Think your childhood was hard? Yale Law School professor Amy Chua’s two daughters were never allowed to “choose their own extracurricular activities,” “play any instrument other than the piano or violin” or “not play the piano or violin.” In an excerpt from her book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” published in the Wall Street Journal Saturday she details how her strict parenting techniques, similar to those of other Chinese mothers, has led to the success of her children.
In the article entitled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” Chua says that Western parents are concerned about their children’s self esteem, while Chinese parents are not. As a result, Chinese parents will push their children to perfection – criticizing, not praising, an A-minus. As for a B, there would be “a screaming, hair-tearing explosion” followed by dozens of practice tests. Chinese parents demand perfect grades because they believe that their child can get them. Anything less than perfect is deemed a result of not working hard enough.
Chinese mothers often like to exert control over every aspect of their children’s lives.
“Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, ‘Hey fatty—lose some weight,’” Chua wrote, whereas “Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of “health” and never ever mentioning the f-word.”
With over 1,700 comments, many of them negative, the article is generating an uproar among readers who find many of Chua’s opinions over-generalizing.
In the comments, one argued: “Most of these kids with traditionally Chinese parents seem completely miserable. The emotions I discerned between them and their parents? Fear.”
Another commenter wrote: “By the time I finished reading this article, I was shocked it was written by a Yale Law Professor. I thought the WSJ ran out of staff journalists and had to hired a freelancer from the Newsday to fill up the page. “