Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Chinese Mothers are Superior

Professor Amy Chua argues that Chinese style parenting is not only different than more effective that "western" parenting in an excerpt of her new book  Tiger Mother   which appeared in Saturday's Wall St. Journal.

Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best. Chinese parents can say, "You're lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you." By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they're not disappointed about how their kids turned out.
There was considerable commenting (over 1000) so far as one would expect from someone who is writing "so expertly" on the best approach to parenting.  Bloggers were up in arms about her premise:  that  screaming at one's children to do drill work and music practice  and depriving them of  fun or social contact with their peers are the secrets to why Chinese and Chinese Americans raise smarter and more successful children than regular decadent Americans do.

Slate writer  Tom Scocca asks the question:  What makes her so sure she has succeeded?  Just because they got into a "good" college doesn't mean you have success. The jury is still out because of their relatively young ages.

Asian American adults have been weighing in on the article.  One response:  from blogger Betty Ming Liu, who says “Parents like Amy Chua are the reason why Asian Americans like me are in therapy.”  Looking forward to the follow-up discussion on the WSJ Ideas Market blog this Thursday.

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