Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chinese parenting styles

Recently, there has been an article that is raising some controversy in the news about the parenting style of Chinese mothers. I have so many thoughts (mostly criticisms) about the ideas in this article, but first curious to hear what others have to say about it. Check out "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior."

3 comments:

Erica said...

I read the article and was rather aghast. Then I read this moderating response from the author and would now be fascinated to read her book. Interesting discussion, certain merit on both sides of the aisle. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703583404576080032661117462.html?mod=WSJ_article_related

bitsyinchina said...

Before you judge too quickly, check this article out:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fg%2Fa%2F2011%2F01%2F13%2Fapop011311.DTL

Also, here she is on the Today show:
http://www.hulu.com/watch/206335/nbc-today-show-chinese-%E2%80%98tiger-mom%E2%80%99-defends-tough-parenting
http://www.hulu.com/watch/206647/nbc-today-show-%E2%80%98tiger-mother%E2%80%99-talks-chinese-parenting


I think she's being largely misrepresented by the media. Also, immigrant mothers, which she was, in a way-- immigrant mothers know what incredibly hard work it takes to succeed, and Western culture has gone very, very soft on kids. The culture's upside-down, valuing youth over age/wisdom, putting women in headship over men... it's a bit of a mess. Keeping the parent/child roles very clear is not all bad, even with her methodology.
Also, Americans are becoming more and more unwilling to do hard work. I can sadly testify to that personally. People do not want to work hard, even at parenting. More than one of my friends with kids has asked me desperately, "Why is this so hard?? Why can't this be easier?" Seriously? It's parenting... it's supposed to be hard. You're teaching little people how to do everything. It's hard. So teaching your kids to work hard, try, cry it out... forcing them to work hard and making them realize, "Wait! I CAN do this if I work hard!" is also not all bad.

Keep thinking...I look forward to hearing more from you, Portia, and your readers, too!

Portia said...

Thanks Erica and Bitsy. I did take a look at the first article. I think the article "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior" was unfortunately titled (as mentioned in the second article). But, I do have problems with many of the "techniques" that I see a lot of my Chinese colleagues and their parents using in raising their kids. Furthermore, I also feel like the author's perspective is skewed from the average Chinese persons who has little chance of leaving the country and likely not enough money to afford private piano and violin lessons for their child.