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
Thinker Meets Explorer
As an Asian American, I read my share of Tiger Mother articles debating the merits of Amy Chua’s tough love, but for-the-best-of-her-children approach to parenting. And while many of these articles depicted Chua as a relentless dragon lady-type mom, none of them prepared me for some of the touching stories she actually had to tell in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
Now don’t get me wrong – Chua did force her daughters to practice the violin, for hours, on family vacations – but she also confesses to feelings of loss and doubt when she’s just not sure if she’s doing the right thing, the best thing for her daughters.
In the end, whether you agree with her or not, you’re sure to take away some helpful insights about seeing and bringing out the best in your son or daughter. And if Chua’s assured first-time narration is any indicator, the hard work may just pay off after all.
Definitely worth a listen for anyone who is a parent (or considering such). Ms. Chua raises important questions about how hard to push as a parent and the natural conflict between wanting to create a "perfect" child and wanting to have an easy, loving relationship with your child. The book also helps to humanize Ms. Chua a bit -- the Wall Street Journal excerpt focused on all the extremes in the book.
--Last chapter could have used more reflection by Ms. Chua. Would she have done anything differently if she could and why? What else did she learn from her parenting experience?
--Book needed a good editor to delete numerous trite phrases like "sharp as a tack." A Yale law prof can be more thoughtful about word choice (or getting an editor).
--Ms.Chua isn't a professional narrator.
A coffee a day
Whether you agree or disagree with her views/actions on how to educate children, I find the book very entertaining. It has not only stirred up a lot of discussions, it has certainly made me reflect on what my belief is and what my husband thinks about this topic since we don't have kids yet. I truly respect Amy Chua as a mother even though I don't think I can do what she's done to/for her kids. I don't think I have what it takes to be a tiger mom, but on the other hand, it may really take that much of discipline to train and refine one's skill in music or a lot of other fields. At the end of the day, not all of us is music prodigy.
In short, if you don't start the book judgmental, it's a well-written, well-narrated book that shows a very interesting/different perspective on culture and child's education.
Best: Gaining understanding of a different parenting style. Very interesting.Least: Repetitive stories of battles with daughters. Once or twice would have been enough.
Not a scene, but the idea that pushing kids expresses a high regard for their potential.
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....
After listening to this audiobook, I was really surprised how much I loved Amy Chua's family story. I had heard some of the reviews on my local news program and my interest was piqued.
Amy was not especially saying her way was better or what she did was right. She was saying that she did it her way and there were both positive and negative effects to her methods. She admitted her mistakes and apparently has learned from them. It's realistic. It's loving. I wish I had someone like Amy to push me forward like her kids. Who knows? I might be in a better place today.
Amy reads her book well and is captivating.
Nope. This woman deserves to be spanked for her arrogance. It is one extended boast.
No - loved Bringing Up Bebe
No - I can't believe the supercilious tone. Made me want to slap her.
It's too much about her daughters' musical careers, and not enough about mothering. And it completely lacks self-awareness. She comes off as an ass.
This woman scares me. And she bores me too.
stubborn, sad, informational
Lou Lou, she taught the author what she needed to know
what really happens in chinese families
Interesting read. I have wondered at how the Eastern Culture raises their children. The Chinese have such a strong work ethic (as I did).
This book describes 2 generations of child rearing in a Chinese and then a Chinese-Jewish/American household.
It's the total opposite of what US rearing has become. Chinese seem to be too strict and the US is way too lax. There has to be a happy medium, which at the end of this book it seems is finally learned.
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.
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