You’ve likely seen the recent press surrounding Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and the backlash after her published excerpt and Wall Street Journal article, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” This past weekend, I saw Joy Behar put Chua on the “TV defense,” as Chua defended many of her statements, asked if Joy had read the whole book, and seemed to backpedal, according to Joy. Chua admits, in the Journal article, that her daughters “were never allowed to attend a sleepover, have a playdate, be in a school play, watch TV or play computer games, get any grade less than an A,” and so on.
Shortly after this article was published, The Wall Street Journal ran another piece, “The Tiger Mother Talks Back,” where she responded to reader questions. (The Journal said her article “set off a wave of discussion around the world” and generated more than 5,700 comments on their website — I just checked, and it’s now up to 7,357! ). The comments – some in support, some strongly against Chua’s style of parenting – came from people of all nationalities.
I think the bottom line is that there is never a “one size, fits all” style of parenting, and that we should open our minds to how cultural backgrounds may affect the way different families raise kids. Also, however, I think that anytime we hear about what could be considered “extreme parenting” by the standards we have, whatever they are, we fear the kids are being pushed too far, too hard. Case in point: Race to Nowhere documentary showing the possible risks in pushing kids too much, too fast, too early.
Provocative parenting, huh? I think it’s fascinating, especially realizing how our own upbringing charts our own parenting path. I also think we can learn a lot from other cultures and how their parenting tactics could be integrated – or not – into our own.
What do you think? How much is our upbringing reflected in how we raise our kids? Do you mirror exactly how your parents raised you, or do you think you have a different approach? I’m hoping The MomTini Lounge will get 8,000 comments on this one! 🙂