I was honoured to be quoted several times in a recent Financial Times article on the trend of wealthy expats hiring consultants to advise them on choosing the best nurseries and schools for their children. The article was more balanced than I expected, as you never know what angle journalists might take on such a topic. But even in a balanced article, it is clear that journalists love the outrageous anecdotes of tiger parents planning their children’s academic and professional future before they can even walk (you can read the article “Paid to advise on the ‘right’ nursery” here).
Everybody loves reading such stories, and the most interesting part is going through the comments at the bottom of the article. What people who get worked up about “tiger parents” sometimes forget is that journalists are very good at picking those quotes and anecdotes that are going to create discussion, while obviously dismissing most of the “boring” stories of reasonable parents just doing what’s best for their children. Yes, I’ve had funny enquiries, my favourite probably coming from a parent determined to maximise their child’s chances of getting into Oxford, and it turned out they weren’t even pregnant yet. But for each one of these, I help expat parents moving here with a child who speaks no or limited English and needs a nursery that has experience with that, or a single working mother whose child was bullied in an international school abroad and just wants to find a school where she knows her daughter will thrive and be happy and a wide range of other parents who want their children to be happy and yes, ideally also receive a great education. But of course, these parents are too reasonable to make it into the newspapers.
Of course, I won’t complain about the publicity, so enjoy the article and just make sure you take everything with a grain of salt!