Friday, January 14, 2011

Mom of Steel

This will look suspiciously like a post from another blog.  Sorry about that, but it belongs here, as you'll see.

I really don't have enough time to do this one justice.  One of the real conundrums you face as a parent is figuring out exactly how you'll approach, for lack of a better term, "pushing" your kids.  In school.  In sports.  In life.  You know the parents that push to extremity, seemingly having lost their grip on reality all sense of balance.  The ones that seem bent on living vicariously through their kid.  Or on world domination.  There's that.

Oh, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

In this little gem of an article, East meets West, and brother, IT IS ON!  The anecdotes are cringe-inducing.  And note the (immense and acrimonious) comments section.  Bon appetit!

I'll say that I very much like how Ms. Chua just viciously crushes modern American squishy parenting norms.  Even before becoming a parent myself, I always had a deep and abiding respect for just how resilient kids (and people in general) are.  We truly have no idea just how tough, capable and resourceful we all are.  Now that I actually have a sprog to watch, I'm absolutely convinced of it.

But Chua's parenting philosophy (and her methods) are tough as nails.  Nails.  Three inch, hot-dipped, galvanized nails.

UPDATE:  The West Is On Line 2... And It's Maaaaaad!

WSJ:  In Defense of the Guilty, Ambivalent, Preoccupied Western Mom

WSJ:  Mother Inferior 

WSJ Scene Asia:  Chinese Mothers React

WSJ:  The Tiger Mother Talks Back

In related news, Ms. Chua's publisher had to be sedated after being sighted running half naked towards a local Ferrari dealership with open bottles of Dom Perignon under each arm.

UPDATE 2:  National Review?  Oh My!

NRO: The Tiger Mother and Us 


Anonymous said...

Yes, it did seem like she retracted a bit on some of her explanations.

Donna said...

There's just so much to talk about here it can't be done in a comment, BUT I was interested in Tigermom's idea of "excellence is its own reward" and you won't enjoy things like playing instruments until you get past the hard part and into the place where you can do it. How many people do I know that wished their parents had pushed them more. If I've heard my hubby complain that he wished he wasn't allowed to quit the basketball and football teams out of laziness once, I've heard it a million times. BUT obviously, we westerners feel that our children's gifts, apptitudes and interests matter in their course in life- and I'm not sure Tigermom cares at all about that.

El Comodoro said...

I know. I've got a similar story about baseball. I quit, and still regret it. But in their (and maybe now, my) defense, we all fret over becoming some kind of monstrous dictator to our kids. And so we all err on the side of caution.

I think I've heard as many stories about kids that did actually get pushed into being/staying in sports... and to this day resent it.

I guess I would have liked to be reasoned to. Would it have made me stay on the team? No idea.

Agree that 'excellence is its own reward' is compelling. That's just not too darn popular in the culture at large. If something's hard, we generally skip it and expend as much energy in rationalizing and defending our decision as we would have in doing said hard thing!

BB said...

....and then, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are more options than being a tiger-Mom or a hands-off Mom.
One of the guys who has written a book about his "Tiger Mom" titled it, "Only White People Say I Love You". Leaving love, ecouragement and affection out of any child-rearing equation and you're dealing with a world of hurt. Long-term AND short-term.
It is MORE than obvious by the results of the children BeBe and BB raised that those wise women knew the balance;) Lawd, did that crazy woman just say that? Yes she did! And any imperfection at all in our birth children (not that there are any) has been more than made up in our COMPLETELY perfect grandchildren.
Now, wish I had a tiny body in my lap to snuggle. Right after piano lessons :)