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Why Chinese mothers are superior

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an article i read on WSJ. Written from an american perspective on raising Kids in the US but clearly applies to the west in general, and in my opinion dismisses myths about racial intelligence, based on social, not racial cultivation.

WHY CHINESE MOTHERS ARE SUPERIOR

Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?

By AMY CHUA

RV-AB179_CAU_co_D_20110107173529.jpg

Amy Chua with her daughters, Louisa and Sophia, at their home in New Haven, Conn.

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

• attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play

• watch TV or play computer games

• choose their own extracurricular activities

• get any grade less than an A

• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.

I'm using the term "Chinese mother" loosely. I know some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who qualify too. Conversely, I know some mothers of Chinese heritage, almost always born in the West, who are not Chinese mothers, by choice or otherwise. I'm also using the term "Western parents" loosely. Western parents come in all varieties.

All the same, even when Western parents think they're being strict, they usually don't come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It's hours two and three that get tough.

Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that "stressing academic success is not good for children" or that "parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun." By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be "the best" students, that "academic achievement reflects successful parenting," and that if children did not excel at school then there was "a problem" and parents "were not doing their job." Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents,

Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams. If a Chinese child gets a B—which would never happen—there would first be a screaming, hair-tearing explosion. The devastated Chinese mother would then get dozens, maybe hundreds of practice tests and work through them with her child for as long as it takes to get the grade up to an A.

Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty—lose some weight." By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of "health" and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image.

First, I've noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children's self-esteem. They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital. In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children's psyches. Chinese parents aren't. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently.

discuss

Full Article

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Yeah but f*ck that for a childhood

could have helped you though no?

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It would have helped academically no doubt. But would I be the person I am today doing the things I do with the same people, definitely not. Allow being some friendless academic robot who can only play piano or violin.

Don't care how many 'A's it gets me.

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• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play < hahaha

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It would have helped academically no doubt. But would I be the person I am today doing the things I do with the same people, definitely not. Allow being some friendless academic robot who can only play piano or violin.

Don't care how many 'A's it gets me.

POS'D

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nah negd. he'd rather be a tramp smoking all day than be succesful

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reading this makes me think what kind of parenting style will i have/use

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My dad made both me and my sis learn piano when we were really young and we really enjoyed it. But then he sucked all the fun out of it after a while by complaining we weren't practicing enough and going ape sh*t whenever we made a mistake. It began to feel like boring work. When i hit secondary school and threw in the towel and said i wasn't doing it anymore. He was pissed, lol.

I regret quitting now though. Madness to think i was as young as 7 playing on a grand piano to church congregations but i never realised it at the time.

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There's so much more to life.

c/s

I was friends with this chinese girl

at points she was stressed/worried/UPSET due to the pressure put on her by her parents to acheive high grades

ok so you might do well academically but what about emotionally and as a person? its not all about grades/

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Hmm

Being that users are accepting this as fact, or generally true, and I'm not saying they shouldn't.

What would be the reaction, if an article was written, about young black males being so stereotypically....unsuccessful, and why black mothers were inferior?

Would it be racism?

Just plain wrong, daily mail-esque journalism?

Serious question.

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I'd force my sons to play football instead of play a musical instrument.

But all that pusing & sh*t is a madness.

Why can't people attempt a healthy balance?

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This article's a bunch of self-indulgent trash.

The woman sounds like a c*nt, and she seems proud of it.

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Hmm

Being that users are accepting this as fact, or generally true, and I'm not saying they shouldn't.

What would be the reaction, if an article was written, about young black males being so stereotypically....unsuccessful, and why black mothers were inferior?

Would it be racism?

Just plain wrong, daily mail-esque journalism?

Serious question.

well it would depend on who writes the article.

also, she states that she was speaking sweepingly

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comes down to the chinese inherently having a high work ethic anyway. Its in their culture so we wouldnt understand as much.

but balance is needed tho, she goes in.

if ur doing group work at uni im sitting right next to them chinese, f*ck the rest

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Assume strength, not fragility.

Ard body lyric

I'm gonna be a tyrannical parent, kinda like this woman but Lol at my black yute being no good at sport as well.

Planning to make my children the prototype

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nah negd. he'd rather be a tramp smoking all day than be succesful

i've had many conversations due to my work in certain area,s and without trying to insult anyone, this view seems very popular even with people my age who are in a wasted position, they claim they wouldn't change anything "coz it all made them the person they are today" then you switch the script and ask them are you happy about the person you are today, Invariably the answer tends to be No. ask them why and what they couldve done to change it, the answer usually is "couldve tried harder and paid more attention in school rather than focussing on the things they were, #

then you go on to ask them why they dont change now, they then proceed to spout some half hearted low self esteem nonsence about it being too late for them, (all this at the age of say 21) but commit to making sure their children dont follow the same path,

its a convo ive had dozens of times with people of all different ages up to about 23

My dad made both me and my sis learn piano when we were really young and we really enjoyed it. But then he sucked all the fun out of it after a while by complaining we weren't practicing enough and going ape sh*t whenever we made a mistake. It began to feel like boring work. When i hit secondary school and threw in the towel and said i wasn't doing it anymore. He was pissed, lol.

I regret quitting now though. Madness to think i was as young as 7 playing on a grand piano to church congregations but i never realised it at the time.

that couldve been a serious thing its a shame you stopped, i agree about dislike for something growing when the fun's sucked out and too much pressure is applied, but saying that i'd imagine because of this experience you'll know how to go about it when your dealing with it with your kids,

its all a learning process onwards and upwards.

