Over the weekend a piece appeared in the Wall Street Journal by Amy Chua about the virtues of Chinese parenting versus Western parenting, excerpted from Chua's book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. "Chinese" is not meant to refer to just that ethnicity -- rather, it describes the type of person who follows it (there are mothers of Chinese heritage who don't follow Chinese parenting methods, and Western moms who do).
Chinese mothers are extremely strict and expect nothing but the best from their children -- and they let them know it, in no uncertain terms. For example, here's a list of things Chua's children were not allowed to do, from her article:
- attend a sleepover
- have a playdate
- be in a school play
- complain about not being in a school play
- watch TV or play computer games
- choose their own extracurricular activities
- get any grade less than an A
- not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
- play any instrument other than the piano or violin
- not play the piano or violin
Chua also describes a scene in which she tells her then-7-year-old daughter Lulu to stop being "lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic" when Lulu failed to master a tricky piano piece. This scene epitomizes Chua's description of Chinese parenting: heavy importance on rote repetition, settling for nothing less than perfection, and no qualms over pulling out every "weapon and tactic" to get it. When her Western husband Jed pulled her aside and asked her stop insulting Lulu, Chua wrote that she wasn't -- she was "just motivating her." In the end, though, the child got it down pat and performed it successfully at a recital.
In high school, I had a friend who had a Chinese parent. She'd tell me how her mother would call her ugly, or stupid if she got an A minus. I couldn't understand that, based on my own Western mother, who always told me how smart and pretty I was. And I couldn’t tell if my friend was upset by what her mother said, or if she viewed it in a more matter-of-fact way. But we were both top students. Both went on to good colleges. And we were both brought up under very different parenting styles.
This gives much food for thought on what's probably one of our society's most provocative topic: How parents raise their children. Whose happiness matters. What happiness even means. What's best for children. Who can choose what’s best. It's one of Chua's final lines from her excerpt that sums it up best: "Many Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it's a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that." Even if you don't agree with Chua's parenting, her article is a truly thought-provoking read and provides a real window into how other parents think.
Chua also appeared on the Today Show to defend her article. She admits there are moments that she’s not proud of, but said that if she had to do it all over again, she’d do it mostly the same with small adjustments. She also expands on the philosophy of Chinese parenting, which gives context to her book excerpt:
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
How do you feel about Chinese versus Western parenting? Do you follow a certain style?
Vote here: Do you agree with Amy Chua's strict parenting?
Plus: Read blogger Denene Millner's take on Chua's philosophy.
This Wall Street Journal is very true about the way Chinese parents raise their children, and how they raise them is how they will grow. Each person has their own opinion on how their child should be raised and taught. In Amy Chuas’s “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” an article from the Wall Street Journal, she explains the difference between Chinese parenting and Western parenting. Her belief is if you are hard and strict on a child they will be successful and go far in life, unlike westerner parents who make excuses for their child for being unsuccessful. Many people think that since Chinese parents are so hard on their children that they don’t care or love them but its complete opposite, they just express a different and unique parenting role. “Amy Chua’s is a professor at Yale Law School and author of “Day of Empire” and “World on Fire.” Her argument in this article is in her ethos, from the beginning she stated her character as the stern and demanding and don’t care attitude type of mother. Chua’s is the author of this and she is constantly comparing and contrasting Western parenting from Chinese parenting, she mainly defends Chinese ways and almost guilt trips Western parents and puts them down.
She states, “First I’ve noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children’s self esteem.” She is implying that they want their children to do good, but are concerned about their feelings will be if they don’t succeed at something, that is why they are always encouraging them to do good, and try their best. Western parents are worried about their children’s intellect, where Chinese parents aren’t, Chinese parents suppose hardness and power unlike vulnerability and this explains why they act so contrasting. Amy Chua’s seems to be open to both sides of this argument but still stands tall and supports her own beliefs and opinions which makes her a smart and open minded author in which more people will honor her for her beliefs instead of looking down on her for having her own opinions. I’ve noticed that she is content with facing people who want to argue with her belief of parenting skills, and is readily given to listening to other people’s arguments that disagree with her.
Amy Chua’s uses her pathos as an inconsiderate customary humor, and is looking down at westerners for how they raise their children. Amy likes to discuss what Western parents want to do to act and be like the Chinese but in all reality Western parents know they cant be like how Chinese parents are toward their children; even though they would like to think they are rough and tough on their discipline. What i think is interesting is that her own husband has an argument out against her when he states “Children don’t choose their parents, so its the parents responsibility to provide for them” basically making a pled for the Western side of this argument. With all this being said she tried to have a good comeback for him but she failed to do so because her request is damaged because she is not thinking in a neutral state of mind. She really didn’t have much to say, other than of course all parents out there want to see their children do good and succeed and achieve lifetime goals to help better their self. Its like she contradicts her point because she says she disproves how Western parenting is; and then turns right around like i stated earlier that all parents are the same, and if they care for their children then they only what want is right for their children.
Amy Chua’s states in the beginning and tells us the percentages of Western and Chinese mothers who agree that children stressing with their school and academics that it isn’t good for them. Stressing with learning and any type of struggling isn’t good for children especially at such a young age because this is a crucial time in their life, but all of the Chinese mothers thought this was good for their children. They think that if their child is under some sort of pressure they will try harder and when they are strapped with school work it will make them even try harder to succeed, and this is where all the moms stood behind Amy and could relate to why she thought this way. Chau’s makes this confusing for the reader, especially when calling her daughter trash and making her feel worthless when she didn’t do good on a test but since we don’t know what her daughter really did this could be a lie or her exaggerating just to get us to understand her point. She doesn’t intricate when she says what “decent parents” really are and what is “best” for children.
I feel if she is going to say that she should go into more detail and explain her argument and point of view better, even with all her exaggeration there is no certain ways set in stone to decide what conditions a excellent parent has. I like the fact she has made it very clear that there are differences between Western and Chinese parents. She is just stating that her parents must have raised her this way so apparently their is a long line of Chinese history behind her so she is just carrying out the family tradition, and raise her daughter this way. For her this culture of changing would be hard to do because the reason of her essay was to differ Western from Chinese and of course we expect her to think the Chinese way is more efficient.
The audience is whoever decides to read this and i feel as if she wants them to take in so they will take in all what she has said into consideration and change their mind to the way she see’s stuff. This topic is very eye catching and really makes you think about how many different ways their is to raise your children and how different nationalities teach and want their children to grow up. Amy Chua thinks being hard on children while they are young and criticizing them academically when doing wrong they will grow into a successful adult one day.
This article might not be effective but it does help you to understand and explain why Chinese mothers are superior and how Western ones are not. I think teaching them freedom and independence is what is better, not scolding them for getting a B when we all know that’s a good grade to get. Teaching them independence and how to make choices that will follow them until their older is what should be more important. Either way she does have a good static of parenting children and it shows because so many Chinese people really are successful and its because their parents raised them this way and that is all they know. You can ask anyone today about Chinese parents and most of them will tell you that they are hard on their children because that is all they know, and they are just passing how they were raised in return hoping their kids raise their children the same way.
Chua, Amy. “Amy Chua Is a Professor at Yale Law School and Autho Od “Day of Empire” and “World on Fire.”” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 8 Jan. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2014. Chua, Amy. “”Western Parents Are Extremly Anxious about Their Childrens Self Esteem.”” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 8 Jan. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2014. Chua, Amy. “Children Dont Choose Their Parents, so Its the Parents Responsibility to Provide for Them.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 8 Jan. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.