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  1. #21
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    I really like the way how the american kids are raised here. I grew up in Japan.. so we had so much home work every day and I couldn't enjoy my childhood at all. I don't really remember playing with other kids growing up that much. During the summer break, we had so much homework that I didn't enjoy it. I wish I grew up here. The kids seem to be so much happier here.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    It's quite shocking that somebody making a statement this racist and moronic, lumping together different kind of people into a group with a label that is very offensive (inverted commas or not) and generalising about them based on some anecdotal information can actually get printed.

    Disgusting.

    That's not to say that there aren't differences between the way children are brought up in individualist and collectivist societies. There obviously are. But that is way above Amy Chua's level of discourse.
    Um .. ..

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKPRINCESS View Post
    MR-FAN mentioned this article and writer:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...LEFTTopStories
    Based on what was written in that article, I think I would be allergic to parents of that stripe. A-Chua!!!!

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    I really like the way how the american kids are raised here. I grew up in Japan.. so we had so much home work every day and I couldn't enjoy my childhood at all. I don't really remember playing with other kids growing up that much. During the summer break, we had so much homework that I didn't enjoy it. I wish I grew up here. The kids seem to be so much happier here.
    As many problems as I have with the "Chinese" style of parenting, the "American" style of parenting is really no better overall, and in many respects may even be worse. As PUNKPRINCESS said, the best parenting would be something in the middle of these two extremes. It seems that as Asian kids grow up, they "work, work, work." OTOH, many Americans kids just want to "play, play, play" and expect to be entertained constantly. They may end up watching endless hours of TV, and not getting much mental or physical exercise. Instead of being obsessive-compulsive about work, they are afflicted instead with ennui and apathy.

    Basically, discipline and freedom need to be carefully balanced. I personally think it's better to err slightly on the strict side than on the lenient side. But it's so important for a child to feel loved unconditionally--I think that's the real secret to achievement. That way, you achieve because you want to, not because you feel you have to in order to win approval or love. If you're continually seeking validation as a person through your work, then your self-esteem will become like a yo-yo.

  5. #25
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    Just wanna point out that Chua is, I suspect, by no means an extreme "Chinese" parent. The reason she got criticized is the way her parenting is depicted in the media. If you follow skating closely you will hear stories about parents pushing the kids too hard in skating and even not letting your kids see the doctor even when injured (like Jenny Kirk's mom). To me that's a heck more serious than not allowing your kids to pee.

    But there's no public outcry over them because they are not mentioned in the media or not portrayed as "crazy moms" by journalists. (I remember Jenny's mom being depicted as a "good mom" back when she was alive...)

    Sometimes the "crazy moms" are the ones you don't think is crazy.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    Sometimes the "crazy moms" are the ones you don't think is crazy.
    Yes, that makes sense. The most dangerous people out there are the ones who are expert at concealing their craziness. And then when revelations come to light, most people have difficulty believing them.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    Based on what was written in that article, I think I would be allergic to parents of that stripe. A-Chua!!!!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by geod2 View Post

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKPRINCESS View Post
    Really? I think she was taking the stereotype and declaring that parents of different nationalities and ethnicities participate in said stereotype. That's undoing the racism, no?
    Using "Chinese mothers" label kinda implies that it's normal/usual for Chinese mothers to behave this way.

    And whilst it's true to an extent, the extent being the priorities and the general attitude mentioned by Chua, the same definitely can't be said about the way it is achieved.

    Chua sounds totally psycho, in a really scary and dangerous way.

    I don't even know where to begin but I'll try to explain what I mean, by analysing that quote:

    Chinese parents demand perfect grades because they believe that their child can get them. If their child doesn't get them, the Chinese parent assumes it's because the child didn't work hard enough. That's why the solution to substandard performance is always to excoriate, punish and shame the child. The Chinese parent believes that their child will be strong enough to take the shaming and to improve from it. (And when Chinese kids do excel, there is plenty of ego-inflating parental praise lavished in the privacy of the home.)
    If an American child gets bad maths grades, the European-American parent is likely to assume that the child just isn't good at maths.

