Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amy Chua What Kind of Mother Are You

 Amy Chua’s WSJ article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” is getting a lot of attention.  Where do you come out as a mother – more relaxed or more demanding?  What approach do you have when it comes to parenting – more Western, Eastern or somewhere in between?  Is there merit to this discussion or was the article planted to generate buzz?

My parent's philosophy was  certainly closer to Eastern philosophy.  My own parenting skills screamed Western.  
  Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherThere are several things Chua NEVER allowed her daughters to do. These included play dates, performing in a school play (and they could not complain about this), be less than No. 1 in every subject (except gym and drama), and refuse to play the violin and piano. These two instruments were a requirement, and long and rigorous practices happened every day, leaving the kids no time for play. In her book, she states this is the normal way children are raised in Eastern cultures. She believes Westerners have it all wrong.
The fact the children were not allowed to make play dates -- and did not even have time for play, anyway -- is appalling. Children need to play. It helps develop important social and life skills. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that play is crucial to cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being.

I always wondered why the Asian kids did so much better than the rest of us.  Didn't you think it was because they were just miraculously born smarter.  Maybe.  According to Amy Chua  it is mothering.

Positive parenting, from what I have observed firsthand, teaches children to think for themselves and make wise life decisions.

Both schools of thought have their merits.  When your child is doing superior work, it is easy to positively parent.  The trouble occurs when your child is struggling in school, what do you do or say?
chinese - both.png 


Jann Mirchandani said...

I tend to skew in the middle. I set very high expectations for my children in school and how they conduct themselves. Grades should reflect their best work always; Bs show they're not doing their best. They have chores they have to do just because they live here. Back talk is not tolerated.

But I also encourage them to pursue their own interests and support them in these endeavors. Playdates don't need to be planned in advance; as long as their work is done and I'm available impromptu get togethers are fine.

They're still a work in progress as we all are, but they're great kids so something's working!

Anonymous said...

I think her way of parenting is taking the easy way out.
Born from saying NO, that is easy. The true parenting conundrum is when to say no, allowing that child to learn and make mistakes.

Also does she have a full time job? Her Helicopter parenting style can only be achieved when its your full time job.

No wonder she wrote a book, she needs money to stay home and be super mom.

Listen up America, take lessons from her as you would from others and find what works for your children.
In China, few get to actually enjoy their life, be them adult or children. currently with only 1 child allowed per family it makes it easy to focus yourself on that child.
Whereas here in the US we can have as many as we choose.
That in itself makes it harder to be the Parent of NO...

As I am the active father of 4, i am learning everyday. I do know that structure is of utmost importance. Your child will be better off as long as we the parents remain consistent with our teaching and show support and love for our children.

In closing: Oriental children have more resentment towards there parents then we here in America. But they won't say it out loud, for fear of parental backlash.