I’m sure that all parents, to some degree, sympathise with this attitude. What mother doesn’t bask in the glow of a child’s success? But there has to be more to life than this, especially for the child, because sooner or later, he or she can’t be “number one
Here are some opinions about parenting.
I will publish my thoughts shortly.
Mariette Ulrich | 20 Jan 2011
Tiger Mother parenting ignores dignity and heart of the child.
I’m sure that all parents, to some degree, sympathise with this attitude. What mother doesn’t bask in the glow of a child’s success? But there has to be more to life than this, especially for the child, because sooner or later, he or she can’t be “number one.” Fostering an unyielding (and unrealistic) attitude of “failure is not an option” is no way to prepare a child for setbacks in life. If the adventure of parenting is in any way an ego trip for the parent, it’s often the child who ends up falling under the bus.
“I see (and concur with) Ms. Chua’s point about some Western parents being overly concerned about damaging their children’s fragile psyches, to the point where they offer no guidance or correction whatever. Yet at the same time, children have souls, unique personalities, and human dignity. They are not, and should not be expected to perform as, machines. The goal of education is surely not to produce success-at-any-cost “winners”, but to expand the mind, heart, and soul of a human being.
The bigger consequence is that I find I’m socially awkward and simply do not fit into most people’s perceptions of family. Living in the western world people are used to family dinners and time-outs or groundings not being called names and being on the other end of a belt lashing. My self-esteem is on a constant roller-coaster ride and my confidence is arguably below average.”
I don’t know if Amy’s daughters will eventually rise up against her but it may just happen that one day they get as little freedom and realize the emotional prison their mother had them caged into. Nevertheless, this is how it is for Chinese families and us children of this system find it acceptable when we’re younger because it’s what we’ve come to know as a child. It’s not until we become older and see other things that e realize how flawed the system we grew up really is.
I hope for Amy’s sake that her kids don’t turn out like me and my father but it wouldn’t surprise me if their relationship begins strain at some point.
Are there any parenting lessons to be learned from tiger mother Amy Chua?
There are certainly elements in what she is espousing that have scientific evidence that they constitute good parenting. Kids need limits and structure, and it’s good for parents to have high expectations for them—and if you want your kids to do well in school, you want to do things like getting involved in their schooling, having expectations of success and praising them when they do well.
On the other hand, the downside to what she is advocating, if I understand her correctly, is that if parenting becomes too authoritarian—and by that I mean overly restrictive, overly punitive, squelching any attempt by the child at independence or autonomy—those parenting practices have been shown to be related to elevated anxiety, depression and psychosomatic problems. Kids raised in those circumstances are less self-assured and socially poised, and more compliant.
In other words, on the one hand Amy states that children are fully capable, while on the other hand she controls them to such an extent that one might question whether she truly believes in them. How can we believe a child is “great” on one level, then treat them as if they are incapable of wisdom in practice? The approach screams of parental insecurity, not security.
A parent who is secure in themselves has no fear of their child’s imperfections and mistakes, but trusts that children are innately capable of finding themselves. Indeed, the struggle to identify their authentic voice is far more important than the perfect regurgitation of someone else’s dream of who they are.
Any extreme is bad. Overly Nice or Overly Strict, You Created the Monster
There exists in the cosmos a great measuring scale that balances out good parents with good children. If the parents stray either way from too light parenting to too strict parenting, the result at the other end of the scale is the same, a rebellious monster the rest of us will eventually have to deal with.