Episode 70: Parenting Decentering Whiteness – Untigering w/ Iris Chen

April 13, 2020

Show Description

Throughout the series, Parenting Decentering Whiteness, my special co-host, Leslie Arreola Hillenbrand, and I have been interviewing parenting influencers of color. Parenting spaces are majority white, which is a massive distortion of the actual world in which we live. If we want to raise our children into developing meaningful relationships with those around them, we have to start listening to voices that reflect the actual life experiences of our world.

Today, we are joined by Iris Chen. Iris is a Chinese American known for her work with unlearning and detoxing from tiger parenting, aka untigering. She is a deconstructing tiger mother who is trying to become a gentle and respectful parent. We are so happy to have her with us to talk about her work and her perspective on parenting. 

Show Highlights:

  • Tiger parenting, what it is and the practice of untigering 
  • Iris shares her own experience with tiger parenting and how she began to question what she was doing; and recognized the ways it was hurting her son and hurting their relationship.
  • How Iris said she leaned on coercion, domination, and oppression over children and how she wants to encourage all of us to change and transform from those patterns and those strategies to anti-oppressive ways of relating with children. 
  • Perspectives on the orientation of undoing or dismantling – is it too negative?
  • Some gaps that need to be filled in the Asian parenting community and what we wish would be talked about more.
  • Speaking on ethnic identity, we discuss whether or not there are nonviolent or liberating parenting practices that are particular to the Asian American story.
  • Whatever our culture is, we don’t want to be wasteful. The idea of the shared plate in Asian culture and allowing a child to choose how much to put on their plate; acknowledging there are ways to practice not being wasteful yet also honor our kids’ autonomy.


Links (affiliates included):

Iris Chen Untigering –

Gene Luen Yang –

Parenting Forward Conference –

Join us at the Parenting Forward Patreon Team –

Parenting Forward, the Book –