You may have heard about Dr Amy Chua, professor of law at Yale University and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. She recounts raising her two daughters, now 15 and 18, using what she calls “Chinese parenting” methods.
Dr Chua has rightfully pointed out the major differences between the upbringing of Chinese kids and that of western kids. The single most important reason why Chinese kids perform so well in the academic and musical fields is that Chinese mothers almost never allow their children to give up, and they will sacrifice everything to ensure that their children is equipped with the necessary skills, work habits and confidence to succeed in an increasingly tough world. Mediocrity is a must!
It is also generally true for first generation immigrants to foreign lands who have a lot to prove. With the next few generations, I believe this will not happen as the kids will have adopted the local cultural practices.
I believe that parents should not think they own their kids. They are themselves and parents are just instruments for them being here. Asian parents are known to pressure their kids to achieve their own (parents’) ambitions, regardless of how their kids feel. The parents are actually doing it for themselves and their egos. This is extreme parenting.
For now we would be pleased as long as our kids have done relatively well, but we would have accepted less economic and professional success as long as they are kind to others and to other species.
For an interesting reading, you may wish to check this site out for responses to the extreme parenting ideas of Amy Chua as reported in the Wall St Journal:
Enjoy your day!