tiger mother vs. western parenting.

18 01 2011

Chinese people are smarter than Americans.
True or False?

False. (at least in my opinion)
There is nothing abnormally special about the Chinese mind that makes it superior to a Westerner’s brain.

So, why does it seem like the majority of the Asian students in public schools can be found somewhere in the top 10% of their graduating classes?
And where is discipline learned?
At home.
Following logic, can we assume Chinese parents are better at creating successful kids?

Amy Chua, author of “Why Chinese mothers Are Superior” certainly seems to think so. (if you have not read this article you MUST check it out)

Western thinking currently focuses on individuality, building self confidence, and making everyone feel like a winner.

When was the last time your boss paid you the same amount as the CEO because he wanted you to feel like a winner?
When was the last time you got a promotion because your boss wanted to build your confidence?

That is not real life.
Hard work, accomplishing tough goals and discipline is what moves you up the corporate ladder.

Western parents worry a lot about their children’s self-esteem. But as a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child’s self-esteem is to let them give up. On the flip side, there’s nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn’t.”

If you quit everything you try as soon as things get tough, you will NEVER accomplish anything worthwhile.

Mrs. Chua forces her kids to take piano and violin and pushed them through the tough times and consequently has 2 virtuoso daughters.
I don’t think you should choose your child’s pursuits – but I’m all for pushing them to stick with it and not quit after things get a little tough.

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up.”

I don’t think there is anyone who has perfected the art of parenting. Even some of the best parents in the scriptures had some children slip through the cracks.
“And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river, that perhaps I might see them.
And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit.” (1 Nephi 8:17-18)

Everyone is learning and trying to figure out what works best for them and for their kids.
But, I think Mrs. Chua made several comments worth testing out.

I don’t have kids… yet.
But if I can do as well as my own parents I’ll feel pretty good at the end of it all…

? How did you liken the scriptures to your life today?
? What did you think of the Mrs. Chua’s parenting approach?




3 responses

18 01 2011

ok here’s the ancient asian secret…asian parents CARE about how well their children do in school. do you know how embarrassing it was to have my mother harrass my teachers about what’s going on in the classroom? though at the time it was mortifying, now i appreciate her persistance. you’ll notice, with any race, that whichever child’s parent cares the most will have a child who succeeds. working in elementary school, you see that the child’s potential is directly correlated with how involved their parents are…education doesn’t end when they get out of the classroom…ok this is long. but only because it’s what i’m getting into and i have strong opinions about it!!!!!

18 01 2011

What a great point. In fact the author of the article basically said the exact same thing. She said she believes that the Chinese parents care more about their children because they are willing to work so much with them outside of school. Thanks for your comment!

19 01 2011

I agree! I remember it being embarrassing that my mom would go talk to my teacher about some issue! But now that I look back, that persistence paid off and I remember receiving some extra time with the teacher to work math problems out or at least be directed to a tutor. I think there is a healthy balance between both cultures of teaching. Most important is to remind kids to never give up and work through the challenges! Great post my friend

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