Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CHINESE TIGER MOTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amy Chua actively parenting her kid.

There has been a lot of words written and spoken lately on the book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Yale law professor and self described best mother in the world, Amy Chua. There is a brief article by her in the Wall Street Journal describing her parenting style, which could best be described as a coddled, slacker American kid's worst nightmare. Quick, read the article here!!
Now I work in Chinese schools and I am around a lot of Chinese parents. She does represent one type of super parent, but I think she is a tad arrogant when she speaks for the entire nation of mothers as if they are all like her. Some are, some are meaner, some are easier, some ignore their kids, and some totally spoil their kids so they end up being lazy, non productive douches. However, the point is that the Chinese culture mostly demands a lot more from their kids and most parents demand a lot from their kids, and many mothers, including my wife take a very active role in their kids' education. Fun is a very small part of a kid's life, and they mostly work their tails off trying to be the best. They are kicking serious American hiney in Math and Science scores.
I've read quite a few rebuttals about her book, and a pretty good one is here. Some of things lacking in Chinese kids' upbringing and education are creativity, human relationship skills, and just being able to figure out how to solve an every day quandary that is not a test question.
There are some American child rearing techniques that drive me nuts, though and I experienced the net results of these when I used to supervise crews of young adults. There was a pervasive sense of entitlement from too many, and many did not understand that there were consequences for their crappy work habits.
One of the reasons for this is that too many American parents accept mediocrity and praise it, in fact praise everything from C+ grades from a bright student to not getting kicked out of a class for 3 weeks in a row. "Gee, Travis that is so great that you came home right after school today and only watched 2 hours of TV!!! That is so wonderful! You are awesome!!!!"
The kids I teach in the top ranked middle school may have pencil arms, can't dance, don't have driver's licenses, and dress dorky, but virtually all will have good careers and will take care of their tiger mothers in their old age. Or else their mothers will eat them.


***I don't want anyone to confuse the title with "Tiger's Mother". She is from Thailand, and even though he is a truly awesome golfer, he is a total failure as a husband.

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