Chinese Tiger Mothers not a good Canadian role model


Book review articles about Amy Chua’s new book called “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” have started appearing in Canadian newspapers and magazines. The book is a memoir of Ms. Amy Chua, a Yale law professor’s parenting techniques that produced two overachieving daughters.

Her technique? A lot of don’ts and NEVERS
1. attend a sleepover
2. have a playdate
3. be in a school play
4. complained about not being in a school play
5. watch TV or play computer games
6. choose their own extracurricular activities
7. get any grade less than an A
8. not be the no. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
9. play instrument other than the piano or violin
10. not play the piano or violin
the list goes on….

“I threatened [Lulu] with no lunch, no dinner, no Christmas and no Hanukkah presents, no birthday parties for two, three, four years. When she still kept playing [her piano piece] wrong, I told her she was purposefully working herself into a frenzy because she was secretly afraid she couldn’t do it. I told her to stop being lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic.”

Certainly a very controversial approach to parenting. As a Canadian, I have heard many therapists talk about the problems of young new Canadians with depression due to overbearing Chinese parents.

Note that there is another book called “Blessings of a B-” which is just the opposite of the book “Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother’. In this book, author Mogel gives parents the tools to do so and offers reassuring spiritual and ethical advice on

• why influence is more effective than control.

• teenage narcissism.

• living graciously with rudeness.

• the value of ordinary work.

• why risk is essential preparation for the post–high school years.

• when to step in and when to step back.

• a sanctified approach to sex and substances.

An important and inspiring book that will fortify parents through the teenage years, The Blessing of a B Minus is itself a blessing.