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From the Wall Street Journal: WHY CHINESE MOTHERS ARE SUPERIOR

(200 Posts)
Medea Sun 09-Jan-11 16:05:43

I kept rereading it for irony, but there was none.

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Greythorne Sun 09-Jan-11 16:09:41

Even if I felt like a "Chinese" approach would benefit my DC, and not cause them any harm, I could never do it because behaving like this would make me miserable.

pinkhebe Sun 09-Jan-11 16:12:41

I'm just hoping I never have a dil like the author, because I'm not sure I'd be able to keep my mouth shut

BelfastBloke Sun 09-Jan-11 16:12:47

Virtually the same extract is in the News Review section of today's Sunday Times.

Struck by how she says Chinese parents assume kids can handle much more than western parents assume of them.

choccyp1g Sun 09-Jan-11 16:13:03

How wierd, I read the exact same article in the Sunday Times this morning. Presumably she got paid twice for the same piece. Most of what she wrote sounds cruel, but there was one bit I partly agreed with, was that we should have higher expectations of our children and not let them give up so easily.

oxocube Sun 09-Jan-11 16:13:10

wow - just read it!

oxocube Sun 09-Jan-11 16:15:50

Actually, one bit I thought was very interesting was the observation that we owe/have a responsibility towards our children and not the other way around: we chose to bring them into the world - they did not choose to be here. Yet our children will have a similar responsibility towards their own children.

MilaMae Sun 09-Jan-11 16:16:15

I read that,sorry but it was child abuse pure and simple. The fact it's deemed ok because the mother is Chinese is shocking.

The verbal bullying,forcing to do things,threats(eg the 3 year old being sent out in the cold) would surely raise alarm bells if carried out by any Western mother.

I'm not perfect but Jesus.

The fact the mother seems so proud,without a shred of guilt well words fail me.

southeastastra Sun 09-Jan-11 16:17:35

i guess it's not surprising given china's history - but i often wonder why music always seems to be the main thing children are pushed to succeed in.

guess we're thought of as spoiling our children here but our histories are so different - like comparing chalk and cheese

MintAeroBar Sun 09-Jan-11 16:18:12

It is the same piece because it is an extract of her book it is mentioned at the bottom of it. Presumably she is publicising her book?

ragged Sun 09-Jan-11 16:19:46

Awww no fair, I just started a thread about this too but everyone is IGNORING my thread <<Sulk>> wink grin

ISNT Sun 09-Jan-11 16:20:14

Blimey.

It depends what you want really doesn't it. Plenty of "western" parents hothouse their children. And I don't believe for a minute that all chinese parents are like this, nor that every child in china always gets straight As...

In Japan there is a lot of pressure on children to succeed, there is also a high suicide rate I think. It all depends what your priorities are.

ISNT Sun 09-Jan-11 16:21:03

I mean that I would never push my children like that, shout at them, demean them, all the rest of it, for what, playing the piano? No way.

Different priorities.

competitivemothering Sun 09-Jan-11 16:21:39

NOt got time to read the article but at christmas my Dad was telling me about the (now world famous) Chinese pianist who when he failed to get into the conservatoire at the age of something ridiculous like 13 was given pills by his father and told to take them all as it was better to be dead than a failure shock shock

competitivemothering Sun 09-Jan-11 16:22:12

Lang Lang I think is his name.

MargaretGraceBondfield Sun 09-Jan-11 16:24:47

NEVER ever go to China if you don't want to see people be totally vile to their children, this is the country with dying rooms for girls let's not forget. I have seen little toddlers fall over and get slapped hard for crying/making a fuss/falling? couldn't quite work it out, I've seen strangers whack other people's children too. Toddlers sat outside of restaurants waiting for parents and grown up tease little children until they cry...which is apparently hilarious.

MargaretGraceBondfield Sun 09-Jan-11 16:25:31

Wall Street Journal did a great article a few years back about the danger of the Chinese, as arrogant as they are ignorant.

ragged Sun 09-Jan-11 16:34:38

Does anyone remember in run up to 2008 the fuss about how badly treated some of the Chinese child gymnasts were (link); harsh expectations and training regimes for quite young children (~8yo)? Including corporal punishment if they got things wrong. And woe betide any child who just didn't feel like training on the day.