    If an Asian child gets bad maths grades, the Asian parent is likely to assume an environmental reason. This doesn't necessarily mean that the child didn't work enough. It might also means that their teacher isn't good enough.

    So you could expect an Asian parent's response to be to take our practice tests and exercises and make sure that their child practices more and probably give them a helping hand too.

    When Chua says the solution is always to excoriate, punish and shame, she might be speaking for herself but not everybody is as crazy and psycho as her.

  10. #30
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    I think you should read the book before you act like you know her inside out.

    Some cynical people are saying she used the negative publicity to sell her book and is only now backpedaling when it's convenient, but regardless of her true intentions the fact of the matter is if you actually read the book she comes off as a much less extreme person who has actually grown and learned a lot through the process of parenting. In fact, read the front cover of the book. It says:

    "Battle hymn of the tiger mother. This is a story about a mother, two daughters and a dog. This was supposed to be a story about how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than western ones. Instead it's about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory and how I was humbled by a 13 year old". This isn't even the back, it's the front cover.

    I am repeating myself but If you actually read the book she is supposed to realize the error of her ways and retreat from that extremist parenting model she gloats about early on in the book (and in those quotes you're using now). In interviews she is seen on video talking about how the key is to expect highly of your children (because expecting them to not to measure up often becomes a self fulfilling prophecy) and that while you should expect success, failure does not and should not mean you no longer love your child. Ultimately "their best" should be enough.

    Early on in her book she seems to be very narrow minded about what signifies success or respectability, only deeming piano and violin respectable and having a disdain for theater - yet in a TV interview she states plainly that success can be found in any field through many means (including outside of academia), and that she has personally known countless children (many of them her own students) who have gone on to become successful people despite being products of a myriad of different parenting styles. She states at first that her children aren't allowed on playdates....but then she ultimately relents. Parents change all the time. It's life. My parents' parenting style certainly changed/evolved as I grew. And so did Amy Chua's.

    I think you're just giving a knee-jerk reaction without actually delving deeply into the topic, which a lot of people did (myself included) before reading further into the matter. This is a very sensitive issue and has struck a chord with a lot of people, especially Asian-Americans who experienced similar types of parenting.
    I'm certainly not saying I agree with a lot of the methods she used which I also found to be extreme, but at the least she shows that she was quite the hands-on/active parent in a way that many parents would be jealous of. Many parents can't even help their children with their Calculus homework or whatnot because they can barely remember it themselves, and after a long day of work, even some of the best-intentioned parents end up letting their children off the hook and turning potentially gifted kids into slackers.

    As for Amy's intelligence (which is what I'm assuming you were talking about when you made the comment about "level of discourse"), she's a brilliant woman. Besides being a Yale professor and coming from one of the most distinguished families I've heard of, I remember reading about one of her earlier books "World on Fire" long before "Tiger Mother" came out..dealing with market-dominant minorities, it was extremely interesting and a bestseller despite not garnering the same type of controversy "Tiger Mother" is getting.
    Last edited by iarispiralllyof; 02-06-2011 at 07:51 AM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriaheidi View Post
    I'm not sure that her goal was racism. I think she was trying to say that the women she knows of these other nationalities are similar to her in parenting style, so she categorizes them as "Chinese mothers" like herself, not "Chinese."
    Yes, exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    As many problems as I have with the "Chinese" style of parenting, the "American" style of parenting is really no better overall, and in many respects may even be worse. As PUNKPRINCESS said, the best parenting would be something in the middle of these two extremes. It seems that as Asian kids grow up, they "work, work, work." OTOH, many Americans kids just want to "play, play, play" and expect to be entertained constantly. They may end up watching endless hours of TV, and not getting much mental or physical exercise. Instead of being obsessive-compulsive about work, they are afflicted instead with ennui and apathy.
    Yes...either extreme is bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    Basically, discipline and freedom need to be carefully balanced. I personally think it's better to err slightly on the strict side than on the lenient side. But it's so important for a child to feel loved unconditionally--I think that's the real secret to achievement. That way, you achieve because you want to, not because you feel you have to in order to win approval or love. If you're continually seeking validation as a person through your work, then your self-esteem will become like a yo-yo.
    I agree. It's especially true in figure skating, where results can be topsy-turvy from one day to the next. This is one finicky sport. You have to work hard, but not too hard. You need to be mentally focused, but also aware of and engaged with the audience. Being technically exacting gets you high scores, but so does being free and expressive. And you can do everything right, and still freakin' slip on the ice.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    Just wanna point out that Chua is, I suspect, by no means an extreme "Chinese" parent. The reason she got criticized is the way her parenting is depicted in the media. If you follow skating closely you will hear stories about parents pushing the kids too hard in skating and even not letting your kids see the doctor even when injured (like Jenny Kirk's mom). To me that's a heck more serious than not allowing your kids to pee.

