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Monday, September 12, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Photo from asiaing.com

Another book PEx book club decided to discuss is the "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua.

The book is a story about her life as parent to two girls and how beneficial the Chinese way of parenting compared to Western parenting. Being brought up the Chinese way by immigrant parents, Amy Chua thought that raising her bi-racial kids (her husband's caucasian) the Chinese way will diminish the so-called "generation decline" or the decline of the Chinese way of thinking and these kids might be more Western in thinking. The term "Chinese mother" was loosely defined in the book as a traditional (or rather Asian) way of raising children. A non-Chinese parent can practice Chinese parenting, according to the author.

She brought up her kids, Sophia and Lulu with very strict rules such as: no sleepovers, no TV and computer games, no playdates, they cannot be in school plays, and they only play two instruments: violin and piano. Moreover, grades below A+ mean trouble.

She trained her two kids to practice violin and piano for several hours everyday, even during travel. And also, they are not allowed to complain.

I partly agree and disagree with Amy Chua. Though Sophia grew up to be an obedient girl, Lulu resented the way she was being brought up. She rebelled and let her mother know that she wanted a bit of freedom. So, Lulu chose to play tennis. Much to her parents' surprise, she played tennis with a lot of rigor and determination, an obvious result of having a Chinese mother.

Personally, I didn't grow up with gameboy, playstation or other consoles, I was bought a V-tech, which was more educational. And when that V-tech broke, I was bought another, no questions asked. I learned later that V-tech was actually more expensive than gameboy.

I cannot say if this was good, but I grew up watching a lot of TV. I was allowed to watch as long as I want given that I already did my homework.

I also had piano lessons for a year but I discontinued because my piano teacher went back to the States. This is one of my life's biggest regrets ever. I wish I continued my piano lessons.

Overall, I am amazed by the way Amy Chua raised her children and the hours she selflessly spent to be present on all those piano and violin practices. It was also impressive that she injected the Jewish religion (her husband's religion) in her children.

I cannot say if I could be tiger mother if I would be a parent, I don't think I have that courage and I think I'm more of a pushover. But I hope I could apply a bit of Amy Chua's parenting style someday.

6 comments:

  1. Amy Chua's parenting style has a lot of merit, although it has its disadvantages too. I would like my children to succeed, but I would want to be close to them too.

    Fickle Cattle
    ficklecattle.blogspot.com

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  2. Hi Fickle Cattle! I agree. Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

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  3. I'm 70% tiger Mom ... I choose to be since I want Brent to excel and be the best he can be ... but the 30% makes sure that he loves me. LOL

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  4. Hi Kay! I guess it works because Brent is a rock star.haha. :)

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  5. I believe tha Amy Chua had some good and bad points. Although I agree that kids should be encouraged to do their best, it is also important that there is a balance. =)

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  6. Hi Jane, I agree, balance is essential to parenting. :)

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