The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Author presents differences in Western, Chinese parenting styles

By Leah Bosworth/ne news editor

The Tiger Mother has been released and, fortunately, she’s inside a book.

Author Amy Chua — Yale law professor, wife and mother of two — reveals what it really takes to be a Tiger Mother in her parenting memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Her book focuses on her successes, failures and realizations experienced through raising her two daughters, Sophia and Lulu, the “Chinese way.”

Chua serves readers with a taste of the extreme maneuvers of a Chinese mother by opening the book with some things her two daughters were never allowed to do:

attend a sleepover

have a play date

watch TV or play computer games

get any grade less than an A

not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

play any instrument other than the piano or violin

She also presents readers with the polarities she notices between Western and Chinese parenting styles: Western parents focus on protecting and nurturing a child’s self-esteem and individualism while Chinese parents focus mainly on tenacity, hard work and success in education.

The bulk of the book compiles anecdotes and scenes throughout Chua’s life that illustrate her obsessively disciplined parenting style along with perpetual reminders of her deep love for her daughters that is the root of her demands.

Chua separates the book into three parts that contribute to the chronological impact of each of the aptly named chapters such as “Blowout in Budapest” and “How You Get to Carnegie Hall.”

Often, Chua uses extreme measures to instill obedience and discipline in her daughters.

When Lulu was 3 years old and refused to play a single note on the piano by reacting with a tantrum, Chua mollified the child by setting her on the porch in the Connecticut winter air until she calmed down and was ready to behave.

During a frustrating piano lesson, Chua responded to Sophia’s substandard playing with, “If the next time’s not perfect, I’m going to take all your stuffed animals and burn them!”

Moments like this pull at the emotional response of the reader leading to thoughts of confusion and disbelief, but the Tiger Mother is always on guard and ready to reinforce the drive behind her ruthless actions.

A few times, Chua can even admit to being vanquished by the same passion and persistence she has injected in her daughters.

During one mother-daughter stand-off, Lulu challenges her mother’s strictly controlled parenting style by smashing a glass on the floor of a restaurant and warning her mother, “I’ll smash more if you don’t leave me alone.”

Chua’s book is sure to send readers on a twisting ride filled with astonishment toward the Tiger Mom’s alternative parenting methods and the witty and slightly crooked humor Chua uses to tell about her trials of child rearing.

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