Monday, January 17, 2011

Is Tiger Mom the Best Mom?

This article on parenting Chinese style appeared a week ago in the Wall Street Journal and has elicited literally thousands of responses and numerous counter articles. The author begins her piece by stating that:

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:

Erin Patrice O'Brien for The Wall Street Journal

Amy Chua with her daughters, Louisa and Sophia, at their home in New Haven, Conn.

• 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.


Hanna Rosin responded to this article: See here

As did Ayelet Waldman: See here

UPDATE: Tiger Mom's daughter comes to her defense: See here

1 comment:

  1. Although "Tiger Mom" probably considers this strict upbringing to be one that creates an intelligent and classically successful child, her methods are ferociously outdated for our Western society. Assuming that these children are going to seek employment in the American job market, it must be called to attention that the ability to make straight A’s and play the piano, while helpful, does not fully create a prodigy for success. What is important in our increasingly global world is the ability to be personable and likeable, considering most every profession involves personal contact with a variety of people. By being forbidden to socialize and have play dates, this strict mom severely cripples her child’s ability to create these extremely important social skills. Additionally, the importance of having unique abilities and interests (such as the extracurricular activities this mother is banning) is a huge factor in not only getting into any university in America and standing out amongst the growing competition in the job market but also in being able to grow confidently as a functioning, independent individual in society. Although “Tiger Mom’s” methods may seem legitimate to her, they are extremely outdated for this growing society and, if anything, are leading her children toward a poorly rounded and overall unhappy life.