Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua (Find this book in our catalog)
How well have you raised your kids? And what does it mean to be a good parent?
“A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it.” Says Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and of Asian descent, the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. This provocative and sometimes humorous memoir of extreme parenting, revealing the awards and the costs of raising children the Chinese way, is sure to make parents think. How different is the Chinese way? Well, Ms. Chua writes about a dinner party in which a guest left early in tears because she was so upset when Ms. Chua told the story of calling her daughter “garbage” in public in an attempt, that was successful, to have her daughter behave better.
After reading this biography one realizes the rules are different in different cultures. Ms. Chua allows no sleepovers, no computer games and nothing less than an A in a grade. She feels Western parents are too easy on their children, rewarding them for small successes for fear of destroying the child’s self esteem. How do you compare or decide which is the better way to raise a child? Can both ways lead to children becoming successful, compassionate, productive adults in our society? In a recent International Student Assessment, China ranked 1st in math, science and reading skills while the US ranked 24th….behind Latvia, from the 34 nations participating so it is something to think about.
This highly charged book about the “Chinese way” as a better way for raising children would be a great book group book, an easy read with tons of provocative ideas and discussions to follow on cultural differences and parenting. But least you become aghast at how insensitive and perhaps cruel Ms. Chua is at raising her daughters she throws in the heartbreaking saga of her sister’s acute lymphoma and the affect that had on everyone, especially Ms. Chua and the rebellion of one of her daughters.
Review by Jennifer F.