Memoir of tough love stirs controversy | The Columbus Dispatch
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#1 Jan 21, 2011
The Tiger Mother Club
I am Chinese, and I am a mother. Now, that makes me a Chinese mother, right? The local chapter of the Tiger Mother Club was looking for more Chinese members, and since I was new in town, and was eager to make new friends, I sent in my application.
And they turned me down! Apparently I was not qualified. I found that baffling since I am a Chinese mother.
Reading Chua's book explained everything. It was all about the piano.
Despite years of lessons, my beloved daughter has no hopes of playing Chopin in Carnegie Hall. She can barely read music notes, and her repertoire is limited to The Carpenters. Oh well, it is a good thing I like Karen and Richard.
#2 Jan 21, 2011
There are a dozen basically uncontroversial assertions in Chua's article, and most of the news outlets are focusing on those. They all mention the death threats as well.
What no one is giving proper focus to is the repeated charge of abuse, particularly from hundreds of formerly abused children. It doesn't help to wonder whether Chua was misunderstood or if she has changed. It doesn't matter that she thinks she is superior; that is hardly unique or interesting! What is interesting and compelling is this: not the superiority charge or the ideas but Chua's own descriptions of her exact actions and words as a parent have inspired a torrent of commenters giving their own personal testimony of abuse, especially on the Wall Street Journal site which now has over 7500 comments. No one knows what to do with this abuse testimony so everyone is ignoring it and pretending that the story is about Amy Chua. The story is about the abuse of children. Somebody write about that!
#3 Jan 21, 2011
I am an Asian American girl and I understand what Amy Chua is saying about succeeding in life and how that leads to self-esteem. I am pushed much harder than the average "Western children." I practice vocal performance for several hours per day and I work so hard I have succumbed to sickness frequently due to stress. However, both my parents and I strongly believe in harsh comments such as calling one's children "garbage," "stupid," and "the shame of the family," which in China, is probably one of the worst things to be called by your elders. I disagree with Amy Chua that people don't have self-esteem, and that self-esteem is built on success. While you are more confident when you are successful, taunting words such as "garbage" and "worthless" can make one emotionally distressed and unstable later on in life. This is NOT a good process! I know many Asian-American people with parents who were similar to Amy Chua and most of them go to therapy regularly or have seen a shrink before due to the pressure and stress from their parents earlier in their lives. Also, not letting her children to have social lives is terrible--not only because children/teens should have fun with their friends, but also because making and keeping friends is A LOT harder than practicing an instrument/sport or doing homework. You can do that on autopilot. Making friends is tough, not fun, and teaches you many life skills that are needed later on in life. If Amy Chua is speaking direct truth in her book, then her children will have many social issues later on in life because they didn't learn imperative social lessons when they were younger.
#4 Mar 30, 2011
What me worry?
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