In conclusion, these methods in the article definitly shouldnt be dissmissed, and should be looked at, but a balance has to be kept,

(common sense really) However in each situation the individual child should be dealt with depending on the way the learn and perfrom best.

the musical instrument thing is something i'm definitly gonna get involved in with my kids,

too much focus and attention is paid to TV and computer games when dealing with kids, human interaction in my opinion is a lot more beneficial.

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My dad made both me and my bro learn piano when we were really young and sucked all the fun out of it complaining we weren't practicing enough and going ape sh*t whenever we made a mistake.

lol this, although got to a point where I started enjoying it as I got better and better.

Dad fully raised me the typical strict ethnic way. Mum less so.

Wouldn't change it with exception to a couple of things.

There is no black and white with this though, it's a bit of a dumb assumption to make that everyone who is raised in a strict household becomes some monotonous anime watching socially reclusive nerd, while everyone whose parents are more liberal becomes a dossing waster. Everyone responds differently.

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comes down to the chinese inherently having a high work ethic anyway. Its in their culture so we wouldnt understand as much.

but balance is needed tho, she goes in.

if ur doing group work at uni im sitting right next to them chinese, f*ck the rest

Love to here people views on this, is it true, and if so why is it?

not dissagreeing but just wanna know people views

Assume strength, not fragility.

Ard body lyric

I'm gonna be a tyrannical parent, kinda like this woman but Lol at my black yute being no good at sport as well.

Planning to make my children the prototype

sure this is everyones aim, but certain things just cant be achieved, i've got no kids yet, but sometimes watch my friends with their kids and certain things they do and i'm left shaking my head constantly, then i end up thinking when i have kids maybe certain ideas i have will change,

For instance me and my friend had a big blown out arguement about her buying her 4 year old son a TV for his room, in my opinion thats madness, however after speaking to 2 other parents they said i wouldnt understand till i had kids, i'd like to think my views would remain the same but really, who knows.

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comes down to the chinese inherently having a high work ethic anyway. Its in their culture so we wouldnt understand as much.

but balance is needed tho, she goes in.

if ur doing group work at uni im sitting right next to them chinese, f*ck the rest

Love to here people views on this, is it true, and if so why is it?

not dissagreeing but just wanna know people views

IMO When you come from a country where opportunities aren't as readily given to you and things aren't as easy to come by (as in this one) you develop a mentality (seen in pretty much most developing countries) where education is important because it gives you money, and money = freedom. The obvious exceptions are those who choose an 'easier' route but generally education is much more valued.

As for buying a 4 year old a TV for his bedroom, LOL.

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Maybe not so superior after all:

Amy Chua was in a restaurant, celebrating her birthday with her husband and daughters, Sophia, seven, and Lulu, four. "Lulu handed me her 'surprise', which turned out to be a card," writes Chua in her explosive new memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. "More accurately, it was a piece of paper folded crookedly in half, with a big happy face on the front. Inside, 'Happy Birthday, Mummy! Love, Lulu' was scrawled in crayon above another happy face. I gave the card back to Lulu. 'I don't want this,' I said. 'I want a better one – one that you've put some thought and effort into. I have a special box, where I keep all my cards from you and Sophia, and this one can't go in there.' I grabbed the card again and flipped it over. I pulled out a pen and scrawled 'Happy Birthday Lulu Whoopee!' I added a big sour face. … 'I reject this.'"

When Lulu turns in a poor practice session on the piano, Chua hauls her doll's house to the car and tells her she'll donate it to the Salvation Army piece by piece if she doesn't have The Little White Donkey mastered by the next day. When Sophia does the same, she screams: "If the next time's not perfect, I'm going to take all your stuffed animals and burn them."

[...]

The book bares all about how the parenting model worked for her older daughter Sophia, now 17 and heading off to an Ivy League college, but backfired dramatically for her younger girl, Louisa, or Lulu, who is now 14. Chua spares no detail in recounting her early methods: banning television and computer games, refusing sleepovers and playdates, drilling academic activities for hours, insisting on lengthy daily practice of the piano (Sophia) and violin (Louisa), including weekends, high days and holidays. Even travelling abroad, Chua would book a practice room near their hotel. With missionary zeal, Chua spurned the permissive style of "western parents" (she uses the term loosely), the tendency to underplay academic achievement (no rote learning!) and emphasise nurturing, play and self-esteem (overfetishised!). The result is that at times Battle Hymn reads like an American-Asian version of Mommie Dearest.

Dominant throughout is the powerful figure of Chua herself, a larger-than-life matriarch: draconian, emotionally volatile, loving, often verbally cruel, hard-working, always devoted. Chua herself was raised on the Chinese parenting model, and her view is simple: "Childhood is a training period, a time to build character and invest in the future." As a result, both daughters are straight-A students, over-achieving and musically accomplished. By the time Sophia is 14 she has performed Prokofiev's Juliet as a Young Girl at the Carnegie Hall in New York while Lulu, aged 11, auditions for the pre-college programme at the world-famous Juilliard School.

But the cracks beneath the surface begin to show. Toothmarks are found on the piano (the culprit is Sophia, who gnaws on it during practice), and Lulu becomes rebellious, openly defying her teacher and her mother and bitterly complaining in public about her home life. By the age of 13, writes Chua, "[Lulu] wore a constant apathetic look on her face, and every other word out of her mouth was 'no' or 'I don't care'."

What brings the situation to an end is two horrifying incidents. First, Lulu hacks off her hair with a pair of scissors; then, on a family holiday to Moscow, she and Chua get into a public argument that culminates in Lulu smashing a glass in a cafe, screaming, "I'm not what you want – I'm not Chinese! I don't want to be Chinese. Why can't you get that through your head? I hate the violin. I hate my life. I hate you, and I hate this family!" Her relationship with Lulu in crisis, Chua, finally, thankfully, raises the white flag.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jan/15/amy-chua-tiger-mother-interview

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