The US “Tiger Mom” phenomenon recently came to my attention via the witty Mrs Woog, but it wasn’t until I saw the controversial Amy Chua interview on The Today Show earlier this week, and read about it via Time Magazine online that it all became clear with the uproar was about.
Here is a woman who is apparently trying to give her children the best chance possible in life to succeed. Except that, in my humble opinion it’s at the expense of one little thing:
No sleepovers, no school plays, no mindless TV, and HEAVEN FORBID, scoring any grade less than an A. Then there’s the sin of offering over a lovingly hand-made birthday card which apparently was not up to “Picasso” standard.
“I don’t want this,” Chua announced, adding that she expected to receive a drawing that Lulu had “put some thought and effort into.” Throwing the card back at her daughter, she told her, “I deserve better than this. So I reject this.” .
Sounds more like a 15 year stint juvenile detention centre, without chance for parole; not a loving family home!
I’m all for freedom of speech, and the fact that each parent has the right to instil their own values and rules into the raising of their children. But to write a book about it, and sermonize that this is the only way to ensure your child succeeds in life? Please. Step down from your preacher’s pulpit a second and take a reality check.
How do they expect their child to assimilate in the real world, when the time comes to emerge from the
prison cocoon they’ve for so long called home? The older we get, the harder it is to make friends – this is a skill we need to nurture in our childhood, and for most of us, some of the very best friends we’ll ever be lucky enough to have harkens back to the days of the old school yard. How then, will these “tiger cubs” survive on their thrifty exposure to the world that is friendship? Awkwardness all round, I’d say. They’ll be living alone in a house full of cats before the biological clock ticks over to 30.
And what of the wondrous world of imagination, and letting it flourish? Not so in Tiger Mom-land. Participation in the dramatic arts appears to be frowned upon in favour of the more “cultural” pursuits such as classical piano recitals.
Whether or not Ms Chua eventually regrets enforcing her strict regime (most likely when one of the girls, potentially starved of affection throws herself at the first man to shower her with a glimmer of unbridled affection) remains to be seen. And OH, how we will be ALL watching for that slip up…
I know I am far away from the years from which grades are made, but I want to put it in print that the happiness of Harrison is going to be what I value the most. Not to say I’ll be particularly pleased if he doesn’t TRY, but that is all a parent can ask, right? You do your best, and be damned with the rest.
In my humble opinion, financial and intellectual success should not necessarily equate to the pinnacle of achievement where our kids are concerned. All the exceptional academic accomplishments in the world cannot compare to the one thing all parents should strive for the most – the contentment of the child. For what is the good of all this success if it’s at the expense of your son or daughter’s happiness?