Friday, January 13, 2012

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

If you decide to read this book, just keep a very open mind.  This is a memoir about Amy Chua's struggles and triumphs as a mother.   She wrote in the very beginning of the book that whenever she mention "Asian Mom/Parent" or "Western Mom/Parent", she does not mean  ALL Asians or ALL Westerners.  She is a graduate of Harvard Law and is teaching law at Yale.   I am sure she could easily have used other words to describe the different parenting technique if she wanted to.  But book writing is a business and by creating controversy she got a lot of buzz and publicity for the book and herself.   I got curious myself when my lunch dates talked about "Tiger Moms", so now my Nook also got a copy of this book.

Amy is a very strict mom who demand only excellence from her daughters.  She only wanted the best for them and obviously also have the money to hire the best teachers.  She also have the tenacity and perseverance to not give in but exert control over her kids and what she perceives to be the best for them.  She also explain at the end that some parts of the book are supposed to be taken as jokes.

Personally, parenting is very one of a kind.  Different kids,  different parents,  different moods, different temperaments, different days, heck, even different times of the day will bring out different reactions from me.   Being an immigrant myself, with grandfathers coming from the same Fujian province like Amy's grandparents, I can see and understand what she is trying to say.  But we can not generalized discipline technique by culture alone.  Both my parents grew up with discipline techniques that are way different from each other.   Also I think that there could also be a generational difference.   We also see a lot of Westerners and others who are well behave, high achievers and are excellent at their chosen careers.  How many hours they read and studied or  how they practice piano or violin or if they ever had a sleepover, we will not know unless one of them will write a book about their home life growing up.

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