If there's one parenting story that's truly gotten parents
in a tizzy, it's the one profiling author
Amy Chua in The Wall Street Journal. The article, "Why Chinese Mothers are
Superior," highlights the Chinese-American, Ivy-League school educated author's
"methods" for raising high-achieving kids. This article was posted on January
8, but the controversy hasn't subsided. There have been plenty of online rebuttals
within the Asian American community, but I think the article probably hits a
nerve with parents regardless of ethnicity.
My first reaction after reading this article was sympathy
for her two daughters. Then my next thought was, this woman is going to have
some serious regrets. With all of that academic and social micromanaging of her
children's lives, how well does she actually know them? There are serious, and
sad, consequences to this type of parent-child relationship. I grew up with
some of the same pressures the author discusses. Thankfully, I also grew up
with plenty of love. So maybe I came out even.
Parenting is by far the toughest endeavor my husband and I
have taken on, and we don't take our influence over our child lightly. We
understand the huge responsibility of raising a happy, healthy and yes, high
achieving child. When I say high achieving, I don't mean expecting Kellan to bring
home only As and spend three hours a day sitting at the piano. He doesn't have
to be the best at everything, but we do want him to make a real effort.
That being said, I do think that a little coercion works at
times. I never would have learned how to ride a bike if my dad didn't beg,
bribe, and insist that I finally learn. I do have a problem with telling your
child what instruments to play and not allowing play dates, things Chua says
she did. She also says she didn't let her kids choose their extracurricular
activities or allow them to be in school plays. It must be exhausting to be
that much of a tyrant. I wonder if she allows laughter and conversations about
rainbows and unicorns.
Joking aside, we get only one chance to raise our kids so
why not do it with joy? Yes, there are times when I'm dealing with a tantrum or
sleep issues and there's absolutely no joy in that. But having children is
supposed to be fun, as well as fulfilling. I know I'll make mistakes -
sometimes big ones - but I hope I will always have the trust of my child to get
What do you think about this type of strict parenting?