So much has been said about Amy Chua’s first article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.” Some were outraged, some nodded, some didn’t care ; which are you?
I have to be honest and say that I was mildly outraged by Ms. Chua’s parenting style. I was never bullied into something I did not want. My parents are like hippies and they gave me all the freedom I wanted. And hey, I turned out okay.
What blown me away on the article is the harsh nature of Ms. Chua’s superiority over her children (and husband?). But I have to give it to her when she said, her parenting style has produced results. Your daughter playing piano at Carnegie Hall is truly an accomplishment but thinking what my daughter had to go through before all that (and it’s because of my over motivation!), I would just be happy to see her play an instrument for a rather smaller audience.
There was also a part in the article that says the term, Chinese Mother, does not apply to mothers from a Chinese ancestry but is more of referring to a certain parenting style.
With that, let me just say that I fall far far far far away from the Chinese mother category.
I cannot bring myself to dictate to my son what his interests should or shouldn’t be. Ms. Chua states that she only allowed her daughters to study piano or violin, no other instruments were considered. I can’t imagine doing that to my son. I mean, I might be depriving the world of a world-class tambourine player if I did so.
This part of her article, though, did strike me the most:
There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids’ true interests. For their part, many Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it’s a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.
Most parents want nothing but the best for their children and would almost do anything to give them just that. The thing is, we differ on how we uhmmm put our parenting skills into action (or words).
The thing about her loosing her voice from so much yelling because her daughter can’t or refuses to get the right notes, was over the top for me. I could not bear say extreme words to my daughter.
But that must be the softie mother in me. Don’t get me wrong, I am also your typical monster Mom on some rare occasions when stress over powers but I do nothing as errr…extreme as Ms. Chua.
I do not condemn her parenting style but I certainly do not agree on it. Perhaps in parenting, the famous quote, “to each his own”, is the best way to put it.
*turns to Peaches and shouts, Get your guitar and start practicing Now NA!!!*