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Parenthood – Controversy Over Amy Chua's Book- Tiger Mom

Updated on September 26, 2018
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Amy Chua's book – Battle Him of the Tiger Mother

Amy Chua, a law professor at Yale University, who wrote a book called "Battle Him of the Tiger Mother, which she claims are her memoirs from raising her children.

She believes that Chinese women make the best mothers because they brutalized their children with tough love. Amy Chua states she doesn't think raising children this way is about achievement but helping them be the best they can be.

Public Reaction to her Book

When an excerpt from her book ran before the books release under the headline" Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" and in the Wall Street Journal, to more than 5000 online comments – most of them angry – and Chua almost immediately began receiving death threats.

The greatest criticism came not from Western mothers who Chua characterized as self–esteem stamps and disciplinary pushovers, but from the Asian–American matriarchy. Their outrage spilled into the Facebook and across mommy blogs nationwide.

Amy Chua's Jewish Husband

Her husband is Jewish and is also a successful a successful law professor at Yale University and was not raised at all like Amy. Overall, he agrees with Amy but he does feel she's too harsh in some areas. He likes to hike, enjoys football and other activities, so the family does get out together to have some fun.

Amy Chua's Parenting Beliefs

She believes that strict, uncompromising values in discipline used by some Chinese parents is what makes their children successful. Amy Chua based her book on her own personal experience as a parent. She thinks practicing an instrument for four hours a day is what it takes to be exceptional. She called her daughter's lazy and garbage when they weren't doing well with their piano practice; she also threatened to burn their toys and they had no play dates.

Her rules for her two girls include: no sleepovers, no play dates, no grade lower than A on report cards, no choosing your own extracurricular activities, no ranking lower than No. 1 in any subject with the only exception being gym or drama. Do you think the girl's success has made them happy and given them happy childhood memories?

"Tiger Mother" Parenting Debate

More of Amy Chua's Views

The book review raised many questions and anger across United States as many consider her methods abusive. Also, it is thought the book reinforces the Chinese mother stereotype, which isn't true for all Chinese parents. Many Asian Mothers that live in America fear that their children may become spoiled, obese and they won't excel to their capability.

Amy Chua stated, “She resented her parents when she was little because she felt like they were being strict and that they had high expectations of her which were coupled with love, always love. That's what allowed me as an adult to have these choices".

She made the point that if you look at Western parenting 100 or 60 years ago, people did chores and they were proud of building things. I believe that is even true 40 years ago as I was raised to do chores, our family worked together for the benefit of each other and I had a job by the time I was 15. However, I was not called ugly names when I make mistakes or didn't quite measure up. My parents had expectation of me but they were not so unreachable. I never doubted their love.

The Myth behind China's Tiger Mothers from China

Family Fun

10 Tips for Raising Children of Character

Let's look at the American view of raising children of character.

At Boston University School of Education Dr. Kevin Ryan, has published 10 tips for raising children of character. Children of character demand time and attention and while children may be doing what comes naturally being a good parent is much more complicated.

Family Dinner

source Commons Wikimedia
source Commons Wikimedia

Parenting Tips and Styles

  • “Put parenting first:” With all the demands in our daily lives this isn't always easy but to be a good parent you must consciously plan and devote time to parenting making development of their children's character their top priority.
  • "Review how you spend the hours and days of your week thinking about the amount of time your children spend with you” and please and how you can include your children and your social life and become involved in their life as well.
  • Set a good example. Children learn primarily by modeling the behavior of their parents when you're young, whether it's good or bad. This is probably your most important job.
  • Develop a watchful year and eye so you will know what your children are absorbing. Children are like sponges and much of what they learn with regards to moral values and character is found in the books they read, songs they sing, from the TV, the Internet and films which can easily be moral or immoral. Parents must control how much time children spend watching TV and on the Internet so they are influenced in the wrong direction.
  • Speak the language of character. Children will develop a moral compass unless the people around them use clear, sharp language of right and wrong.
  • If you must punish them do so with a loving heart. Punishment today has a bad reputation and the results are guilt-ridden parents and self–indulgent, out-of-control children. Children need boundaries as it makes them feel safe. When they ignore these boundaries, reasonable punishment is one of the ways they learn. Children must be told exactly what the punishment is for and its source is parental love.
  • It is so important to listen to your children. When we get busy sometimes we just easily tune them out and it's one of the greatest disservices of being a parent. Set aside a time routinely to listen to what they have to say. Their opinions are important.
  • Since school is the major part of your children's lives is important to get very involved in their activities. They have triumphs and disappointments just as adults do. Learning to deal with them will influence the course of their lives. When you help your children become good students it helps them acquire strong character. Show up at their games, concerts and any other events that are important for your child.
  • Make the family meal the most important time of the day. This is a time when everyone is together communicating, with the TV turned off which allows you strengthen that bond with your children. This is also a time where children are taught manners at the dinner table and an excellent time to pass on our values. The family meal is a dying trend in America as so many families eat at different times or eat in front of the TV, so there is no communication happening during the dinner hour.
  • Do not reduce character education to empty words because they gain virtue through practice. Parents need to help their children by promoting moral action through self-discipline, good work habits, kind and considerate behavior to others in community service. The bottom line and character development is behavior– their behavior.

In Conclusion

As a parent I always wanted my children to succeed well in school, in any sport of their choosing, to develop good moral character, and to be kind. Developing habits of honesty and generosity are something you teach them through the years as our children grow.

Raising children is a huge responsibility. I believe discipline for children should be relevant to the mistake or poor choice they made. So, one mode of discipline doesn't fit for each problem that comes up. I do not believe in name-calling; as a child may make a stupid mistake but that does not mean the child is stupid. And, it is most important that your child understand punishment is merited out by love, and they need to be assured that you have their best interest at heart.

Obviously many people have different opinions as to the best way to raise their children. It seems many children are not getting the foundation that they need at home to be able succeed in life.

Parenting Your Children

How do you discipline your children?

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The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.


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