I purchased the book because it was rated highly in entertainment weekly magazine. The story did bring to light some differant views on parenting but it feels like a work in progerss and not a true guide. The children raised by this method both seemed to benefit but initially reacted in oppisite ways. It is great for people who want a new perspective but not as an answer to what is the better way.
how to parent and how not to parent. I didn't like her parenting style for the most part but some things were quite useful. it helped me think of parenting in a new light.
I hated this book when I started it - Chua is presumptuous, self absorbed, and brutal with her children. She looks down on Western culture, brags unflinchingly about herself, and is opinionated beyond belief.
But then there are the results of her actions.
She herself is an accomplished academic. Her daughters, who are key to the story, are superior musicians. She's a published author, for cryin' out loud. But at what price? Driving her children to practice repetitively with blatant, negative criticism probably doesn't do much for their egos. But the results are uncontested, and the validity of Chua's key Methodology is clear:
1. Make your children practice to be excellent.
2. By being excellent they will gain recognition.
This is wrapped up in the assumption that a child does NOT know what is best for his/her own development...a parent must choose that path for the child.
The first step is always the hardest. As the father of 3 children, I completely agree that most parents (not just Western ones) lose the battle here. However, I'm not sure Chua's method of derisive criticism and aggressive bullying is the best way to win the battle...and she herself admits that it didn't work with her second daughter.
It IS important to make children realize that although they may be hard-headed, WE as parents are more hard-headed than they are...and we have a LOT more experience in what works. The way to do that...is up to you.
While I understand that the narrator is trying to show Chinese parenting techniques and make them understandable to a western audience, I found her extremely unlikeable. It was as if she was laying out all the cruelties she inflicted on her daughter, yet wanted us to still "like" her and understand why. Perhaps my own "western" ideology played a part here--I found her behavior reprehensible and exceedingly selfish. The narrator came across as an elitist, living in a la-la-land of people who go skiing in Aspen and expect all their children to go to Harvard or Yale. Not my cup of tea.
The best thing I could say about this book, is that she is honest with herself. I was expecting to gain insight into Chinese parenting, the only thing offered by this book is the delusional misperceptions of a second generation American Chinese women who can't relate to China other than as a tourist. She is a true narcissist who is in love with the perception of herself. Amy is an example of someone of a higher social class with an Ivy League education who is small minded and racist despite her parents immigrant background and cultural and educational exposures. She quotes hypothetical studies to prove points that support her delusions. The book lacks resolution. She is a talented story teller, in that I truly feel for her daughters. All harsh criticism aside I really think she missed the point. Her 'Asian' perspective on parenting yields some true benefits over what she considers the 'western' style. I think as she concludes the book she nailed it that a blend of the two methods being the best approach. But with her presenting this idea at the end of a story of physiological abuse, I can only blame her as the author for having missed the opportunity to propose a hybrid parenting style based off of her successes and failures rather than subscribing us to a firsthand look into her insecurities beings projected on to her daughters, who sound like the kind of children any parent would be grateful to have. Amy is an excellent narrator, and a good story teller. The content was flawed, and her best points eluded her as she felt more inclined to confess her crimes as an insecure and oppressive mother.
A recommendation I would suggest is for her to have presented a blended parenting model, based off of her experiences, and avoid quoting nonexistent studies with presumed results. It wrecks her credibility as she makes offensive clams based off of studies she made up.
She is a skilled orator.
Anger and disappointment.
Meh. Jury's still out.
The one where the Mom hurled abuse at her recalcitrant daughter...oh, wait, that was the ENTIRE book.
Heck no! I already lived this once, I don't need to revisit my childhood on film.
Wow. The Mom needed to seriously chill and get her own hobby. There's disciplining your child and pushing them to do their best, but this Mother needed to get a grip. She could have approached motherhood with a little more balance.
Someone who wants to emulate the stereotypical Asian mother.
I wasn't find of the performance, but I think it was the content that just turned me off.
Horribly pretentious book. Don't bother.
Sure glad she wasn't my mother! It helped me understand the chinese mother but at time I felt suffocated by her.
Amy is this really you?
Abuse Narcassism Education
I appreciate that the parents did care about giving a Music Education to their two young girls. I am a seasoned, 40 years as a private piano teacher so I have dealt with and continue to deal with all types of parents; great to horrible.
When Chua, the author was dealing with her defiant 5 year old and made her go outside to a freezing porch in the middle of the winter in Boston. This experience solidified was a mean, narcassistic mother Mrs. Chua was. If I had been the teacher, I would have social services and had both girls removed from the home.
When parents abuse their kids in order to vacariously force them to have what they did not have as children, sometimes parents loose their ability to make clear judgement calls; their egos as parents are totally out of line - regardless of culture.
Children need to laugh, play and be children. Some light exposure to the arts is fine but there needs to be a balance when parents can coddle the talent along in an effective manner without being abusive and condescending.
Otherwise, as is with the case of so many children, they will end up either committing suicide as they get older and or being in long term therapy with counselors trying to deal with their outrage and anger.
I was outraged at how controlling and manipulative this Mrs. Chua was towards her children and then has the audacity to use her limited life experience to blame her abuse on her culture and then in turn, tries to exploit her experience into a marketing campaign to sell books, blaming her abuse on her cultural upbringing, that being Chinese.
I went on line and pulled up this book an Amazon.com
Here is what I found;
Original Used discounted new used copy
$25.95 $16.97 $7.76 $5.00
I guess Mrs. Chua intention to make a fortune of her kids misfortuned bombed royally even with TV and Radio interviews.
Karma as an awful bite at times....
Insightful, interesting, and intimidating.
I enjoyed having the author read the book, it brought a lot of authenticity to the story. It also made me believe the unbelievable parts.
I'm going to proudly be a Western mother of Asian descent, but I might sign my kid up for a music class.
I enjoyed this perspective of parenting. It gave me a little bit to aspire to and a lot to let go.