Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is there a " Tiger Mother" in you?

Hello there! It's been a long time... while my blogging has decreased my work has increased, which I am happy about but miss my weekly write ups. I am exploring ways that I can easily keep my connection with my readers like vlogging (video blogging) and continue to send you great stories while keeping up with a busy work schedule. I also want to remind you that I am available to speak at PTA meetings, do a "mom salon" in which you get a group of parent friends together and I come to a host home and answer any parenting questions you and your friends may have or talk about a specific topic of your choice! You can always contact me at and check out my website at

This next post is about being asked by
ebru news to respond to the new, hot book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua. You can see the interview here. Some of my points were edited out of the piece but wanted to share them with you. If you are not familiar with it, Chua's book has created a big stir by detailing her very strict interpretation of Chinese parenting and the way she asserts throughout that it may be a better way to get results in raising your children. The way Amy Chua spoke to her children may be very controversial and the social restrictions she put on her daughters were heavy handed (no play dates, no computer, etc) she makes some valid points that parents might want to learn from even though this is a memoir and not a "how-to" book. Even Ms. Chua has stated if she were to do it all again she would make some changes but she would stand by her core values.

- High expectations and not settling on excuses for poor performance - Demanding that children stick with certain activities to become great at them

- Believing in the idea of repetition (a concept we now reject in American education and often seen as punishment in the classroom) and its great value and importance when learning a skill

-Believing that a child's
self esteem does not occur by being told how wonderful they are but being pushed to really achieve and to own their skills and talents

These and many other lessons should not be overshadowed by Ms. Chua's rigidness or her choices in language when addressing her daughters. While it is not necessary to belittle your child and call them names (although I bet more parents do this then they would like to admit!)

There is real value in parents looking at these concepts and learning to demand a bit more of their children.
There is a great deal of over-praising in American society for both adults and children (do you notice everyone and everything is "amazing" or "awesome"?). Collectively, we provide them with rules that everyone has to be a winner because they are nice or pretty or they just get the prize because no one should feel left out. We don't like seeing our children hurt and shy away from the lesson that forces them to deal with rejection, loss or sadness and the pride that comes with working hard to get what they want. If parents can find balance in Chua's experiences we might be able to explain away the theme of entitlement we see in so many of our children and force them to take real responsibility, demand what is important, practice coping skills for when things do not go their way and to send a message that real pride comes with real hard work even if we don't always love every part of the journey.