Monday, 13 January 2014

Amy Chua "Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother"

They say that behind every outstanding person there stands his/her mother. Today it is rather a marketing team, sometimes a farther or both parents. However mothers still play a significant role in childrens' upbringing.

If you think one should be born a genius and the parents do not play any role, Amy Chua will prove that you can make a genius through  a Chinese way of education.

I read the book  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Motherbecause I heard it had caused a public outcry in a sense that Amy Chua, the mother of two daughters, killed their childhood in pursuit of making them high achievers. Did I find her way of bringing up kids totally unacceptable?...

I would like to cite Tolstoy who said about education approximately the following:


Pedagogy is a science of how living badly we can have a good influence on children. The same goes for our medicine - how living contrary to the laws of nature yet to be healthy.


Artful and empty sciences, never reaching their goal. All parenting difficulties arise from the fact that parents do not want to correct their own deficiencies, even justify them in themselves, and at the same time do not want to see their shortcomings in children.

If you look  at the way Amy Chua raised her children from Tolstoy's angle then she acted as she had been taught, as in a beehive she followed the program. She was honest with children, demonstrating her philosophy of life by her own example, I mean she passed the test of sincerity. Another question is that Amy Chua's system has not been accepted by many in the western world - too much of pressure on kids, which opens an endless discussion in respect of how much pressure kids need.

What I liked about Amy Chua is that she also learned something from her second daughter. At some point the tiger mother gives up her pressure and realizes that she can be more flexible and that her truth is not final. 

There is another book about motherhood that will be interesting to read. The author is a famous writer, Romain Gary, who was brought up differently, although he, like the daughters of Amy Chua, is a higher achiever. One system of education is Jewish, the other one is Chinese. Regardless of different approaches there are few common points in both systems - despotic mothers, a system of clear and unconditional suggestions and mothers' devotion to their kids. Tiger mothers which frighten and make you admire. Which of the two would you prefer?

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