No I didn't read before... What are the characteristics of a Tiger Mother, as I'm one?
This is a discussion on Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother by Amy Chua within the Home Life, Relationships & Finance forum, part of the You and Your Family category; Anyone read this? I'm quite intrigued at the parenting style described in the book. Reminds me of... Meiteoh's mum from ...
Anyone read this?
I'm quite intrigued at the parenting style described in the book.
Reminds me of... Meiteoh's mum from the way Meiteoh described her in a few different threads (no offence)
So, were you brought up by a 'tiger mother'??
&, do you believe in being one?
No I didn't read before... What are the characteristics of a Tiger Mother, as I'm one?
My teachers - all the way up to college - used to tell my parents that I put too much pressure on myself to succeed and that they were worried that I would burn out faster. My parents seem to take a lot of pride in that fact plus the fact that I didn't require tuition - they would bring it up regularly - and they would talk on and on about excelling in school, doing well, aiming for scholarships and so forth. I grew up thinking that if I didn't do well in school, I would be a total failure in life in every aspect.
My mother's idea of motivation is by humiliation - same with Amy Chua. I was called fat, ugly and lazy many times, when I was in university and what's worse is that she would do it in public. I still remember picking her up from the airport in Sydney. I hadn't seen her in six months and the first thing she said to me on the top of her voice was that I was such a fatty. A couple of people looked up from their reading or whatever it was they were doing and just looked on as she berated me for putting on weight, for being lazy and what-not. In my heart and mind, I was ashamed and angry - for being humiliated in public. All I could think of was "I have not't seen you for months, I miss you and that's the first thing you have to say to me?". I remember confronting my mother about it and she said that it was her way of motivating me to which I replied that if this was motivation, I'd rather she do nothing and not care.
And it's not just me.
My brother grew up feeling as if he was second fiddle to a sister whom he felt was better than him in every aspect. He felt that my parents showered more attention, praise and love on me because I was a better student and I wasn't as naughty as he was. At one point, he withdrew completely from my parents, developed a very hot temper and resented them as well as me. He would call me all sorts of names, said that I was a spendthift, lazy, unambitious and etc. When confronted, he told them that he felt he wasn't good enough and that he was tired to trying to gain their approval for every thing even with things like moping the floor or doing the dishes. My parents just shrugged it off. Till this day, he hardly talks to my parents and me because of this resentment and because my mother still treats him like a child and orders him around/tells him what to do with his life/etc.
I used to think that the problem lied with him but now that I look back, I see that it is also with my parents. His in-laws treat all their children like adults and my brother can related/joke/talk to them very openly but us...he just withdraws into a shell. It is only lately that he's beginning to open up to me and even then, sometimes it's like walking on eggshells.
I look at my hubby - he's French - and his family and I see a family that is close-knit, interactive and warm not to mention successful, and I decided there and then that I wasn't going to use the same parenting style on my children. Mind you, his parents are quite strict as well but they practice positive discipline whereby they compliment when necessary, they are respectful of their children and so forth. I find this to be more helpful in building a confident, positive individual.
I am lucky that I married someone who can give me another perspective on family dynamics & parenting, and that I'm living away from my parents. Even then, when I was in Switzerland - halfway across the world - my mother still has the power to reduce me to tears through my entire pregnancy through a simple phone call, to the point where I wished that I wasn't pregnant sometimes just to escape her clutches. She called me stupid and ignorant for wanting to buy clothes for my own baby!!! Such is the power of the Tiger mum and I dont't mean it in a good way. Recently she tried to put the emo blackmail trip on me by saying that it's my fault that she's angry with me yet she refuses to say why. It is hard to talk to her like an equal because she resorts to tears and sees herself as the superior but honestly, is a parent someone who walks with me and grows with me or someone who bosses me around as if I'm her robot/slave?
And no, I have not read the book and I have no intention of buying it. I read the article on WSJ and was disgusted by it.
This book is nothing but a load of crap. it casts such a bad light upon asian mothers. its too exaggerated and too focused on the uphanded method of the mother's obsession with raising super achievers. making it seem like the children went thru childhood trauma. it infuriates me. now all the americans think that we asian mothers are unfeeling, over-focused on the children's academic instead of overwell and happiness, robbing them of a real childhood!
that is not true at all! i had a wonderful wonderful chilidhood and i am a normal singaporean, raised the normal way!
another money obsessed author out to create a storm just so her book can sell..!
i dont't like it when she said that asian parenting style is 'superior'. HELLO! WE ALL LOVE OUR CHILDREN! So every parenting style is good. What's the comparison for?!