    But there's no public outcry over them because they are not mentioned in the media or not portrayed as "crazy moms" by journalists. (I remember Jenny's mom being depicted as a "good mom" back when she was alive...)

    Sometimes the "crazy moms" are the ones you don't think is crazy.
    Ouch, Jenny Kirk's mom was like that? That's just plain Psycho Mom...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    If an American child gets bad maths grades, the European-American parent is likely to assume that the child just isn't good at maths.

    If an Asian child gets bad maths grades, the Asian parent is likely to assume an environmental reason. This doesn't necessarily mean that the child didn't work enough. It might also means that their teacher isn't good enough.
    I am unsure of, and skeptical of these responses as likely. What about Euro-American stern talks and/or grounding kids? And as for environmental reasoning...I don't think I've heard of that from the Asian kids I know.

  12. #32
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    The thing about Chua's book is that a lot of the controversy is that people think that it's a "how-to-do book", when in fact it is a memoir about how she eventually discovered that her original "Chinese-style" of parenting wasn't right and how she retreated from it after her 13-year old daughter rebelled. She's not telling us that parenting this way is the best way, she's just telling her story. I am Taiwanese-American (but ethnically Chinese) with both my parents having emigrated from Taiwan, and I have definitely witnessed (not from my parents) other Chinese parents acting in the manner described by Chua (not nearly as crazy as the White Donkey story, as that's something very personal, but in ways such as the children being forced to do basically whatever the parent wills), it's just that she's the first to publicly speak of it.

  13. #33
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    I find Chua's essentialist ideas very troubling...this whole idea of a clash really needs to be rethought as it is reliant on such a simplistic notion of culture...since when is culture static and homogeneous? Culture is produced by or at least responsive to particular social historical events...and cultures are so diverse and contentious.

    Also, i find that video just digusting.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by burntBREAD View Post
    The thing about Chua's book is that a lot of the controversy is that people think that it's a "how-to-do book", when in fact it is a memoir about how she eventually discovered that her original "Chinese-style" of parenting wasn't right and how she retreated from it after her 13-year old daughter rebelled. She's not telling us that parenting this way is the best way, she's just telling her story. I am Taiwanese-American (but ethnically Chinese) with both my parents having emigrated from Taiwan, and I have definitely witnessed (not from my parents) other Chinese parents acting in the manner described by Chua (not nearly as crazy as the White Donkey story, as that's something very personal, but in ways such as the children being forced to do basically whatever the parent wills), it's just that she's the first to publicly speak of it.
    My own Chinese mother had brainwashed us so well that she didn't have to do anything anymore when my sister and I were 13, and we continued getting straight A's and got into great colleges. And she did it all without calling us garbage or worthless or beating us.

