Thursday, March 24

I AM A TIGER MOTHER.

via weheartit
I realize this baby looks a like a plastic alien.

How do I even begin to explain this? I assume you've heard of Amy Chua, her controversial article in the Wall Street Journal, her book--Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and her back tracking. Needless to say, she's garnered a lot of attention. I first heard about her from my little brother, of all people. My mother had shown him a Chinese translation of Ms. Chua's article on a Chinese "news" site and he posted it to Facebook. Then a friend messaged me with the WSJ article. 

Then I started to see her on all sorts of blogs, gossips blogs, Asian interest blogs... I'm sure if I read parenting blogs, I'd see her on those too. 

The thing is, I agree with her. At the very least, I understand where she's coming from. She's a first generation Asian American, raised in America, married to an American, with Asian-American-American children. That sounds a lot like my history and my future. Her strict "Chinese" way of raising children? That sounds ideal to me as well. She's clinging to her Chinese culture and heritage, raising her children the way she was raised (or perhaps even more extremely). I've accepted the fact that my children won't understand the Chinese language or the Chinese culture. But I think that Ms. Chua remembers how her childhood was and is trying to emulate that.

The question everyone is asking is if this way of parenting is right. 

This semester, I'm in a developmental psychology class and we have a virtual child project. It's exactly as it sounds. We sign up for a computer program, then a virtual baby is born! I plan on raising this child following the "Chinese" way. Perhaps with a little less terror, though. 

When I decided this, I called my parents to ask them what to name my new baby girl.

Mom: "Ethan. ...Wait, is that a girl's name or a boy's name?"
Me: "Boy."
Mom: "What about Easter?"
Me: "Easter is a holiday, not a name."

Yup, we're off to a good start.

4 comments:

  1. I hadn't read this article until, but I found it really fascinating. I agree with her on a lot of things too; I can understand how she wants to raise her children the way that she was raised, but even better (or stricter?) so that they will also succeed. I think my mother tried to raise me in a strict, disciplined way, but understood (most of the time) that I wasn't going to grow up in the same context as she did. But still, my mother says a lot of "hurtful" things that Westerners would highly disapprove of. But I know it's just how she grew up and what she says isn't meant to be hurtful, but to shame me and push me harder to get better grades or lose weight or become more organized, etc. Looking back on that stuff (some of which still goes on today! LOL), I realize that even though I felt really upset initially, I got over it, worked harder, and so my self-esteem wasn't damaged, but raised and strengthened. Anyway, I'm proud of the way I grew up, and a little sad that maybe my future children with my future American husband will probably have a different upbringing. But I accept it too, like you do.

    That virtual child project sounds really interesting. Do tell us what you'll name your child when you find out! :)

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  2. I've read this article not long ago and was fascinated about how she analyzed everything. I totally agree with her, I guess since I was brought up the same way, I'd also want my future children to be the same. At the moment when those hurtful words were said, we do get bad, but it never stays for long.

    In my situation, I'm with a Chinese bf and we will for sure push them to go to chinese school and do all those "chinese" things like swimming, piano/violin classes... I believe that if you come from both chinese parents, you owe it to the children to teach them Chinese! I know a lot of my generation friends who come from chinese parents and don't speak chinese. My friends are "blaming" their parents for not forcing them to learn their own language! But vise versa, their parents were trying very hard to learn english to survive in the present situation and maybe was more easy for them to practice their english at home with their children.

    The virtual child project sounds really interesting. Are you going to have some kind of evaluation at the end on how you "raised" it? I'd love to know the final results! ^^

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  3. awesome post!!!
    love your style!!
    follow u now!

    xx

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