Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by JacksonsMom, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Anyone heard about this woman and her book?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAel_qRfKx8

    http://www.npr.org/2011/01/13/132908322/Battle-Hymn-Of-The-Tiger-Mother

    I find it very interesting.

    I don't really agree with her style of parenting, but on some of the points, I do. I do believe "Westerners" have been become MUCH too lax with kids and often find young children with NO manners, no respect, no work ethic, so I do see how being a parent like Amy Chua would enstill such ideas, but at the same time, I knew a few kids growing up whose parents were SUPER strict, like never hardly let them do anything, and they grew up, went off to college, and just completely wigged out - they are all the ones failing out of college, partying all the time, getting high constantly, etc, because it was all kept from them for sooo long and then it's like, they finally leave and it's this WHOLE new world!

    I will say I was raised very lax. I never was grounded really, rarely got in trouble, I was often given what I wanted, and I think I turned out to be a very good person. I do however wish that my parents would have maybe made me work a little bit more for certain things, because I will admit that I don't have a great work ethic and it's something I am trying to improve and I think maybe certain things about me could have been different had I been raised with a bit more rules, but at the same time, I have a wonderful relationships with both my parents, enjoy spending time with them, whereas a lot of my friends hardly take the time to even go see their parents anymore.

    Basically, I think you could have a kid turn out right from BOTH ways and there is no real "right" way to raise a kid and every one is going to be different, and could turn out the same.

    It's hard to say.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    I've not read the book, only reviews of it. So this is based off of that.

    Frankly, though I think a lot of parents let their kids get away with too much, her approach is simply insane. There's a difference between instilling discipline and values and crushing your child's individuality and independence. I especially liked that they had to learn piano and violin. And nothing else. And they'd better be good at it or she'd destroy their stuffed animals.

    Well, maybe they aren't good at it. Maybe they'd be better at drums. Or voice. Or the tuba. For that matter, everyone learns violin and piano. They'd probably be better off being the best piccolo player in town than the 30th best violin player. Perhaps their talents run to dance, or painting, or creative writing . . . you see my point. Its fine to expose your children to the arts and require that they learn an art form . . . its quite another to insist that they learn the art form of your choice (because you perceive it as high status) or else.

    Setting high standards and demanding best efforts is fine. Insisting that kids learn an art form, fine. Insisting on homework before play, fine. But that woman is a tyrant and a bully who not only sets incredibly high standards, she demands that everything be done her way. I think having a mother like that would have destroyed me, honestly.

    My parents were strict about a few things, but so long as I stayed within those boundaries, I could pursue what interests I liked, and when I was old enough, pretty much do what I liked. They recognized pretty quickly that I wasn't naturally inclined to be their idea of a perfect child, and decided that instead of trying to force me to be something I wasn't, they'd teach me what I had to know to get along and then make the most of what I was good at. Since I turned out ok in the end, I'd say they did fine.
     
  3. AliciaD

    AliciaD On second thought...

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    I've heard a few things here and there, and I saw this a while back... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yul9P3m0qo I like the second mom & daughter, the yelling, the screaming, the caged raccoon.

    I... could not raise kids strictly, but I also don't want young children. My thought process is that children are children, they are not soldiers, being a drill Sergent is not fair to them. Do I doubt that kids can be successful with tiger moms? No, I'm certain they can. But I was yelled at as a kid, and I hated it. It either made me really sad and withdrawn, or I would scream back. I would hope to be the type of parent that doesn't lose their temper, or yell, at their kids.

    Granted, I'm naturally very lax about what kids get up to.

    These threads on parenting always make me think the hardest...
     
  4. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    I'm not denying that they can be successful . . . only that it would have been a disaster with me. Although I still don't think its a good way to raise your kids.
     
  5. AliciaD

    AliciaD On second thought...

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    Agreed!
     
  6. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Depends on what you measure success by. I am pretty much the anti tiger mom:)
     
  7. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

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    My mother is Asian, and raised me and my sister with a similar philosophy. On paper, it sounds harsher than it really is. I'll try my best to explain a bit.

