I had really hoped that this article was a hoax or tongue-in-cheek, but it wasn't. Amy Chua, a professor at Yale Law School and author of many books releases a new book on Tuesday called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
Chua lays out what she professes is the "secret of their success", that is the success of the Chinese mother at raising stereotypically successful kids. Here's the gist of it. Her girls are never allowed to:
• attend a sleepoverShe lays out a plan of 2-3 hours a day of instrument practice, rote memorization and drills for hours on end and using name calling, threats and insults as a mechanism for incenting her girls to reach a goal. She's generated almost 1300 comments at the time of this post. Most of the comments are from Chinese Americans stating this is NOT how most Chinese mother's operate, yet there are plenty who say they do.
• 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.
I can't agree with her methods. I think teaching kids to enjoy working hard is important, but I also think play is also important. Her methods lead to the generation of people who are good a doing what they are told, not thinking on their own. I know of many families that pushed their kids VERY hard only to have a child commit suicide because they don't feel they can live with the pressure anymore. I'm sure that is not the desire of the parent. But, really, is their performance in school the ONLY thing that matters?
I pray for her daughters.