Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

I just finished reading Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.  There has been a lot of controvery surrounding this book (which actually made me want to read it even more). In a nut shell, the book is about Amy’s journey as a VERY strict “Chinese Mother”.  Throughout the book she constantly compares her ways (and apparently the ways of most Chinese parents) to that of “Western Parents” meaning those of us that live in the United States.  In the beginning of the book I was not only shocked and admitedly a little offended by Amy’s accusations of Western Parenting.  But as she continues on I couldn’t help but give the girl credit for being SO open and honest as an author, eventhough she probably knew she would receive a ton of criticism.  She starts off on the first page saying- “Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do”:

  • attend a sleepover (I can understand this.  My husband and I are actually very particular about where our kids spend the night and are limited to houses of parents we know VERY well).
  • have a playdate (Never, Ever Amy?)
  • be in a school play (What’s wrong with drama? It is a form of art?)
  • complain about not being in a school play
  • watch TV or play computer games (Although we also limit this in our house, deep down I have always wished I could be this strict! Then again when would I get my break? lol)
  • choose their own extracurricular activites (Until what age??)
  • get any grade less than an A (Nothing wrong with this one!)

Although I definitely don’t agree with all of Amy’s parenting techniques, especially using threats and negative comments to make your kids do what you want, I actually found this book very interesting.  There are many valuable lessons to be learned throughout and it really opened my eyes to parenting in other parts of the world.

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Hi there! I am Jennifer Ford Berry or some people like to call me "Life's Organization Expert". I am super passionate about helping people get organized and stay that way! I have written a series of books called Organize Now! I contribute my organizing tips to National magazines, radio and TV shows. I am here to help you realize that your life is not about stuff...it is about living! YOU can live an organized, healthy and exciting life one baby step at a time. Let me show you how!

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3 replies
  1. JenniferFordBerry
    JenniferFordBerry says:

    I agree Ann. And if everything is forced on them how will the parent see the child’s true personality-meaning their likes and dislikes? I do agree in teaching kids that you have to work hard to be successful but I also think they need time to just be a kid. So I guess for me it is about balance. Have you read the book yet?

  2. Ann
    Ann says:

    Hi Jennifer!

    I read some reader reviews of Tiger Mother in the Wall Street Journal, and it seemed like opinions were mixed on the benefits of Chua’s approach.

    Of course all parents want their children to be successful, but at what cost?

    And I wonder if the hard driving parenting approach has any kind of effect on fostering creativity? If everything in the children’s lives is completely structured, how will they learn to think for themselves?

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