I couldn't help thinking after I read the article that if the consequence of totalitarian parenting is to produce adults who go along with totalitarian government, then No Thanks, I pass, turn my children in to independent thinkers instead, any day.

Greythorne Sun 09-Jan-11 16:39:44

Very good point, Ragged

southeastastra Sun 09-Jan-11 16:41:11

my friend (whose children are in a great music school) pushed them but not to the point of abuse - think it's just a different mindset

ISNT Sun 09-Jan-11 16:41:48

It's a different view of children, and what they're "for", that we used to have here as well. I think things have changed for the better TBH - I think it is good that children are no longer usually set to work - whether that's down a mine or being forced to do gymnastics for 10 hours a day or whatever it might be.

Lamorna Sun 09-Jan-11 16:44:55

That woman will get her pay back when they are older, you can't behave like that!
I don't believe that my DCs owe me anything, I chose to have them. I am not going to live my life through them. If they are not high achievers it is fine by me. All I want is their freedom to do what they want to do in life. Not one of them has wanted to play a musical insrument and so they haven't. If they come second in anything I am proud. Failing is fine as long as they tried.

MargaretGraceBondfield Sun 09-Jan-11 16:45:20

Great response in the comments:
Sina Wang wrote:

My Son forwarded your article to me. After reading it, I was perplex and sad.
As a real Chinese Mom, first generation immigrant, I just don't agree with Ms. Chua at all. It is hard for me to believe that this article could be written by a Law professor in Yale with such generalized and
racial stereotype terms. The stereotype types that many Chinese parents and Children are trying to fight off for many generations. In reality,
Many Chinese-Americans children could not fit in these stereotypes and have to suffer miserable social consequence. You are lucky to have two perfect daughters that would and could fit into these stereotypes.
Please, don’t celebrate their achievement on other’s suffer expense. Even more, Please , don’t look down
these nurturing and generous Western environment which we have a lot to learn from it too.

May be you are the result of your own superior Chinese Mom syndrome? I could assure you that
85% -95% of Chinese Mom don’t agree with you . As you mature more, you will understand the true meaning of Chinese philosophy of “mid-path”, and able to apply it to your life. Academic and musical excellences are not the only achievement in life. How to live a meaningful, productive and useful social life are ?

Since you are holding such a prestigious position in American Academic society, and I am just a house wife and Chinese mom. Please, do rest of us a favor, don’t ever use the
“CHINESE Mom or Parents” term so loosely. It only applies to you and your circle of friends. The rest of Chinese-American parents might not want to take any part of your generalization, since you don’t understand and won’t have empathy, by reading the tone in your article, what most of us have to go through in raising children .

I willl show you how dangerous it is to make any generalization of stereotypes by my comments.
• attend a sleepover : Comments : Be part of team
• have a playdate : Comments : Establish the social skill
• be in a school play : Comments : Absolutely, if you have talent.
• complain about not being in a school play : Comment : Yes, you can and should try it again next year.
• watch TV or play computer games : Comment : Yes , the key is balance.
• choose their own extracurricular activities Comment : Yes, they can and they have to chose their own sports.
• get any grade less than an A Comment : I will ask : Do you try your best ? If you do, don’t worry about it.
• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama : Comment : I was No.1 student in high school and college, and I know how much pressure that I have to put on myself to excel. I told myself that I will never put that kind of pressure on my children, unless they are capable and willing to do it by themselves.
• play any instrument other than the piano or violin Comment : My goodness, what are the nightmare stereotypes to put on Chinese-American kids.
• not play the piano or violin.

ISNT Sun 09-Jan-11 16:49:26

I didn't understand the stuff about not be allowed to be in the school play, at all.

MargaretGraceBondfield Sun 09-Jan-11 16:50:18

School is not for fun ISNT.

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