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  1. #41

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    Re: neptune

    Forgive me, are you a guy or girl? If you are girl and a guy says "Get out before I hit you!!", then I agree this 'threat' is totally unacceptable and you have the absolutely right to report him and get him kicked out of the dorm. However if you are a guy, and you are room mates and this is about cleaning the bathroom, it is just my humble opinion, may be you should have grew a thick skin and stand up for yourself instead of letting it upset you like this, and still after all these years. There are inconsiderate jerks everywhere, why let it get to you?

    While I do agree harsh word is wrong and does cause pain, even when they don't mean it. But how else are you going to learn to develop a tolerance level, grow a thick skin, overcame bullies like your room mate, and brave this unfair and harsh world. Everyone experience different levels of extremism in different ways, and parents have a really tough job to prepare their kids for the real world. All human being make mistakes and learn from their mistakes (as Amy seems to have done), but I personally don't think it is fair to criticize anyone without looking at the overall result instead scrutinise the fine details. If you do that, you will miss the bigger picture.

    There's no right or wrong way to raise a family, it is just whether your child can grow up to be healthy and happy human beings. Something that is really hard thing to do and all of us continues to strive for, but even if those who had the best child hood EVER with the most amazing supportive parents and loving family, can you honestly say when they grow up and face this harsh world, everything is going to be A-OKAY and they won't develop some sort of problems or neurosis along the way?

    Re: Bournekraatzfan

    What is success. I agree it is a subjective question.

    When I mean Amy has proven to be a success, I meant by her personal achievements according to the social conditions of which we all have to abide by regardless of our own personal feelings.

    The fact she is a Yale Law Professor with successful and critically well received books in the past, kids who get straight As, a strong family, seems happily married and that I am even here defending her (even I don't agree with her methods) says to me she has achieved at least some level of success. The fact she is admitting her own failings during her book also tells me she is an evolving human beings who actually learn from her own mistakes, and want to better herself. That to me, is a successful human being and not a stereotype as the publisher may lead you to believe inorder to sell books.

    Personally I am very iffy about all these new 'Chinese' themed books ever since Amy Tan's deserved successes . They are exploiting the stereotype of Chinese being a mysterious cruel harsh race with little emotions or light heartedness. It is just about selling books, but hopefully the smart reader can read between the lines.
    Last edited by os168; 03-09-2011 at 05:56 AM.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Re: neptune

    Forgive me, are you a guy or girl? If you are girl and a guy says "Get out before I hit you!!", then I agree this 'threat' is totally unacceptable and you have the absolutely right to report him and get him kicked out of the dorm. However if you are a guy, and you are room mates and this is about cleaning the bathroom, it is just my humble opinion, may be you should have grew a thick skin and stand up for yourself instead of letting it upset you like this, and still after all these years. There are inconsiderate jerks everywhere, why let it get to you?
    os168, it's called a threat.

    From http://www.ehow.com/about_5401537_de...on-threat.html:

    The Merriam Webster Dictionary (see References) defines a threat as "an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury or damage." What this mean is that a threat is a phrase uttered by someone that is meant to provoke fear of bodily, mental or legal harm. A threat can also be a physical action. Legally, threats fall under the definition of assault.

    If you ever threaten someone, that can often be reported to the police. And you could sue someone for making threats as well. That's serious business. (BTW, I'm a guy, but that's mostly irrelevant to this discussion IMO.) The reason I reported my roommate isn't that I took it personally (or that I'm still upset by it). I reported him because that kind of behavior is something serious that he should not get away with. (Incidentally, he wasn't thrown out of the dorm or anything--he was basically just warned about that kind of behavior.)

    While I do agree harsh word is wrong and does cause pain, even when they don't mean it. But how else are you going to learn to develop a tolerance level, grow a thick skin, overcame bullies like your room mate, and brave this unfair and harsh world.
    So abuse from parents is OK in order to help a person develop a thick skin?? Are you serious??? Should parents beat their kids too so that they'll be able to defend themselves in case they ever get in a scuffle at school?

    But I personally don't think it is fair to criticize anyone without looking at the overall result instead scrutinise the fine details. If you do that, you will miss the bigger picture.
    Well, I think it's one thing to say, "That kind of behavior is abusive." It's quite another to say, "That person is a maniac--he needs his head examined." IOW, I think it's OK to judge behavior without judging the person behind the behavior. So, I agree with what you're saying up to a point.

    But even if those who had the best child hood EVER with the most amazing supportive parents and loving family, can you honestly say when they grow up and face this harsh world, everything is going to be A-OKAY and they won't develop some sort of problems or neurosis along the way?
    I don't quite understand what that has to do with my overall point that name-calling is abuse.

