McCann 'Truth About Moms' points to Indian 'tiger' moms

49 pc married mothers globally would give up their engagement rings before personal technology, which enables them to be better mothers

Jul 19, 2012 01:16:00 PM | Article | Campaign India Team

McCann Truth Central, McCann Erickson’s global intelligence unit, has revealed the findings of its latest study ‘The Truth About Moms’.

In the study, 83 per cent respondents across markets ranked happiness for their children above success and riches, when asked ‘If they could only be one, is it more important for your children to be happy, successful or rich?’ In comparison, only 53 pc of Indian mothers surveyed picked ‘happy’ over successful (46 pc) and rich ( 1 pc).

On prioritizing success, Chinese mothers came second, though only 20 pc of them picked success over ‘happy’ (77 pc) and rich (3 pc).


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According to the report, “this may be a reflection of India’s ‘tiger mums’, who stress the importance of academic success, often making sacrifices, monetary and otherwise, to ensure their children are given every advantage and in return, they expect them to attain the top grades, attend the best educational institutions and to secure high-ranking jobs in ‘prestigious’ professions such as law, medicine and engineering.”

Explaining the global emphasis on raising ‘happy’ kids, Laura Simpson, Global Director of McCann Truth Central, said, “The global economic battering and corporate scandals of the past few years seem to have contributed to a shift in the goals mums have for their children.”

“Whereas mothers have long been hyper-focused on the material success of their children, today mums, from the U.S. to China to Mexico, appear to be unified by one simple value: They want to raise happy kids.” 

Asked to name the dream app for their mobile phone, 20 pc respondents globally picked one that would allow time travel, including into the future. Most Indian mothers on the other hand picked one that would allow them to monitor their children.

Technology is key

Across markets, 49 per cent of married mothers said they would give up their engagement rings, before personal technology.

Globally, 67 pc respondents said technology helps them to be better mothers. In emerging markets like China (91 pc) and India (90 pc), this number was significantly higher.

The report notes that net-savvy mothers in these markets strongly believe that technology has made their lives significantly easier thanks to information being more readily available, and importantly more convenient - be it answers to queries or homework questions, or tips on how to handle certain situations or behavior.

Not ‘super mum’, but role model

Sixty five pc of all respondents agreed to the statement that ’There is no such thing as a super mum’. The number of Indian mothers who agreed was 72 pc, the highest in any one market.

When asked to choose between the two statements on which better described the kind of mother they wanted to be, 71 pc across markets picked ‘I want my children to know the real me, even if that means showing them the mistakes I make and bits of myself I am less proud of’.

Of Indian mothers, 57 pc - the least in any one market - picked this option. So among all markets, Indians scored the most (43 pc) on the alternative : ‘I want to be a good role model and if necessary, I will hide bits of myself or my behavior that I don’t want my children to see’. This too is in contrast with the global average of 29 pc.


The study is based on an online quantitative survey of 6800 mothers conducted in UK, the US, Italy, Japan, Brazil, China, India and Mexico, and insights from over 40 focus groups conducted in the markets covered and Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

An executive summary of the study is available at