The book is an ode to the traditional, strict upbringing of Asian children. Her husband (also a professor at Yale Law) is not Chinese, and they have raised their two daughters both in the Jewish tradition and as Ms. Chua herself was raised - with a very traditional Chinese parenting style. Her book preaches "no playdates, no sleepovers, no school plays, hours of classical music practice a day, and never a 'B' grade."
As expected, the most outlandish comments are being hyped as part of the press tour and in the name of promoting the book: her comments about grades (Chinese kids would never dare to get a B), dating (never), camp (a waste of time), praise (never in public), and self-esteem (a non-issue) are deliberately provoking.
As for me, an Asian parent myself, I find myself asking:
- How can a parent claim to have mastered parenting when her own daughters are still teens and not even through the difficult adolescent years?
- How can she, or anyone else for that matter, claim to absolutely define and then prescribe parenting success? Isn't it different for each parent and each child?
Have you read this book? Are you an "Asian parent"? Do non-Asian parents settle for mediocre with the kids? What's your take?
UPDATE: More discussion and reactions from tweens on the Tiger Mother here.
Photo credit: Erin Patrice O'Brien for the Wall Street Journal
P.S. My own Asian mom sent me this article to read with a nice "Hah!" to go with it. So Ma, you can see that I do read what you send even when I don't agree with you.
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