    Basically, it's like this. It's not about smashing creativity or imagination. Far from it! My mother is an artist and cherishes both those traits. Nor is it about being a drill sergeant. It's about discipline. The parents know what their children can do, and don't approve of their children not living up to potential. The point isn't to just do the job, it's to do it to the absolute best of your abilities. Challenge yourself. Doing anything less is shorting yourself. My mother always did her best to instill that in us.

    I have a prime example. When I was a child, I wrote poetry. I was actually very good at it, and won several contests and scholarships for my work. When I was 11, I forgot about a poetry contest that was going on at my school. I didn't realize it until the day the entries were due. I took 10 minutes and scribbled something on a piece of paper before turning it in. I got second place. My mother saw my award and read the poem. Then she shook her head, and said, "You didn't put any thought into that, did you?" And she was right.

    I read in the interview about how the book's author withheld dinner from her daughter until she improved in a certain piano piece. Yup, it happened to me, too. Quite a few times, LOL, except that mine involved schoolwork. My mother knew I could do better, and she made sure that I knew it, too.

    And no, I don't have any hatred or Mommy issues. At least, no more than any other person I know. :D I have to say that I learned a lot from it.

    That is one big difference I've noticed in Western childraising culture. It's almost considered cruel to push children into performing at their highest level. You can praise them or coax them into offering it freely, but actually demanding it is often considered too harsh.

    Honestly? I'd like to raise any children I have in the same way my mother raised me. It certainly didn't scar me, and I believe I grew up to be a better person for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  8. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    Gempress, the impression the reviews give is not that she was pushing her kids to perform at the highest level . . it was that she was pushing them to perform at the highest level, at the things that she chose for them to do, to the exclusion of all else, OR ELSE.

    You wanted to write poetry and were good at it, and your mom was absolutely right to get after you for not doing your best. But what if she forbade you to write poetry because she thought you should spend your time at piano instead? That's not making you live up to your potential . . . that's making you live up to her ideal. There's a difference.

    Although withholding dinner strikes me as a bit much, school work is very important, and I presume she wouldn't let her kids starve nor would your mother let you starve.

    What I object to is not the demanding high performance, or even some of the punishments (though threatening to destroy stuffed animals, for a little girl, is vicious emotional blackmail). It's then demanding that they perform to the highest standards in activities that their mother chose for them, based on her arbitrary sense of what they "should do" (or what she saw as highest status). Or else. Demanding excellent school work is fair. Demanding your child excel at what is in effect a hobby you chose for them is not, especially when she seems to have forbidden all other hobbies and activities but those she chose.

    For that matter, forbidding them to go to sleepovers, etc. Sure, if they aren't keeping up in their school work. But on principle? What a b*tch.

    Edit: The distinction I'm trying to make is between recognizing and encouraging your child's talents, even with strict discipline, as opposed to trying to craft the "perfect" child based on your idea of what they should do or learn. Not only is the child likely to hate whatever it is you are making them do . . .but who knows what gift they will never discover because they were denied the chance?
     
  9. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Our teacher read us an exerpt from the book about having her daughter play a difficult piano piece that she was struggling with. The mother knew she could do it and so pushed her to succeed. As a result the child's confidence was raised and she could play the piece and learns he was capable of anything if she tried hard enough. That's great.

    My issue with the whole thing wasn't that she made the child complete the difficult piece even though she had a ton of trouble and didn't want to, but with how she made her do it. She withheld dinner, wouldn't let her go to the bathroom (and I understand not doing these things because you think the child will stall, but let her go to the bathroom once so you know she's empty and let her have a limited time to eat and then get back to work). She also insulted her repeatedly as a motivator, I don't remember if it was during this or during another exerpt we read but she metions calling the child garbage. I just feel like the mother could have still made the child stick with it and succeed without being a jerk, just being persistent and insistent.

    I also feel like the whole "you do it because your mother wants you to" is wrong. At a certain age you should be doing things because YOU want to, they are your dreams, not your parents'. But I supose that might have more to do with culture and how the western culture values independence more than many others.


