Why it matters
While all parents want their children to succeed – in life – this book has some subtle lessons for parenting styles.
By Amy Chua. 237 pp. The Penguin Press
This compelling tale, almost like a good thriller, started with Amy Chua’s alarming book– a story about a mother and two daughters Sophia and Lulu. The talk among, some parents is all about Tiger Mothers, a new and ferocious species that will nudge cubs to the brink of madness to ensure success.
Until recently, Tiger mothers have almost gone unnoticed except by those whose children also study music, win quizzes and do special courses. As Chua – herself a tiger – explains, such women mostly “Chinese” [but this is a state of mind) hide their ambitions and methods from the soppy “Western” parents [yet another state of mind] whose children they plan to beat hollow in every exam – including the exam of life. They pretend to play the orthodox liberal game focus, [read prepare for the Matingi exams] while in private doing the opposite.
Chua, a Yale law professor, knows how to shock and amuse delicate Western sensitivities. On the first page of her book she sets the tone when she lists some of the things that her children were never allowed to do.
This tiger mother wants her children to be winners, which makes her no different from the mothers ……. By their teens, her daughters were not only top of the class, they were musical prodigies.
Curiously – without giving too much away – Chua is not blind to the dangers of authoritarian parenting. In fact she started writing this book the day after Lulu, her violinist younger daughter yelled: “I hate you” and smashed a glass in a Moscow restaurant. This “battle hymn” – part confessional, part polemic – is her way of sorting out her thoughts.
Read on; Some parents who have gone beyond the reading