Forget the Chinese stealth fighter, and make way for the Chinese mother!
I am going to post this link without much comment (I will leave that to all of you), but I have to say that it grabbed my attention! Refreshing in ways, startling in others, eyebrow raising in most… If the article was meant to provoke interest in the author’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, it worked for me. (And after grabbing the URL for that link, I’m a little interested in the author’s World on Fire, as well, the author of both being Yale professor and “Chinese mother” Amy Chua.)
I couldn’t help but think of a proverb when I read this passage in the article:
“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. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it’s math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.”
Which proverb? “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). How many parents cave to that foolishness? And how many today would find the idea that a parent must “override” their child’s “preferences” absolutely horrifying? (Regardless of where you draw the line, you would have to agree that some parents today have refused to manage their children’s “preferences” resulting in absolutely horrific consequences.)
The passage on being called “garbage” and repeating the act with her own daughter (and what sort of childhood crime would result in such a designation) makes for interesting reading, as well.
Oh–the whole article is interesting reading… Whether it will make you happy, sad, or horrified, you should check it out: “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” (One of the tabs on the page contains a video of two moms descended from “Chinese mothers” who are taking a different path, for those who would like to see another point of view.)