An awe-inspiring, often hilarious, and unerringly honest story of one mother's exercise in extreme parenting, revealing the rewards - and the costs - of raising her children the Chinese way.
All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way - the Chinese way - and the remarkable results her choice inspires.
The truth is Lulu and Sophia would never have had time for a playdate. They were too busy practicing their instruments (two to three hours a day and double sessions on the weekend) and perfecting their Mandarin. Of course no one is perfect, including Chua herself. Witness this scene: "According to Sophia, here are three things I actually said to her at the piano as I supervised her practicing: 1. Oh my God, you're just getting worse and worse. 2. I'm going to count to three, then I want musicality. 3. If the next time's not PERFECT, I'm going to take all your stuffed animals and burn them!"
But Chua demands as much of herself as she does of her daughters. And in her sacrifices - the exacting attention spent studying her daughters' performances, the office hours lost shuttling the girls to lessons - the depth of her love for her children becomes clear.
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is an eye-opening exploration of the differences in Eastern and Western parenting - and the lessons parents and children everywhere teach one another.
©2010 Amy Chua (P)2011 Penguin Audio
I had high hopes for this book when I first began reading it, and in the first chapter or two it actually made me rethink some of my parenting skills and had some really good "reality checks" for being too soft on your kids. But this woman is so completely over the top, I could barely finish the story. I was so tired of her comparison approach to "Western" parenting as opposed to "Chinese" parenting, I could have puked. It smacked of gross generalizations and racism. She constantly bashed Western parenting (whatever that means as it was a totally stereotypical perspective) while she bashes her children with her outrageous demands. This woman is so over the top, you really just want to smack her! Her perspective is so pretentious and elitist, it's sickening. She complains of "American Consumerism" and yet her whole life phylosophy is built on elitism, all the while living in her three story home with a ping pong room, throwing insanely expensive parties, and traveling all over the world.... gee I can see consumerism is a big issue in her household. GAG ME!!!!!! At the end of this story, I wavered between feeling really really pissed off and physically sick. She is NO Amy Tan.... that is for sure. As to her narration, if the authors reading is any where close to the way she speaks to her kids (which I'm sure she toned down to flatter herself) I feel sorry for her kids and her husband. While she says she's just being tough to spur them on to greatness, she really just comes off as being tyrannical, controlling, and self absorbed in the extreme - terrified of what others will think of HER because of her children. YUCK!
Amy Chua has come under a lot of fire for this book. I think most of the people decrying her as an abusive parent are basing their claims on the distorted synopsis done by The Wall Street journal article "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior." (The title wasn't Chua's choice.)
This book is written with a lot of humor and brutal honesty. It gives the reader much to think about. I don't agree with everything Chua says and definitely feel she could have dialed it back a bit, but she raises important issues every parent must face. Every kid has 24 hours each day to use, should they use it texting for 4 hours a day? Watching TV for 6 hours? Playing stupid Facebook games for hours on end? Blasting enemy soldiers into gobs of goo on their Playstation 3s or Xboxes?
While there is a lot of space between letting your kid be a "typical" American and being a Tiger Mother, the USA's dismal education record says more parents need to be as engaged as Amy Chua.
It was hard to stomach the way Amy Chua almost bragged about the verbal abuse she heaped upon her children. One can also train a puppy to be totally obedient and accomplished with the use of a shock collar, but the same or better results can also be achieved using patience and kindness. I equate Ms Chua's child rearing practices akin to the "shock collar" method of training dogs--despite the results, it is nonetheless abuse. As a piano teacher myself, and also the mother of a straight-A teenager who is accomplished at piano, violin and viola, I believe Ms Chua's methods were over-the-top harsh and extreme, and certainly not worth any of the almighty "prizes" her children might achieve. It remains to be seen whether those children will go through adulthood psychologically unscathed by their mother's "love."
Full-time traveling Leadership Consultant with Beta Theta Pi Fraternity -- Audible helps my travel days turn into fantastical landscapes!
Without a doubt would share them with others, as it is engaging and is a real story. You can feel the emotion and authenticity from Amy Chua as she shares her journey.
The book is written from Amy Chua's perspective and she often shares insight of what she was thinking and what was going on with her internally. I loved this self-reflection and understanding that she shared and really felt connected with her.
The authenticity shone through with Amy Chua's performance of the book. You could hear the emotion and love for her children and for her children's progress thorugh the entire story.
Amy Chua is an ernest and dedicated Tiger Mom. It was good to hear the story in her voice because she captured nuances another narrator might have missed. Her story is engaging and will really make you think about our Western way of viewing achievement, dedication, discipline and individualism. She made me want to add more discipline but also made me aware of how we place importance on being social. We might eliminate so many play-dates and add more music practice in our household, but maybe not. See what you think!
This book was very powerful and thought provoking. I listened to this book with an open mind and I was pleasantly surprised at the tenacity that Amy Chua has in raising her daughters as well as the bravery she expelled in writing and publishing this book. The best part was listening to how she learned more about herself through the strict discipline she required of her daughters and how the end results confirmed her goals but also allowed her to understand that her daughters needed to affirm their own with the same competitive spirit.
I loved this audio so much, I keep listening to it over and over again. THis book really makes me wish my mother was a tiger mother. I wish I wasn't lazy in my youth, I could have been further in life had someone pushed me. We need more tiger mothers in the world!
I loved listening to this book. Amy Chua did a fine job narrating but her story told through a mother's eyes was delightful. She gave a very good perspective on the expectations for families that have immigrated and explained how their work ethic is like none that I know. After reading this book, I have been enlightened and motivated to take some of her experiences with me and apply them. Amy Chua is talented and her family follows.
If everyone loves children as much as Amy does, the world will become a peaceful place.
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