The ‘Tiger Mother’ Has a Contract for Her Cubs

My daughters Sophia and Lulu are now 23 and 20, and they’re both working in New York City this summer. Their plan is to stay (for free) in our Manhattan apartment—the pied-à-terre that my husband, Jed, and I spent 20 years saving up for.

Fortunately, I teach contracts law at Yale, and I came up with a solution. I made my daughters sign a contract—totally valid and legally enforceable—the text of which is reproduced below.

That’s why no kids for me…

Oh come on. Just don’t let them back into your house if you’re that worried about it.

  1. Whenever any guests visit, to come out of the bedroom immediately in a respectable state, greet the guests with enthusiasm, and sit and converse with the guests in the living room for at least 15 minutes.

I suspect this is THE DEAL BREAKER for most kids today…

I would generally agree, but I’ve actually found that I like my MIL’s friends quite a bit. Much more than my MIL. So, you never know…

But you know, free rent ain’t cheap.

Free rent comes with a price. I think it’s reasonable to have conditions when renting for free just like there are conditions for renting for money. Not the same conditions.

I recall leaving the the 21 year old in charge of the younger ones while away for a week which included making sure they got to school. Explicit instructions of how the house should look when I return were given. From what I gathered the 21 year old got them up at the crack of dawn and had them clean everything.

I bet they were very happy to see you :slight_smile:

I think they did more chores than normal and a few grand adventures as they had been signed out of school early a few days. They did sleep most of the next day. The oldest while a child of technology might have been best suited for the golden age of pirating or perhaps a Roman soldier yelling row with whip in hand. :slight_smile: I ignored the signing out figuring they earned their adventure. Another relative took them out for dinner a few times and reported they were clean and in good spirits.

My oldest suffered from having a mom who was a high achiever, had a high GPA and cut class in high school whenever I could. I knew the tricks. I also knew that mental health days were important. One of those pick the battles things.

That’s interesting nanomug! I have been receiving what I’d consider harassing letters from the public school system over one of my child’s tardies and absences none of which have been vacation or mental health days.

The first letter was “your child has been late too much.” After being at a parochial school I was trained that if you were even one minute late, you should get the late slip. Lesson I learned was not to tell him to get a late slip on the way in and let the teacher send him back if needed.

Second letter was that my child had been tardy (>30min late) or absent too many days. Which is apparently 3 days in CA. One of those days was a religious holy day which I guess the admin didn’t see fit to give me an excused absence for. Second one was because we were in SF very late for a concert and I wanted him rested for school. Third I don’t remember being late for.

Third letter? “Your child has been sick too much! If you keep it up, you’ll have to send in a doctor’s notice.” WTF??? I didn’t even do any “Mental health” days. If the kid is sick, he’s sick. At least one of those days he was sent home for throwing up (in front of the admin desk no less! Mental note–do not put carpeting in a school’s office).

Again, no free lunch. Free schooling = harassing letters from the state. Sheesh.

Public schools vary in their policy about children out sick. If a student attends one class it is counted as an attended day in California. Un-attended days do not get state funds. There was a push a decade ago for 95_98% daily attendance rate. Worse program ever. Kids came to school sick infecting others including teachers. Teachers get sick days, why can’t students?

There is a story going around about a middle school student that got in trouble because she went to the bathroom too many times. There were 3 minutes between classes and they didn’t allow students to use the restroom at lunch. PE was the only option. The girl started her period and had to e plain in front of the class why she had to go to the restroom. Stupid rules.

Many years ago in California there was excused absences that the schools were paid for. Now the biggest penalty a high school student gets for too many absences aside fro impact on grades is not being allowed to go to prom.

My kids were not often sick and many years I watched parents pull students out for long weekends. Then I found out how they got away with it. More than 5 days (I think) the student can get independent study materials from the teacher(s). If the student returns early it is still counted as being in school.

I had senior it is with my youngest who only had two academic class (the rest music/cooking) senior year and we went on a two week school tour on the east coast based on independent study. Cooking class required a blog on food eaten, music required attending a concert and since AP testing was done the teachers said have a nice time. We did. I did feel guilty.

What are we teaching kids by punishing them for being sick. That when they grow up they will be fired for being sic?

Wow… That’s horrible regarding the girl with her period. I think I will keep my daughter home if that becomes an issue for her. I know I missed school for my first period as I’m pretty sure I had a fever. I remember being home.

Parents already bring their kids in sick already because they can’t afford the sick days, so yeah… Sucks to be harassed. I do get a little smile knowing that when he’s throwing up in their office, they get to be the ones to clean it up, not me. Harass me some more. I’ll make sure he shows up every time he feels like throwing up. Why pay $20 for copay to verify it?

Exactly. Education for children is not for the feint of heart. I’ve found both public and private to have their issues. Being an advocate for our children takes fortitude and lots of willpower. I think you have both Terri and are doing what you need to do for your children to have a good education and be prepared for life.

I was dismissed by someone recently who said I was too strong to understand. It took all my self control not to laugh, I am only as strong as circumstances dictate. Which I figure is what parents do day in and day out: be strong for their families.

It’s true that public and private both have their issues, definitely different issues, but some schools are better than others. I just wasn’t expecting the government to be sending me nasty letters like this. I guess maybe I take them a little too seriously… I imagine other parents ignore them.

Serious is good and so is humor. I’m better at serious and work on the humor part sometimes too much.

Advocate for your child. Take it seriously enough to keep him where he belongs and laugh the rest off.

When the oldest was in high school the counselor drive us nuts. He would say no to my child then I would make an appointment and he would say yes. By 10th grade I’d had enough. The first time it happened I called and said as much as I enjoyed speaking to him I suggested we reduce appointments to things that really mattered. Like if my child got a B. If he had questions about any request please feel free to call or email. The next call was senior year when it was noted that a health and computer class was missing. We found a solution and he said he wished all parents were like me. WTF.