Posts Tagged ‘ Wall Street Journal ’

Poll: Would You Follow the ‘Tiger Mother’ Parenting Style?

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

As a parent, what parenting style would you follow to raise your kids? Since Amy Chua’s memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” has come out there has been a lot of discussion about which parenting style was more effective: eastern (stereotypically strict and no-nonsense) vs. western (stereotypically easygoing and laid-back).  Take our poll below to share your opinion.

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A ‘Tiger Mother’ Media News Roundup

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

chua-battlehymnchinesemotherWell, it’s been two weeks and the controversy surrounding Amy Chua’s ”Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”  is still beating on.  

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.

After scouring the Internet, here is a roundup of the best coverage on the Tiger Mother some parents love to hate.  You can also watch an interview between Amy Chua and Meredith Vieira on the TODAY Show.

From Parents.com

From the Wall Street Journal

From the New York Times

From the Huffington Post

From Parenting Websites

From Other Media Outlets

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Growing Up with a Tiger Mom and Dad

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Amy Chua’s article, Why Chinese Mother’s are Superior has caused quite a media frenzy. Many readers were appalled by her parenting techniques but as I read it, I saw my own mother and father reflected back in Chua’s words. I am the product of a Tiger Mom and Dad.

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?”

Double ouch.

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.

Plus: Check out a previous blog post by an editor Do Chinese Mother’s Raise Successful Children?

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Do Chinese Mothers Raise Successful Children?

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

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.

(more…)

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Motherhood: A ‘Prison’ for Women?

Monday, November 8th, 2010

100sq_MTN100Erica Jong certainly thinks so. In her controversial  ”Mother Madness” essay that appeared in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal,  the novelist and poet argues strenuously against “attachment parenting”—a method that calls for an almost constant mental and physical connection between mother and child.

Jong makes the case that in today’s hectic world of busy working mothers such a style is completely impractical when the daily demands of these women are taken into account. “You wear your baby, sleep with her and attune yourself totally to her needs. How you do this and also earn the money to keep her is rarely discussed. You are just assumed to be rich enough,” she writes.

Jong says that while attachment parenting calls for the mother and father to be available to their baby almost constantly, creating a support group of multiple caregivers is not only helpful to stressed out parents but is also essential to raising a well-socialized, independent child. “Kinship is not exclusively biological, after all, and you need a brood to raise a brood,” she writes.

Similarly, she continues, simply because a woman chooses not to breastfeed, make her own baby food, or use cloth diapers does not by any means make her a less-loving or less capable mother. “We need to be released from guilt about our children, not further bound by it,” she explains. ”We need someone to say: Do the best you can. There are no rules.”

Needless to say, many commentors and bloggers have pounced on Jong and come to the defense of attachment parenting. Share your take with us!

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