U.S. approves Novartis drug Ilaris to treat childhood arthritis
Novartis said on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved its drug Ilaris to treat a serious form of childhood arthritis. (via Reuters)
Give immigrants healthcare access: U.S. kid doctors
A group representing U.S. pediatricians said this week that its members should pay special attention to the healthcare needs of immigrant children and support health insurance for all – regardless of legal status. (via Reuters)
Pregnancy Interventions Widespread, Not Always Desired, National Survey Shows
Nearly 60 percent of moms said they believe giving birth is a natural process that should not be interfered with unless medically necessary, however the same women reported significant intervention when they were in labor, according to a new national survey. (via Huffington Post)
Texas May Soon Require Cameras In Special Education Classrooms
A bill that would require video cameras in all special education classrooms was passed in the Texas Senate in April and is currently being considered by the state’s House Public Education Committee. (via Huffington Post)
Kids of Tiger Moms Are Worse Off
In her controversial memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” Yale law professor Amy Chua defended her draconian parenting methods, explaining how being a controlling “Chinese-style” parent drives Asian-American children to succeed in ways that permissive “Western-style” parenting does not. But a recently released decade-long study of 444 Chinese-American families shows that the effect tiger parents have on their kids is almost exactly the opposite. (via Yahoo)
Health Sector Takes on Childhood Obesity
As one of the many outgrowths of the sweeping federal health care law, health insurers and employers must now pay the cost of screening children for obesity and providing them with appropriate counseling.
CBS News anchor Katie Couric covers the ever-so-hot topic of how one should praise her child in this week’s webisode of her webshow, @katiecouric. Watch as she interviews blogger Liz Gumbinner and Nurtureshock co-author Ashley Merryman about everything from how to prepare your child for disappointment to the buzzed-about ”tiger mom” parenting philosophy.
Clips from the @katiecouric: Nurtureshock webshow:
Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz greet ‘biutiful’ boy
Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem are the proud parents of a baby boy, according to her spokesperson: “Penelope and Javier welcomed their first son into their family last week. Both parents and baby are doing great.” (Entertainment Weekly)
Record Level of Stress Found in College Freshmen
The emotional health of college freshmen — who feel buffeted by the recession and stressed by the pressures of high school — has declined to the lowest level since an annual survey of incoming students started collecting data 25 years ago. (New York Times)
Another Snow Blow Slams Northeast
NEW YORK – A fierce storm that had been predicted for days caught much of the East Coast off guard Thursday, tearing through with lightning, thunder and tons of wet snow, stranding thousands of road, rail and air travelers, and leaving more than 400,000 customers around the nation’s capital without power. (CBS News)
Social Security to Run Dry by 2037
Congressional budget experts said Wednesday that Social Security will be running a permanent deficit until about 2037, when the fund will run out of money. (The Daily Beast)
Just about every major media outlet has covered this so-called “mean mom” and (no surprise here), the “Battle Hymn” memoir is ranked #4 on the Amazon.com Top 100 list and #1 on the memoir and biography lists.
Let me start by saying that despite my Tiger upbringing I love my parents and I know they love me.
Like Chua’s children, I wasn’t allowed to attend sleepovers until 8th grade, I couldn’t have boyfriends, anything less than an A was unacceptable, and although my parents didn’t discourage me from joining dance and choir, let’s just say they didn’t show up to every recital.
I spent my entire life trying to please my parents. But as Chua’s husband eloquently pointed out, it’s not a child’s job to please. My Tiger mother was definitely more ferocious than my Tiger father. In 5th grade, I told a boy I had a crush on him. My mom overheard me telling my sister. The very next day she looked me straight in the eye and lied, “Your principal called. She learned you told that boy you liked him. That’s against school policy. She said the next time you do that, you’re going to be expelled.” I was terrified. In 9th grade, I learned that I was one of the top 5 students in my grade. Boy was I proud of myself. I ran home to tell my father. His reaction, “Let me know when you’re number one.” Ouch. As a child of Tiger parents, majoring in anything other than science, law, or engineering is unheard of. I decided on journalism. Every semester my parents asked if I was sure. After they learned of the relatively meager salary, my mom raced to point out, “You must regret your decision.”
“No, I don’t Mom.”
A Tiger mom and dad’s expectations of success don’t end after college because to my parents, you are perpetually a child who needs guidance. I moved home after college because finding a job in this economy is hard. I worked in retail for a few months and then for my dad as an office assistant. We had a “meeting” on my first day.
“Your mother and I are concerned you’ve become very mediocre and if you don’t get your life together you’ll work in retail forever. And maybe it’s time you let go of writing and try a real career.”
“Writing is my dream.”
“You do know the difference between a career and hobby, right?”
Being the child of Tiger parents is tough, unless you’re unequivocally obedient. I even managed my fair share of confined rebellion. In the end, all my parents ever wanted was to raise a successful child and they have. They said and did these things in order for me to be on top. It was the only way they knew how to raise children. I definitely don’t condone their parenting strategies. But in between those harsh remarks, were countless moments of love and tender care. And I know that no one would climb as many mountains or swims as many seas to see a smile on my face as they would.
This past weekend, a friend (who is Chinese) sent me a link and I read, with a mixture of horror, amusement, disbelief, and slight agreement, the Wall Street Journal article by Amy Chua, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.”
Being Chinese myself (and not even an American-Born Chinese or ABC), I wish I could tell you scary stories of what it was like growing up with an exacting, overbearing, and terrifying Chinese mother who would verbally beat me into submission. Except, believe it or not, I don’t have any. Growing up, I attended sleepovers and had play dates, watched TV, chose my own extracurriculars (including theater, but I didn’t act), rarely got grades less an an A (until college), and never played the violin (piano, yes, though I was far from being Lang Lang).
However, I did have Chinese friends with mothers like Amy Chua – and, those friends did excel better than me and also went on to Ivy Leagues, but some of those friends also grew up crying, feeling inadequate, and believing parental love and approval came with straight As. They extinguished their creative and artistic sides and prepared for life-long careers in medicine, engineering, and law. Over 147, 718 people (presumably Asians), including some of my friends, have shared Chua’s story on Facebook—and most of the comments have been the same: they remember what it was like growing up feeling criticized, never good enough, and uncertain whether the paths they chose was what they really wanted.
Amy Chua would probably say my parents became too Westernized when they moved to America and didn’t try hard enough. My own parents would probably be considered hippie Chinese parents even though they aren’t familiar with the term “hippie.” My parents never once yelled at me or called me “stupid, “worthless,” or “garbage.” They let me pull out of Chinese school when I refused to go and they encouraged my love for reading, art, and writing. As Patty Chang wrote on Huffington Post, not all children are the same so they can’t all be force-fed the same parenting style.