5 December, 2012
Discipline: A Limitless Code of Behavior
How much discipline is too much discipline? Is there a limit to strict parenting? Families and parents really have no blueprint on raising their own children. Parents have to figure out the right passage through their traditions and values on to their children; it can either be in a conservative, liberal, or anything in between. In her essay, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” Amy Chua explains why her strict disciplining methods are better than anybody else’s. She compares the way Western parents and Chinese mothers teach and parent in two completely different ways, and describe the indifferences, “Even when Western parents think they’re being strict, they usually don’t come close to being Chinese mothers.”(2) But who is to say what parenting style produces successful children? Although strict parenting techniques are controlled through discipline, they are in fact successful and influence an individual to gain self-respect and dedication. Chua’s essay consists of how self-esteem is interpreted as shown in Amy Chua’s article, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” a professor at Yale Law School, makes a case that “Western parents worry a lot about their children’s self-esteem. But as a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child’s self-esteem is to let them give up.”(1) She argues about how there are three different ways that separate the Chinese and Western parental mind-sets. One of her claims is that western parents get “anxiety attacks” when they see their children fail and try to reconcile their feelings from being broken inside of their minds by applauding their effort. She also argues that Chinese parents expect everything from their children just because it’s considered to their wise virtue of respect of Confucian filial piety. Which is to be someone’s beliefs of importance of virtue and primary duty of respect, obedience, and care for one's parents and elderly family members? Finally, she explains how the Chinese are strict, by not allowing their children to have any sense of independence or freedom up until they are ready to be dependent on their own. Another unclear key point that Chua addresses to is the type of evidence she uses for the idea that learning is fun. She uses statistics/facts evidence as her argument for “academic achievement reflects successful parenting,” by stating that studies show Chinese spending ten times longer than Western parents in teaching techniques. She analyses in one of Chua’s books, Battle hymn of the Tiger Mother, she describes herself giving piano and violin lessons to her students in a demanding manner. The lack of evidence that Chua fails to mention might have some remorse behind it, in researching this concept, there is evidence available that supports Chua’s argument. By which it makes Chua’s claim unsupportive because there is a fine line between the teaching and abuse technique. In further researching, I found more supportive evidence from Liz Mandarano, a writer for the Huffington post. Mandarano explains how Chua’s parenting techniques are profound to cultural differences. With that being said, Mandarano brings an outside source to her argument, Dr. Stephen P. Herman, who is an international well-known forensic psychiatrist who has served as a child psychiatrist who has served as a child custody expert for the U.S. for over 30 years. “So where should courts draw the line? (“Without interfering the ten commandments to the U.S. Constitution”) Dr. Herman encourages that the judicial system take the six following steps in determining whether behavior is an acceptable or unacceptable form of parenting.” This is basically saying those who identify and evaluate the bonding between parent and child before making falsely accusations need to be careful. What makes it substantial is when she asserts, “No matter how uncomfortable or distasteful some of us may personally find some of her techniques, it is obvious that she seeks to discipline rather abuse her children.”(2) To sum up, Mandarano is in favor of Chua’s parenting techniques because she is saying in the end, “Putting my own biases against this parenting style aside, knowing these truths I find myself surprisingly respecting her choice.” One of Chua’s unclear points that were brought to my attention was where she stated, “The best way to protect them is by preparing them for the future.”(5) This argument sounds unsupportive on her behalf because she follows it by saying “letting them see what they’re capable of” (Chua) is the significance that allows the child to have some sort of independent freedom of choice. For example, a study reported by Janet Maslin, in her article, “But will it all make ‘Tiger Mom’ happy? As Maslin quotes Chua, “When it’s time to fess up to short comings (“the truth is I’m not good at enjoying life”) and smell the roses at the end of the book, Mrs. Chua deploys her sister illness to provide the necessary dose of carpe diem.” The author’s findings helped clarify Chua’s argument on how “the best way to protect” is to actually seize the day; enjoy the present, as opposed to placing all hope in the future. Not only is Chua covering herself as a conservative , but also a prideful individual of hiding an emotional appeal (pathos) to the reader about her sisters illness. If Chua’s purpose is correct about her parental techniques, then western parents shouldn’t feel as mortified to her success. In order to support her claim that Western parents are emotionally weak when it comes to their child’s self-esteem. Chua includes a personal experience type of evidence that draws in the readers’ level of seriousness. She tells us that “Chinese parents understand that nothing is fun until you’re good at it.” (4) In her book, World on Fire, she claims about how the economic market is shifting towards the “ethnic minorities.” Her target audience is clearly the White Americans that fear of the rising of the ethnic minorities; Chua insinuates control of the nation’s wealth and claims into changing the country’s everyday administration. Therefore, the control of the country’s wealth should be clearly identified by “the true owners of the nation.” Meaning, Chua’s educated mind-set form is addressing her audience in an indirect way of manner. So, is the idea of strict parenting really considered as controlled discipline? Whether if it’s because of self-esteem or not, the independence of freedom should be allowed as a choice. According to Confucius, he says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” If Chua wouldn’t sound contradicting about her beliefs, then she should have considered allowing her child the option to be able to choose their passion in their life, not choosing it for them. Even though the concept of “learning sounds fun” comes into effect or not, the whole point is to choose to learn about your child as a parent and cherish that moment. The ideal parent is someone who guides their child by being supportive, caring, and respectably wise to the extent that it’s limitless to the world. Strict parenting techniques are in fact what shape the world with more self-respect and dedication.
Chua-Rubenfeld, Sophia. "Why I love my strict Chinese Mom ." http://www.nypost.com/f/print/entertainment/. N.p., 17 2011. Web. 1 Dec 2012. Davies, Jennifer. "Treat your kids like royalty, and the'yll act the part." http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2009/apr/24/lc25momsm09245-smartliving-. N.p., 24 2009. Web. 1 Dec 2012. Fry, Wendy. "New Mothers Get Help Understanding New Lives." http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/17/tp-new-mothers-get-help-understanding-. N.p., 17 2012. Web. 1 Dec 2012. Mandarano, Liz. "The Tiger Mom Dilemma ." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-mandarano/the-tiger-mom-dilemma. family and matrimonial, 02 2011. Web. 1 Dec 2012. Maslin, Janet. "But Will It All Make 'Tiger Mom' Happy?." http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/books/20books.html?r=0. Books of The Times, 19 2011. Web. 1 Dec 2012.