My mum also focus on me acdemically. She forces me to study hard. Scolded me when I can't get things right. It's extremely painful for a slow learner like me. I thought if I do well she will love me. And I used to try make her happy using my results. It seems like it revolves around school... I never felt close to her as compared to my dad. but her main reason was she didn't do well in school and have high hopes for me. I understand. But it was until I got pregnant before marriage that I got closer to her. It was quite bad that we wasn't even close enough for her to confide in me when she was looking for a divorce... She is not as extreme as Amy Chua though.
I dont't like her generalising about Asian mothers. There is no basis at all!
i havent read the book, and no, def dont believe in being one. haha, my mum is def not a tiger mother! she doesnt give me n my sisters pressure in our studies and doesnt compare us too. she feels that each of us r different in our own way and pressuring n comparing will only make us feel more inferior of ourselves. and there is no reason why she wants to create bad blood btw her own kids right? im pretty close with my mum, n we talk about alot of stuffs. as for my little pin, i wont bring her up that way too, she's too cute to be treated like a slave!!!! =X
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
From the article, I can see that the following generalisations are made regarding parenting styles of Asian and Western parents:
1) Western parenting style is too soft because adults are afraid of hurting their children's self-esteem so will provide false praise
2) Western parenting style is not firm or disciplined enough
3) The only way to churn out high achievers is to be a dictator - all rules and no fun.
Oddly enough, I read a blog entry by someone who actually read the book and she mentioned something along the lines of how Chua does see why her methods are extreme and that she did relax her parenting tactics towards the end. Or maybe I was cross-eyed at that moment.
Having said that, there are many parents who dont't fall within those generalisations - Asian or Western. Why do people need to compare in the first place?
Also, there are people out there who actually stand by Chua's methods and say that it is the only way to go. Heh.
i think we have to adopt a bit of the westen parenting too. I believe that there must be a balance between play and work. Depending on the age of the child, you have to decide the level of "play". For my 5yr old, I still think that "play" is more impt though he is in K1 this year n soon to be P1. I worried about his academic performance but regular feed backs fm his child care centre teachers are positive, says he is a faster learner then his classmates.
I dont put pressure on him in this area, however I am a tiger mum when it comes to discipline n basic values such as respect. I take no nonsense when shows disrespect to his grandparents, us or even friends. I hit the roof when he does that maybe i over react... friends keeps telling me he is a very well disciplined n mannered boy... how come i dont see it??? LOL
There's no style of parenting is superior than the other, we all want our best for our children. And every child is different, there's no 1 parenting to fit them all!
I dont't believe in humiliating my child in public as well. Even my conservative in-laws agree that we should not scream/scold our child in public as it'll only hurt her pride and self esteem, they told me that they used to wait til they are home than they'll scold/nag at the child. Likewise, my parents had never humiliate me in public even when they were very pissed/mad/disappointed at me, they'll wait til we are alone. My parents dont't stress me out too much in my studies as long as I did fairly well. haha, its only subjects in which I keep failing (mandarin..) then they send me off to tuition class.
I personally dont agree with being a Tiger Mom. To me, I want to have children not becos I want them to be what I want, but what they prefer to be. As long as they are happy, not doing anything that is wrong (e.g. illegal things), and they try their best in whatever they do, I'm okay with it.
Same as Ting, my parents (esp my mum) are very 'relax' when it comes to academic. Yes I must agree that I've not (or maybe in future also) achieve anything on academic wise but at least I feel happy, stressless as I know my parents only want to live happily. As long as I'm happy, they are. And since my parents and my inlaws brought me and my hub in this way, why should I choose a 'tough' way (okay, to me, this is 'tough' for him) for my son?
I always believe that if a child tried his/her best, that;s the best he/she could do UNLESS the child is lazy, then we parents must push them abit.
I agreed with Renzie that every child is different and need different types of ways to handle them. If you're lucky, yes your kids will be nurture on the way you want but if you're unlucky, the kids must have some pyschology problem when he/she grows up, cause parents 'force' them too hard. No matter what type of parenting style we choose, no matter how much we want our kids to follow our style, I think end of the day most impt is the kids must be happy and WILLING to accept what we give and plan for them. =)
Last edited by apollo; 24-01-2011 at 10:09 PM.
I finished the book in 3 hours.
Main things she did that made me go... WAAAH! SIAOOO AHH!!??
- Made her girls practice piano/violin like 5 - 8 hours a day!
- Even went all out to arrang to borrow piano so that her older girl can continue practising the piano during their HOLIDAYS!!
