I'm not a Tiger Mother, but I (secretly) admire Amy Chua
A parent such as Chua who takes charge against an unrelenting culture of stupidity should be admired, not scorned. She should not be defending herself; instead, we should be taking notes.
“Remember years ago when I threatened boarding school?” I asked my 16-year-old son after I forced him to put down “Lord of the Rings” and read Amy Chua’s essay in the Wall Street Journal. “You thought I was bad, just take a look at this,” I said.Skip to next paragraph
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Ms. Chua, a Yale Law School professor recently chronicled her strict parenting style in the Wall Street Journal essay, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.” Her adherence to no sleepovers, play dates, television, sports or drama, and her demands for straight A’s and hours of piano practice drew some 7,000 comments, the largest response in the history of the Journal. Her new book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” hit number five on The New York Times hardcover non-fiction bestseller list this week.
ANOTHER VIEW: An alternative to "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother"
At a recent coffee gathering, mothers I talked to were appalled. Some said Chua’s children would end up depressed, headed for years of therapy. Others said they might become successful adults, but would never be happy.
Poor Amy. She was hit with a fusillade of bad vibes from moms all over the country, a virtual witch hunt. But how else could we react? Next to Chua, we feel like losers. While Amy is directing and challenging her children, we are cajoling and pleading with ours. And who can blame us? It’s exhausting, and the battle, never ending. But meanwhile our young sons are playing video games 24/7 and our country slips in global test score rankings.
A friend down the block called the day after the article appeared and whispered, “Well, you and I are sort of like her, but we can’t tell anyone.”
Indeed, how could anyone admit to agreement with Chua’s disciplinary methods in a nation that prides itself on letting children make their own decisions? “I’ve never told my son to stop watching television,” said one mother over coffee. “That’s up to him. That’s what kids his age do.”