Friday, January 14, 2011

That Tiger Mother

Like everyone else, I read the infamous WSJ excerpt from Amy Chua's book. And like most people on the internet, I was repulsed. Why (aside from the crazy emotional abuse)? Because Amy Chua's goal is to raise little Amy Chuas. And Amy Chua is nobody to emulate.

From Metafilter:
i'm having trouble reading Chau's article as anything other than a passive-aggressive push in a deeply troubled marriage. She's revealed only tense moments between them in just a 2,000 word article. Jed Rubenfeld, her husband, in addition to his law accomplishments, published a novel and once studied theater at Julliard. That seems to put her "no school plays" comment into context.
I cannot imagine having children with someone and then communicating to them with your every fiber of being that you wouldn't want those children to be anything like them. Why marry him at all? Why not a Chinese guy?

Chua explicitly states that her goal is to sideline "Western" parenting strategies and use the techniques with which she was raised. They were (and will probably be) very efficacious:
If you're trying to figure out if her method works or if it is harmful some other way, you're missing the real disease in her thinking. She's not unique. the disease is powerful and prevalent, it is American, but a disease nonetheless. (No, this time it's not narcissism.)

I'll explain what's wrong with her thinking by asking you one simple question, and when I ask it you will know the answer immediately. Then, if you are a parent, in the very next instant your mind will rebel against this answer, it will defend itself against it-- "well, no, it's not so simple--" but I want to you to ignore this counterattack and focus on how readily, reflexively, instinctively you knew the answer to my question. Are you ready to test your soul? Here's the question: what is the point of all this? Making the kids play violin, of being an A student, all the discipline, all of this? Why is she working her kids so hard? You know the answer: college.

She is raising future college students.
And what do you get?
She confesses in her book that she is “not good at enjoying life,” and that she wasn’t naturally curious or skeptical like other law students. “I just wanted to write down everything the professor said and memorize it.”
You can be a Yale Law professor and still a failure as a human being.
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