Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Book Review: The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
This book has been an enjoyable read for me. I love to read about parenting. I was eager to read this book to find out exactly what constitutes "Chinese parenting". I had a vague idea in my mind, having grown up in an area where there were many Asian students. I don't know how my Asian friends were raised, having never even been in any of their homes, but I'm certain, based on how they fared academically and musically, that it was probably similar to Amy Chua's description.
Much of the book resonated well with me. I want my kids to be successful and high-achievers. I want them to learn music and keep up with their studies. I want them to be obedient and well-disciplined and polite. I agree with some of her philosophies, in that I believe that parents should be respected and that children should grow up to take care of their parents. I believe in being strict about many things too, that some of the pleasures our children indulge in these days are not necessary and many should be avoided.
I can agree that Western parents tend to coddle their children too much. They don't allow for a lot of personal growth; they don't have very high expectations and don't expect much follow-through. They come to the aide of their children far too quickly. That I can agree with.
However, I didn't like some of her methods. I guess that's the Western parent in me since was raised by Western parents. I don't believe that her methods will necessarily result in adults who are confident enough to choose their own path. She doesn't want them to choose their path. That sounds a bit like Satan to me. "My way or the highway", right?
I think there is probably a way to blend the best of both worlds. Perhaps parenting with high expectations in addition to remembering Jesus Christ and following his example. I think there would be less yelling and more loving. I'd like to find a way to parent like that.