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
Conservative Catholic Curmudgeon
This book is much misunderstood, as many have missed the self-parody and self-examination and have taken it to be some sort of child-rearing manual. Viewed in the correct light, it is an entertaining and engaging account of cultural adaptation and self-discovery.
This book is a great read/listen for anyone but especially for first generation adult children. I found many similarities in upbringing. I liked the overall story and I also liked Amy Chua as the narrator.
An amusing, smart and unapologetic indictment of "Western" parenting. Chua avoids navel gazing and, instead, offers a sharp analysis of the downfalls of both pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough.
Very well written and wonderful reading skills.
Was very interesting getting to know a family dynamics and very enjoyable as well!
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."
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.
Say something about yourself!
Loved this book!!!!! I need to get in touch with this author. I have so many questions????
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!
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