17 April 2013
Tiger Mom Growing up as a child in any activity you decided to take on you learn that your parents always stress the concept of practice makes perfect; if it’s practicing your flute, or throwing baseballs with a friend, or shooting free throws in the driveway. The more time and effort you put into some activity you enjoy, the better you will be ultimately making you enjoy it even more. In some cultures this concept of practice makes perfect is taken to up most extremes. The most famous mother to practice these extreme rules is Yale Law professor Amy Chua better known as Tiger Mom. This idea became public when Chua wrote the article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” for the Wall Street Journal, in which she discussed her strict mothering ways or btter known as “Tiger Mothering”. To American’s these concepts that are involved in this type of parenting seem extreme. The idea that Chua makes her daughters practice piano for long supervised practices so that they can master the piano seems a little extreme. As a child I to played the piano, and I practices up to 30 minutes a day,so the thought of having to practice hours on end seems a bit crazy. Tenacious practice upon more practice is needed for excellence, which is something that American children lack. With the hard work comes the praise, which makes all the practice worthwhile, because when you finally become proficient in something it makes you enjoy it. Everyone loves and enjoys something their decent at. The difference between me and Amy Chua daughters now is the fact that I no longer play piano because my parents let me quit when I no longer found it fun. But if my parents had been more like Chua with her strict ways, I might have found the piano more enjoyable after all the practice and finally mastering it. This is a big drawback with the American styles of parenting. Parents no longer make children do something they do not find fun. They start and play so many different sports when they are younger, but most drop out as they grow older and later regret it. They despise their parents for not pushing them to stick it out. What caught my eye most in the article was the long list she had of things her daughters whenever allowed to do: attended sleepovers, have a play date, be in a school play, watch TV or play computer games, choose their own extracurricular activities, no grade less than an A, not be No. 1 student in every subject except gym or drama, and last they have to play the piano or violin. I could not imagine growing up under these strict rules. I don’t see how a child could fully develop their social skills if they are never allowed to have long time interaction with their peers. I use to love playing all different sports as a child and that is something I want to pass on to my son, so the thought that if I raised my child by their rules would just be too extreme for my way of life. But these rules are enforced by the tiger moms because they know their children are the best, and they intend to make sure they live up to that. They feel if their children do not live up to being the best they have failed are parents. Chinese parenting is based on three key ideas; the first one being that they are not concerned with their child’s psyches. They believe that their children are strong, not fragile, and because of this they can be treated differently. In the American society, if a child brought home an A- to a parent they would be rewarded and praised for such a good grade, while if a Chinese student brought home the same grade to his parents his mother would be in total horror over the grade. She would all her child worthless and stupid while us Americans would never do this because we would never want to undermine are children’s self-esteem. Second, Chinese parents believe that their children are indebted to them because they as parents sacrifice and did so much for them. Last, they believe as parents they know what is best for their children and therefore triumph all of their own desires. Although some of the parenting ideas seem a bit extreme, some in my eyes seem beneficial. I see nothing wrong with making your child want to be proficient in whatever they do. I think the concept of them only getting to play the piano and violin is a little much. I believe that sports can be good for children to for learning sportsman ship and a good way to make lifelong friends. Along with that I think it is very good to push academics on your child. There will never be a downfall with being good in school. And it’s better to install these habits as a child than try and learn them later in life. I believe with my own child I will I will mix the American and Tiger Mom parenting styles.