invaluable bolster to his education by becoming involved in the subjects that fire his imagination, leaning in to provide additional books or tools to help him advance his understanding away from school. Don’t forget to reward his patient instructor come Teacher Appreciation Day — it is likely she spends a fair amount of time riding herd on your sociable little chatterbox in class.
Parenting the Tiger Child
Help create a stepping stool from of a stumbling block: The Tiger has two short suits in life that will bedevil him: Rashness and indecision. Help him learn how to navigate a middle road in situations so as to avoid the pitfalls of acting too quickly … or failing to act at all.
Heap on the TLC: When your little Tiger is down in the mouth, he will look to you to ladle on some restorative TLC. No matter who was right or wrong, he will want your unadulterated sympathy, not a rational recapitulation of the tussle, or worse, a dismissive reaction to his woe (the Tiger *hates* to be ignored more than anything). He’ll spring back, as Tigger-like as ever, by virtue of your soothing words of support.
Brat today, bully tomorrow: This may sound draconian and antithetical to the enlightened parenting of our era, but the earlier this child realizes who is boss (ahem, that's you ...), the better for all parties present and future. The Tiger youngster can have explosive emotions to which he gives free vent, and as he grows older and the stakes — emotional, professional, etc. — get higher, combustive reactions leading to unchecked displays of aggressiveness will cost the Tiger dearly. Create your own failsafe system at home that will allow you and your Tiger child to identify the signs and defuse situations where temper would typically run amok. Establishing a family ethic of listening to reason and seeking compromise will help this child effectively master his volatile moods so they don’t negatively affect his relationships as he matures.