“Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua
Definitely one of the most controversial books of 2011. Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother by Yale’s law professor Amy Chua. It is a personal account praising the Chinese parenting methods and at the same time a wide critique of Western upbringing methods.
It is not a the first Chua’s book. She is the author of The Interpretation if Murder and an accomplished professor, therefore she knows exactly how the success tastes: very hard work, pushing yourself to the limits and sticking to an extreme regime. And this is the model she decided to implement bringing up her two daughters, Sophia and Lulu; the model that represents the strictness of the Chinese upbringing.
As a mother Chua takes for granted the absolute right to decide about her kid’s activities and demand rigorous academic standards. She has never allowed her daughters to attend a sleepover, take an autonomous decision about their activities, watch TV or play computer games. Chua is uncompromising about high expectations towards her daughter’s academic achievements and never accepted any other grade expect an A.
She focuses all her energy to ensure her daughter’s top performance – at school and in music. She demands the best because “Chinese parents assume strength nor fragility”. If the child does not achieve perfect exam results, it is because she or he does not work hard enough.
Pointing a finger to Western parents who, in her opinion, are too concerned about their children psyche, she calls her daughter ‘garbage’ [not on the regular basis though]. “Hey fatty – lose some weight” is a standard.
Besides all the controversy about Chua’s parenting methods, I think the most important message send to all parents is not to get lazy with your child development and progress.
I am not a parent myself but I can see mothers so tired after work that the only thing on their mind it to get some rest. Of course you have to somehow find that middle ground in all that strictness, but never ever give up on your kid, because they deserve to be the best.
I see it through my experience. I remember crying and swearing [not loudly of course] on my father when I had to finish all those maths equations, or sweating all my energy during dance competitions. In Primary School, only mark A was allowed. I was always scared when he was about to get a report on my performance from my school. He demanded a lot, but he made me feel THE BEST. I was the best in the class considering , I was the best bully (nothing to be proud of in the end) . I was simply the best!
However I never remember that he would leave me alone for my own sake. I think that was the most important, looking at it from today’s perspective. He was doing all the homework with me, reading book for Polish Studies classes, training me to get this particular step (I was training Latin and Ballroom dance at that time) in an impeccable manner – he was always there. At that time I envied him sincerely, but I followed – God bless me that I did!
If you know me – I do not have to explain. However if you do not – I turned out to be a confident person whose self-esteem does not depend on external factors. It is because I always felt that I am the best – even if I wasn’t.
I would not say that my father had chosen Chinese parenting style, but it for sure it was not so-called Western parenting. I think it was exactly the middle ground.
Not only for educational and eye-opening purposes but also for inspirational one, I believe that ‘Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother’ is a great pick! Reading it made me remember that if you demand a lot from your kids you have to apply the same rules to yourself, because they are always looking upon you.
images / from internet