  3. #43

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    Oh boy if I am to sue anyone who has ever made threat to me, I'd be very broke by now lol... and hmm thanks for definition from ehow, I learnt alot!!

    Just curious are you friend with your room mate? Because you do realise when you are fighting, most of the things people say to get a reaction, they don't really mean it? And they often regret later. Not that it makes it right, but just saying, sometimes rules should be relaxed a little.

    So abuse from parents is OK in order to help a person develop a thick skin?? Are you serious???
    No, but how do you define what is abuse. It is a serious accusation.

    It is about degrees of teaching without going over board. If you think Amy is abusing her child with her the harsh critisms, then I must completely disagree with you on that one.

    She may be harsh but if it is made understood by the child that comment comes from a deeply loving and caring place, you'd be surprise how much the child can learn and even come to appreciate being told an aspect of the 'truth' at such a young age.

    However if the child does not get it, and is unable to understand why they are being told off or defend themselves, then yes, it can be abusive. Parenting is an evolving and learning process and there's no right or wrong way and I wouldn't be surprised everyone has made some mistakes despite the best of intentions.
    Last edited by os168; 03-09-2011 at 06:25 AM.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    I don't care whether a parent "means" it or not--calling someone "worthless" is abuse.
    But name-calling is never acceptable IMO. Harsh words can often scar someone for life.
    Considering the cultural assumptions in the American society, I see where you come from, but I don't think what you say is universally true All I see is that American society (andlikewise, many developed societies with a large middle class) has a lower tolerance for harshness in general.

    I agree with whoever said there's no absolute in parenting--only what's acceptable in your eyes.(Like I can go on and on griping about my own cousins' parenting, butthen, they have every right to parent their kids according to their values.)

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    Considering the cultural assumptions in the American society, I see where you come from, but I don't think what you say is universally true All I see is that American society (andlikewise, many developed societies with a large middle class) has a lower tolerance for harshness in general.

    I agree with whoever said there's no absolute in parenting--only what's acceptable in your eyes.(Like I can go on and on griping about my own cousins' parenting, butthen, they have every right to parent their kids according to their values.)
    There's definitely no absolute in parenting, and harsh parenting can certainly result in well-adjusted children. That wholly depends on the child though. When I see my cousins and friends unhappy with low self-esteem (sometimes with depression) that they're still working through into their 20's, I think I can say that the way they were raised was wrong.

    Hindsight is 20/20 though, I don't think their parents set out in breaking their children's spirits in that manner. That's why to be safe, I don't think it's right to repeatedly call your own children worthless and garbage.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Oh boy if I am to sue anyone who has ever made threat to me, I'd be very broke by now lol... and hmm thanks for definition from ehow, I learnt alot!!
    Who's talking about suing? It just depends how serious the threat is.

    Just curious are you friend with your room mate? Because you do realise when you are fighting, most of the things people say to get a reaction, they don't really mean it? And they often regret later. Not that it makes it right, but just saying, sometimes rules should be relaxed a little.
    My roommate and I were civil, but no, we weren't really friends. If I had thought he was joking or something, I may have cut him some slack, but he was acting very hostilely.

    No, but how do you define what is abuse. It is a serious accusation.
    There are many articles on the Internet about verbal abuse. Here's one for starters:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal_abuse

    Verbal abuse is best described as an ongoing emotional environment organized by the abuser for the purposes of control. The underlying factor in the dynamic of verbal abuse is the abuser’s low regard for him or herself. The abuser attempts to place their victim in a position to believe similar things about him or herself, a form of warped projection.

    [One example:]

    Ridicule or humiliation of, disrespect toward, and/or unjustified criticism or ignoring of the abused party, all of which often correlate with an observed pattern of treating third parties similarly

    Even giving someone the silent treatment can be considered emotional/verbal abuse. In fact, I think it's one of the worst forms because it's sadistic.

    If you think Amy is abusing her child with her the harsh critisms, then I must completely disagree with you on that one.
    Well, I consider name-calling abuse in general, no matter who does it. Calling a child worthless, and then not apologizing, would fit most definitions of verbal abuse that you'd find on the Internet. OTOH, let's say a parent said to her child, "You behaved very irresponsibly and embarrassed our family. You should be ashamed of yourself!!" As long as the parent wasn't in a total rage, and the child was indeed guilty as charged, I wouldn't consider that abuse. There's a difference between scolding and abuse.