- Refuse to give them DINNER until they do as they are told.
My perspective of parenting is being STRICT yet LOVING.
Strict in the sense that my child should know basic manners and know what is to be done/said and what is NOT to be done/said.
Loving in the sense that my child will still feel loved and know that we will always be there to support, no matter what happens.
And yes, towards the end, she loosened up and changed her parenting style. Because her younger girl was super duper rebellious.
To me, her girls are actually very very good girls. Talented girls. Yes, children give up easily and parents need to be firm so that they won't regret not continuing with something. However, her methods are too extreme. I would NEVER deprive my boy of dinner. Maybe I will take away 'treats' like his favourite biscuits, etc. But I will never STARVE him!!!
"Asian parents" have totally different perspectives from "Westerners". We emphasis a lot on filial piety and family values. And any 'disappointment' is considered 'shame to the family'.
Thinking back, I'm glad my parents had a good balance.
My mum was as fierce as a tiger, but she showed her love too.
So we know how to behave and we get rewarded for good behaviour (no need to be best, good is enough).
My dad was the doting father that never raised his voice at all. He's the one who's willing to go all out for us.
But the one good thing about Asian families: We are more willing to take in our aged parents when needed.
When the author's mother in law was ill, her own son refused to take her in. It was the author, without hesitation, offering to take her in till she recovered.
THAT, is something I will definitely do. And I'm quite sure, many Asians will too.
Actually, it's good to read the book, to REMIND OURSELVES NOT TO BE LIKE THAT.
& if you read the letters her daughters wrote, you'll realise that it may have given them bad memories, but they grew up to be sensible girls who understand their mother's efforts.
Empty vessels make the most noise
The thing is that many Asians have misconceptions about filial piety and family values in a Western family. I have lost count of the number of times I've had to explain that what we see on TV may not be what we know IRL. What do we mean by filial piety? Spending time with family, giving money, etc? At the end of the day, we ALL - Western or Asian - want to be good parents and have children who are god-fearing, respectful and loving.
My hubby comes from a close-knit family where all the cousins visit their aunts and grandparents on a regular basis, where my step-mother-in-law visits his grandma and spends nearly the entire day with her (min once a week), where his sister, mother AND father call up at least once a week for a one to two hour chat, where they visit each other regularly. I know of another friend, Swiss-Italian, who never fails to call home once a week to chat with his mother for at least two to three hours! When someone old falls ill, the ENTIRE family drops everything they are doing and take turns to watch that person while they are still in the hospital. After they are discharged, they move in with someone in the family, eg my mother-in-law or father-in-law and the younger ones like my sis-in-law and the other cousins visit regularly and help to take care of that person.
Contrast this to my own family where my cousins dont't visit the older generation except during CNY, where my sis-in-law doesn't visit or even speak to my parents, where my parents have to call my bro to talk for five minutes and never more. My bro comes home for dinner and right after eating, he leaves. When my grandma fell ill, NO ONE came to visit her except my granduncle. She stayed with my cousins but they kicked her out because they couldn't stand her. Even her own son - my uncle - told her to leave after just two months of staying together. As she got progressively ill and we didn't have the $$$ means to take care of her at home, we put her in a nursing home but we all visited at least once a week. My cousins and uncles? Nothing...except when they wanted money from my grandma. On top of that, they insisted that my dad pay the bill by himself!
As I mentioned to those who discussed this with me, all societies have good and bad apples. It is unfortunate that we dont't have a good number of Caucasians in this forum, otherwise the discussion would be even more interesting. There is one topic on this in an international knitting forum and the angmohs there are outraged as well mainly because it was stereotypical!
i think the book wouldn't have caused so much controversy if she simply do not generalise and say that her style of parenting and filial piety is Asian and then compare it and declare Asian style as superior.
It's a really lousy book. She can just name her style Amy Chua Style rather than Asian. She has just drew more misunderstandings and stereotypes between Asian and Caucasians. I hope it doesn't lead to any disputes or online war.
It will only lead to online wars when immature people refuse to share their side of the story and simply insist that she's wrong.
Actually, I've seen the 'Amy Chua Style' happening to my foreign students, particularly the Chinese students here on scholarship. & they take it as 'part & parcel' of growing up. They have no resentment towards their parents because they know that their parents are doing it for their sake.
I was joking with my mum that if she had adopted the 'Amy Chua Style' for me and my siblings, we would probably be doctors/lawyers/professional musicians by now.
And you know what's my mum's reply?
Empty vessels make the most noise