    That said I think a lot of kids in the US are absolute brats nowadays. People are starting to raise kids to think they can do no wrong, to blame others when things go wrong. Kids are not being taught that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to and have to do them with a smile on their face and that you still need to be polite to people you don't like. And that sometimes it's YOUR fault, you mess up and need to fix it or at least recognize that it's your fault. Kids are becoming extremely entitled and I don't like it one bit. Parents don't enforce rules if it means they have to work harder. I remeber when I asked why I had to do something and was told "because I said so" and even though I knew that was no answer I did it anyway because those are the rules. Sometimes it wasn't always fair, we got blamed for things we didn't do but we there was no proof so we had to deal with consequence anyway. Parents nowadays almost seem afraid of their kids or are trying to treat their kids like adults. I am very concerned about a lot of kids I see lately, even some of the people my age (20) have some of this self entitlement, do no wrong attitude, but I see it getting worse in the younger generations. But I certainly don't think you need to be as strict as the woman who wrote that book (forcing the kids to do specific activities, insulting them, taking away individuality, placing no importance on having friends). I just think kids need be made to follow rules and be held accounatable for their own behavior.
     
  10. cloudcandy

    cloudcandy Cloudcandy

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    My main problem with parent's like this is not what they expect but the fact that the children don't seem to have much choice in what they are putting this energy into!
    However...sometimes a child can not see where their talent's lie and a parent can.
    For example my mum pressured me into the piano when I was 11,I also choose to take up singing lesson's.After 2 year's of piano I gave up and I kept doing singing lesson's for 4 year's.I only got to grade 3 in piano and I didn't even manage to take any grade's in singing.My mum was pretty annoyed I quite piano,but I was a stubborn child!
    So,six year's down the line my sister *has* to start piano at 6 in primary school my mum doesn't let her give it up,even though she sometimes had to force her to practice and their were screaming argument's at time.She is now 16,play's piano,cello,guitar and sing's.She spends extra time after school doing music lesson's and a min.1hour of practice at home and a saturday at a music school.She writes, her own song's and LOVE's music all she want's to do is be a singer/songwriter.
    I'm not jealous but I do wish that I had been pushed more into music.I love singing and I'm o...k at it.I would say I could have been where my sister was by her age also,but that my talent never got pushed.
    I think it's hard to do this with children,at what point do you make the choice's or how long do you wait(sometimes until it's too late).Sometimes to be amazing at something you HAVE to start young!
     
  11. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I think the thing with parenting philosophies is that they are all largely a bunch of hooey. Yes, you can start with a general idea of what you want, but so much of it is dependant on the individual child.

    I was not a kid that did well be forced into things. Pushed? Sure. Forced? No sir. Everyone in the house would have miserable. I was once told by an aunt that I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I finished my carrots (which I detested), so I sat at the table for hours before they finally folded and sent me to bed (a much better option than carrots, IMHO).

    I think WAY too many parents a super permissive and I am NOT a fan of that at all, but there is a happy medium. When I used to guide trails rides every now and then you would have a kid that was scared to ride. There were a few instances where the child (usually 8 or 9 yrs old it seemed) would be in tears pretty much from the start of the ride until the end, and were constantly be scolded, occasionally to the point of belittlement, for their behavior. I never saw the point of that kind of parenting. The kid was humiliated in front of stable staff and their family and were no less afraid at the end of the ride than the beginning.
     
  12. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    Indeed, he or she would have a whole new reason to dread riding and hate horses.
     
  13. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Without having a clue what this parenting style is about I say this is on the money.

    My mom varied with all 3 of us kids and we're all doing pretty alright. :)
     
  14. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    This! Totally agree. I would NOT have done well with that "bullying" method. I also think I turned out to be okay and was raised similar to you.

    Thanks for your insight! It gives us a bit better of a view of maybe that style of parenting. I can definitely see how it could work, and even be beneficial.
     
  15. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Totally this!
     

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