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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother: a Review/Reflection

I saw the hype around this book and thought... sounds like my childhood.

There are alot of similarities. My sister and I are not music prodigies (a big theme of the book) but we did experience the "Shame and Guilt model" of parenting, what Lindsey dubbed the Asian way of parenting. The book portrays a story/model of the ups and downs of parenting the Asian way in the West. It is about a mother so devoted to giving her kids tools to succeed that she doesn't mind making her life and her children's miserable. Which brings me to the reflection part of this review.

That is something Amy Chua adequately points out is not a concern of Asian parents. Constantly during my reading I would read an especially poignant part of the narrative out loud to Mr. and he would say "Wow" how terrible. Like when Amy (the Tiger Mother) rejected her children's sloppy birthday cards and said she wanted better ones. Happiness is not something that is a goal in Asian parenting. The end goal is always success.  I think that is a major difference between the West and East. Mr. and I lie awake that night wondering about Success and Happiness. Mr. thinking he wanted his children to be both, and me puzzling over what could accomplish that.

Overall, the book gave me a headache. There is so much responsibility associated with raising children. I want my mother (a Tiger Mother) to do it for me. I want to be a tiger mother like my mother before her but I don't know if I can... I don't know that I have the strength.

This review took a personal turn. In short I would say read this book if you have wondered how are Asians so darn successful all the time, but beware it might make you empathetic. If your spouse or friend is Asian and you want to understand how they think about meaningful life and goal setting. However, I doubt someone could take this book and use it as a manual to "raise their child in the shame and guilt model."

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

I love that "shame and guilt model" made it into your blog.