    She may be harsh but if it is made understood by the child that comment comes from a deeply loving and caring place, you'd be surprise how much the child can learn and even come to appreciate being told an aspect of the 'truth' at such a young age.
    I understand what you're saying, but it just depends on the specific remark--whether it was indeed truthful or simply belittling.

    However if the child does not get it, and is unable to understand why they are being told off or defend themselves, then yes, it can be abusive. Parenting is an evolving and learning process and there's no right or wrong way and I wouldn't be surprised everyone has made some mistakes despite the best of intentions.
    Oh, certainly, everyone is going to make mistakes. Even the best of parents are going to make unkind and/or abusive remarks sometimes. But apologizing goes a long way.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    Considering the cultural assumptions in the American society, I see where you come from, but I don't think what you say is universally true All I see is that American society (andlikewise, many developed societies with a large middle class) has a lower tolerance for harshness in general.
    That could well be true. My definitions of abuse are in line with what you'd generally read in articles written in English on the Internet, which are basically the same definitions that I would assume most (Western) professional therapists would adhere to.

    I agree with whoever said there's no absolute in parenting--only what's acceptable in your eyes.(Like I can go on and on griping about my own cousins' parenting, butthen, they have every right to parent their kids according to their values.)
    It's one thing to say that there are differences in valid parenting styles, but to say that there are no absolutes? So it's OK if a parent wants to let his child sleep outside in the cold because he didn't do his homework? Or to refuse to give her food or allow her access to the bathroom? Or to beat him black and blue? I can't agree with that. No parent has the right to do those things--in fact, I think you could get your kids taken away from you by Child Protective Services in the U.S. if you were found guilty of something like that. It's the same way with pets. You can't just treat them any old way you want, or else you may get in trouble with the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    I don't think their parents set out in breaking their children's spirits in that manner. That's why to be safe, I don't think it's right to repeatedly call your own children worthless and garbage.
    That's true. It's possible to be well-meaning yet still cause a lot of harm. For instance, let's say you pour too much of the wrong kind of fertilizer on a plant and kill it. Did you mean well? Sure. But did it do anything good for the plant? A lot of people who engage in verbal abuse are often not aware of it, and may even change once they learn what's going on.
    Last edited by neptune; 03-10-2011 at 06:59 AM.

  8. #48

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    The idea of tough love between parents and children in the Chinese community has been floating around for quite some time, now.

    This very off-beat video was passed from one Chinese viewer to another--they found it amazing--

    but

    WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING
    WARNING
    WARNING If you are someone who easily takes offence,
    WARNING you may not want to look at this....
    WARNING
    WARNING http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVchQI1cKwM
    WARNING
    WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    It's one thing to say that there are differences in valid parenting styles, but to say that there are no absolutes?
    There are a few universal absolutes that apply to every culture, but I also think people (including me) have a tendency to think their own beliefs represent the absolutes. Just my humble opinion.

  10. #50
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    I was thinking about this topic a little more. Whether you consider calling a child worthless to be abuse or not would depend a great deal on how you answer the following questions:

    1) Let's say you have two kids, Jack and Suzy. Jack is academically gifted and works very hard in school. He gets straight A's. Suzy is less academically gifted than Jack, but works just as hard. She gets both A's and B's.

    Question: Is Jack "worth" more as a human being than Suzy?

    2) Let's say you have two kids, Lily and Peter. Lily and Peter are both about equally academically gifted. Lily works hard and gets straight A's. Peter could easily get straight A's, but he's more interested in socializing. He gets mostly B's and C's.

    Question: Is Lily "worth" more as a human being than Peter?

    3) Mrs. Miller raised 4 kids and worked hard all her adult life. She had a great personality, and just about everyone who knew her loved her. Unfortunately, she now suffers from Alzheimer's and can barely recognize her family members.

    Question: Was Mrs. Miller "worth" more as a human being before she got Alzheimer's?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How would those who adopt the "Chinese" style of parenting tend to answer those questions, I wonder? Or would there be no consensus? Personally, I believe, as the Declaration of Independence declares, that "all men are created equal." And I don't believe there's anything you can do to change your intrinsic worth. It's kind of like a twenty-dollar bill. You can spray perfume on it, iron it, and keep it ultra-clean, but how much is it still worth? Or you can spill some oil on it, crumple it up and let the dog sleep on it, and then keep it in a drawer with some mothballs. But (assuming it's still recognizable) isn't it still worth the same amount? So, I would answer "no" to all the questions above, and that's why I consider calling someone worthless to be abusive. OTOH, you could call certain behaviors worthless, I suppose.

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