Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Chinese Mothers are Superior

A high achieving Chinese mother explains how her ideas about parenting push her kids to success. This is a topic of conversation amongst mothers I know who talk about kids at school who are forced to do coaching all through their school lives, are not allowed to play sport or have playdates, and are forced to study all weekend. It is interesting to see her views, which explain why Chinese mothers don't volunteer to help at school, or get involved in P&C. Also interesting that the arts, beyond playing piano or violin, are not considered worthwhile.

Discussion on the mum forum includes the usual 'this is not what childhood should be about' to women who wish their mothers pushed them more.

And there were articles in SMH this week stating the importance of physical exercise for kids, and the value of the arts in children's education. (Says me, who has her daughter at an intensive international dance school this week - she wants to be there! and wondering if said daughter wants to go to a selective school, and if so, should she do some coaching?) A friend of mine suggests that having your kids coached in maths every week isn't really very different from insisting your children practise their instruments a half hour a day.

So many things to consider. So many paths to chose. All can be rationalised. What I'm wondering is, am I being the mother my children need? Would I want me as a mother?


Melissa said...

All I can say is I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want you turning into 'Tiger Mother'!

The article was just publicity for her book. Everyone is talking about it in cyberspace. Canny and cynical. I won't be buying it.

Tutoring ? Not going there :)

Motherhugger said...

I certainly don't want to increase my shouting - hurting your voice shouting at children is not good for singing!

It is good to hear an explanation though. Knowledge equals understanding.

Motherhugger said...

Oh, and two more things.

I think she is right when she says you need to do some of the boring work to get to the fun part - whether it is maths (learning times tables by rote), reading, sewing, music, art, cooking - you need to learn the basics before you can be creative and the fun really beings.

And, if migrants weren't hard working and ambitious, wouldn't they be called bludgers?? Kind of a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.

Motherhugger said...

Quote from Amy Chua about the piece in the WSJ.

"I was very surprised," she says. "The Journal basically strung together the most controversial sections of the book. And I had no idea they'd put that kind of a title on it. But the worst thing was, they didn't even hint that the book is about a journey, and that the person at beginning of the book is different from the person at the end -- that I get my comeuppance and retreat from this very strict Chinese parenting model."

What a beat up. Good for book sales (her book is at No 7 on Amazon bestsellers list). And now we have a new kind of mum - Tiger Mother!

Jenny said...

I enjoyed this response!