What do you think of "Tiger Mom"?

Marylea - posted on 02/21/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Okay so someone posted a link to this article on the welcome to CoM page.



http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...



It's a bit long but if you take the time to read it through there's definite debating potential. It's written by Amy Chua, a Chinese American mother of 2 who explains the differences between Chinese mothers and Western mothers in terms of parenting styles. Its pretty interesting. Here's a few excerpts:



"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:



attend a sleepover

have a playdate

be in a school play

complain about not being in a school play

watch TV or play computer games

choose their own extracurricular activities

get any grade less than an A

not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

play any instrument other than the piano or violin

not play the piano or violin."



"...even when Western parents think they're being strict, they usually don't come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It's hours two and three that get tough."



"What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it's math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more."



"The fact is that Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable—even legally actionable—to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty—lose some weight." By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of "health" and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image...Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best. Chinese parents can say, "You're lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you." By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they're not disappointed about how their kids turned out."

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Charlie - posted on 02/21/2011

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Meh they have little freedom and rights to exercise their individuality and as a nation they have a massive suicide rate ....financial success and winning isn't happiness .

Katherine - posted on 02/22/2011

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They are coming out with so many excerpts of the book and frankly (no offense) it's getting boring.

What a way to live. It's depressing reading about it.

JuLeah - posted on 02/22/2011

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There is no one system that is 'right' while all others are wrong. She makes some good points and has some good ideas. Her system doesn't work for me or my child, but she gave me stuff to think about

Nicole - posted on 02/21/2011

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When it comes to parenting everyone is a critic. I can’t help admiring Amy Chau for her frank honesty in discussing how she raised her children and why. I don't agree with everything she does, but I appreciate the perspective she offers and I love reading anything that demonstrates that there is more than one way to do something.



I think she made a really strong point when she said, "What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it's math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more."







I agree that it is important to expect excellence from your child and believe in their potential. I also think that children should be given every opportunity to be successful. I just choose to take a different route to achieving that success.







It was a really interesting read. It seems to have a lot of parents foaming at the mouth right now.

Stifler's - posted on 02/21/2011

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I pity their kids, they aren't allowed to do anything. Although, I do feel that Westerners just look for anyone but themselves to blame. 'it's the school's fault my kid isn't smart'... 'it's the school's fault johnny doesn't like maths'...

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13 Comments

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Tracey - posted on 07/04/2012

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And what happens when these children are so tired after doing 3 hours of music practice per day that they don't have time for homework and don't get 'A' in every subject?

Tara - posted on 02/22/2011

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So much of what they are learning isn't learning at all, it's memorization, so that at a later date, designated by someone else, those children can regurgitate that info.
I feel bad for their children, they have little freedom and so much pressure to be perfect~~just like everyone else in their class/peer group etc. = a cog in a machine, with no real purpose other than to be like everyone else or better.

Angela - posted on 02/22/2011

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I find this woman to be incredibly ignorant.

First,shes Stereotyping herself along with other Chinese Mothers, which speaks wonders about her intelligance.

Second, She generalizes and ASSumes Parenting within "Western Culture." There are so many cultures that Follow specific values and morals, within Western Culture, that she obviously knows nothing of.

Third, children arent born with the mentalites of 30 year olds so when she talks about "What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it's math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more."....well you have to encourage children even when they are not to great at something in order to make them better.

Hailey - posted on 02/22/2011

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..........and so what if your kid is not top of the class!! They could be bottom of the class but if they are the best in their mothers eyes that will be better than ok for them....make them confident....happy.....well rounded....supported.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/21/2011

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Bullshit. My parents never made me do squat and I was top of my class and a nationally award-winning jazz musician. My parents gave me the support and belief that I could achieve and I did the work on my own. It makes me kind of sad that this woman doesn't think her children could be successful without force. I bet a bit of support and inspiration goes a lot further in creating a well rounded person.



And what the heck is the point of being successful if you're so damn dull you can't even be in a play if you want to? Really? There are soooo many things I suck brutally at that I still have fun doing. *cough* dancing *cough*

Bonnie - posted on 02/21/2011

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They have little freedom is right and always seem pressured to have to be the best. What kind of life is that?

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