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07

Mar

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

All the same, 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 for thirty 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. […]

Some might think that the American sports parent is an analog to the Chinese mother.  This is so wrong.  Unlike your typical Western overscheduling soccer mom, the Chinese mother believes that (1) schoolwork always comes first; (2) an A-minus is a bad grade; (3) your children must be two years ahead of their classmates in math; (4) you must never compliment your children in public; (5) if your child ever disagrees with a teacher or coach, you must always take the side of the teacher or coach; (6) the only activities your children should be permitted to do are those in which they can eventually win a medal; and (7) that medal must be gold. […]

As I watched American parents slathering praise on their kids for the lowest of tasks - drawing a squiggle or waving a stick - I came to see that Chinese parents have two things over their Western counterparts: (1) higher dreams for their children, and (2) higher regard for their children in the sense of knowing how much they can take.”

Just picked up Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.  This is how we’re getting started. 

For a critical point of reference, Amy Chua, a professor at Yale Law and mother of two daughters, has also authored World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability and Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance and Why They Fall.

If someone had to shed light on the stereotypical demands and achievements of Chinese mothers, their children and families, I think Chua would be the one.