    I'm glad that Ms. Chua eventually learned a better parenting method, and hopefully her daughters weren't too traumatized by her earlier parenting style. I have friends in their 20's who are still berated and called worthless by their parents, and it does a number on their self-esteem, despite their superficial success.

  15. #35

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    I must admit I read this thread with much amusement, expecting to find interesting and insightful methodologies which may help to discipline skater's maturity and techniques etc, only to find The only Chinese mother mentioned here that has anything to do with skating is Michelle Kwan's Dad!!?
    Anyone knows if Lu Chen's mother were able to help her skating? Or S&Z's parents?

    The thread title is totally misleading actually. Amy's style of parent is not exclusively to Chinese, but is part of the extreme methods of parenting inherited from the old great families from the old civilisation countries, who's family were run matriarchally. I'd say with love, devotion, extreme discipline, and extreme high expectations designed to instil their younglings to continue the upkeep the family's grand social standings for the sake of great family name. What she has shown is not that different than some of the elitist families of Japan, Korea, India, Italy, Germany, Old English, Old Russian families or even Greece. They just don't talk about it publicly. I only said these countries, because I know people personally from these countries who suffered similar disciplined teaching as I did. There might be more, even in the US I'd guess?

    To be frank, if Ms Chua describe herself as tiger, I'd describe my mother as dragon(!). Some of the examples she has been given seems extreme, but it is not the worst I have heard or experienced. I am a Chinese, who did pretty okay for myself academically and professionally, but in the exact opposite direction of what my mother had asked me to do. In that way, I was the 13 years old daughter of Ms Amy Chua. But you know what, her daughter is going to grow up thanking her because she has become stronger for her age, and have absorbed many characteristics of what it'd takes to achieve success, of which Ms Chua has already proven herself. Something that it would usually take someone years to develop for themselves if they are lucky and self disciplined enough. In other words, Amy has expedited the process through her extremism and armed her child with certain privileges not everyone get to experience.

    Of course with any extremism, there's also a price. Every family's price are different, just as every child are different. It is up to the child's own credit to price themselves out of the market, and run free. Without a strong sense of self, you'd be a victim forever. If you learn it later, the prices are dearer. Life is harsh, and reality bites as much as we want to shelter our kids from life's many traumas. Many countries out there don't even have this luxury.

    One more thing. To bother call your own beloved child worthless does not mean they really believe it. It is one of those things you just can't take at face value. It would be unfair to scrutinise it in parts only without taking it as a whole. It is no different than sport coaches who are foul mouth fiends on the pitch, but off pitch they are like kid's favourite uncle. 'No pain no gain' doesn't apply exclusively to sport, but to life in everything.
    Last edited by os168; 03-07-2011 at 09:49 PM.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    That's not to say that there aren't differences between the way children are brought up in individualist and collectivist societies. There obviously are. But that is way above Amy Chua's level of discourse.
    I think Ziggy (correct me if I'm wrong here) is just trying to point out that there are better, hmmm, lets say, "metrics" to measure this phenomena than simply lumping people together using fairly racist terms and measuring people on their "Chinese Motheryness".

    Being a Yale grad (although so was George W, no?), you might expect Chua to have been able to use a more inclusive and less racist framing such as collectivist vs individualist societies.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    To be frank, if Ms Chua describe herself as tiger, I'd describe my mother as dragon(!). Some of the examples she has been given seems extreme, but it is not the worst I have heard or experienced. I am a Chinese, who did pretty okay for myself academically and professionally, but in the exact opposite direction of what my mother had asked me to do. In that way, I was the 13 years old daughter of Ms Amy Chua. But you know what, her daughter is going to grow up thanking her because she has become stronger for her age, and have absorbed many characteristics of what it'd takes to achieve success, of which Ms Chua has already proven herself. Something that it would usually take someone years to develop for themselves if they are lucky and self disciplined enough. In other words, Amy has expedited the process through her extremism and armed her child with certain privileges not everyone get to experience.
    Thanks for sharing. The other day I was watching "Little Miss Sunshine" and
    in the story, Frank the uncle quoted Proust as saying that the miserable years of his life were also his best--those years shaped who he eventually became and he learned so much from it. And the years he were happy he learned nothing. I feel like he completely summed up my experience with my Chinese parents. The years I felt bad and had to struggle through my issues - in a way they became the best years of my life.

    Of course with any extremism, there's also a price. Every family's price are different, just as every child are different.One more thing. To bother call your own beloved child worthless does not mean they really believe it. It is one of those things you just can't take at face value.
    Now that I look back I don't take what my parents said seriously. Some good did come out of their harshness--for instance, I find myself less prone to denial issues when bad things happen than many from super-supportive families (esp when they reinforce each other's opinions). No parenting is entirely good or bad in its own right, but only according to the values important from your perspective. (For instance I absolutely do not approve of my sis-in-law's parenting, but that's only because I don't agree with her values.)

    That said, Chua's parenting style wouldn't have worked on a more fragile self-esteem.
    Last edited by jlai; 03-07-2011 at 11:59 PM.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blair View Post
    I think Ziggy (correct me if I'm wrong here) is just trying to point out that there are better, hmmm, lets say, "metrics" to measure this phenomena than simply lumping people together using fairly racist terms and measuring people on their "Chinese Motheryness".

    Being a Yale grad (although so was George W, no?), you might expect Chua to have been able to use a more inclusive and less racist framing such as collectivist vs individualist societies.
    Yes, this is how i read his comments as well.

    And i do not believe Chua is any smarter than the rest of us, rather I think she excels in ways that are rewarded. She relies on cultural determinism...this is nothing new. She does not appear to really interrogate these categories. I would love to see her attend to the ways in which she is privileged, and how this is related to her 'success.'

    When i was growing up (i live in a small, Predominantly Anglo-Canadian town) many 'western' mothers called their daughters fat and encouraged them to diet (they sometimes did this on front of me). And many of my friends had parents who called them stupid. In reality, I believe culture is unstable and fluid, in a perpetual state of transformation.

  19. #39
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    One more thing, a question:

    What counts as success? I'll bet that we all have different responses to this question, even though I anticipate some overlap in our answers (which I also imagine has much to do with what we are taught to value and perceive as success).

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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    One more thing. To bother call your own beloved child worthless does not mean they really believe it. It is one of those things you just can't take at face value. It would be unfair to scrutinise it in parts only without taking it as a whole.
    I don't care whether a parent "means" it or not--calling someone "worthless" is abuse. Besides, how does the child know if the parent "means" it? I had a good friend in college whose mother used to call her a "prostitute." Did she really mean that? Deep down, probably not. But it was a horrible thing to say to her kid. This girl never even held hands or kissed, much less did anything deeper than that. (Unfortunately, down the road, she ended up becoming a bit like her mother herself. ) Also, one time when I was living in a university dorm, one of my roommates and I got into an argument. I hadn't been cleaning the bathroom that the two of us shared the way I should have. We had never discussed the matter before and never had a set cleaning schedule or anything like that. I was just extremely stressed out from my classes and had let a lot of things go, including my own room (not just the bathroom)--it was never intentional. Anyway, he was standing in the bathroom during our argument, and I said, "OK, let me come in there now and I'll start doing some cleaning." His response: "Get out before I hit you!!" After hearing that, I reported him to the dorm supervisors. They called him in, and he told them that he would have never hit me. However, their response was, "It's still not OK to say that."

    It is no different than sport coaches who are foul mouth fiends on the pitch, but off pitch they are like kid's favourite uncle. 'No pain no gain' doesn't apply exclusively to sport, but to life in everything.
    There's a "right" and a "wrong" kind of pain. For instance, grounding your child because he or she did something awful is acceptable pain. But name-calling is never acceptable IMO. Harsh words can often scar someone for life.
    Last edited by neptune; 03-09-2011 at 04:50 AM.

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