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Author Topic: 'Why Chinese Mothers are Superior" (WSJ) Please comment on this article  (Read 27439 times)
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2011, 05:33:14 PM »

I am a Chinese American father born and educated in the US and I can relate to the article having grown up in a Chinese family, but I do not agree with the article at all.  My mom was very strict raising me and my sisters, but she was loving, encouraging, and supportive.  Yes she pushed us very hard all the time to be best at whatever we did, but she did it in a non-abusive way.  She tried to incorporate the best of both cultures- that led us to be hardworking, successful, and creative individuals.  There is a balance as someone mentioned earlier between the Western and Eastern style of teaching.  We need to take the best from both cultures and use those techniques to teach our children. 

As follow-up to the WSJ article 'Why Chinese Mothers are Superior' you should read the article below.

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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2011, 08:02:18 PM »

The very first thing I did after reading this article - I googled "suicide countries rate" (I am "western").

"Suicide in the People's Republic of China is unique[1] among countries of the world in that more women than men commit suicide each year: in 1999 the rate per 100,000 people was 13.0 for men and 14.8 for women,[1] the highest female suicide rate in the world." (wiki)


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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2011, 09:20:51 PM »

I want to thank you all for these different and quite interesting perspectives. I am planning to buy Amy's book, for no other reason than to gain some insight into another person's experiences with raising children at the intersection of several cultures. Being French and Jewish (and raising my son in the U.S. with an American spouse), I struggle every day with these questions. So far, I think I am striking a healthy balance between (if you have seen 'Meet the parents',) 'Fockerizing' and 'Ferberizing' my child... but what will happen once grades come in and reality, whatever that might be, sets in. I will definitely call tutors for grades below 'As", and pressure, cuddle, guilt, whatever it takes, but not insult in the way Amy did her daughthers. Jewish mothers are definitly into pressuring their childrent , but in a different way than the Amy from the article. Anyway, keep these comments coming!

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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2011, 09:28:16 PM »

The very first thing I did after reading this article - I googled "suicide countries rate" (I am "western").

"Suicide in the People's Republic of China is unique[1] among countries of the world in that more women than men commit suicide each year: in 1999 the rate per 100,000 people was 13.0 for men and 14.8 for women,[1] the highest female suicide rate in the world." (wiki)
Don't forget that Chinese women are limited in the number of children they can have, boys are strongly preferred to girls, and (female) infanticide is epidemic.


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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2011, 11:35:36 PM »

Thank you for the intersting article.  I am Japanese American.  I went to school in both Japan and America.  Thankfully, my mother was more American than Japanese.  She did value hard work, but was not abusive about it.  She recognized the terrible pressure many Asian mothers would put on their children, but she valued the relationship more than being able to say, "Look what my children can do."  We did get good grades and did well in University and all, but we also enjoyed getting to be children and enjoyed having friends.  I've also had encounters with "successful" Asian children who were very talented but had no common sense.  They knew how to study and how to play an instrument beautifully, but they didn't know how to relate to peers, how to cook rice or do the laundry.  The famous story in Japan was about the man who wet his pants at his own wedding and complained to his mother,  "But you didn't tell me to go before the ceremony."

Now that I've grown up and I have my own children I've thought a lot about what I want for them and how I want to go about it.  I like 1 Cor 13 ~  "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends."  My goal is to love my children and to teach them to love others.  Part of that is learning to be diligent and working hard, but it should never result in being rude or unkind.  I laugh with my friends saying, "I used to think I was patient.  After having children, I realize I just wasn't tested."  I'm still working on it. 


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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2011, 04:15:55 PM »

Hmm.. I can't speak for the majority of the Chinese but I am Malaysian Chinese residing in Hong Kong, and the Chinese I knew from Malaysia and Hong Kong, do not parent that way. Not in my mum's generation, ( I was not brought up that way, my mum dont call me names,, like garbage or anything like that, though my sister called me lazy bum ). If there is any harsh way in the Chinese parenting , that would be overscheduling. I've met people who schedule their kids to 7 extra curricular activities in a week. Once the kids get used to those lifestyle they actually enjoy it, but the problem is, these kids might not know how to handle boredom and think of things to do on their own.
But the average overscheduling is tuition, and music one or two,, and sports one or two..

Didn't our parents used to say they "pick us up from the *lap sap tong*(garbage bin)"?? ;D  Can that qualify as calling us "garbage"? haha! yes  LOL


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« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2011, 04:19:46 PM »

My question though is do all Chinese parents really parent this way? There is someone who always goes against the fray so to speak. Do all Chinese parents agree with this method?

I'm Chinese in Singapore.  I guess there's too many Chinese here for any method to stand out! I think we're all average compared to each other. Certainly not extreme like Amy Chua.

I read the excerpt in OWSJ with my teenagers. They do agree on one thing though. About the "nothing is fun until you are good at it" phrase, altho' they were quite amused at the "no food", "no toilet" until the little girl could play her piano piece.  They were thinking what the little kid did - "wee-wee at the piano?".  ANd I think one of my kids would have protested about the "no other instruments but piano & violin".


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« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2011, 03:49:30 PM »

It's a fantastic article! Really gives food for thought.  The thing I agree with most is the "nothing is fun until you're good at it", and that we should be careful of not fostering an attitude where the child gives up too quickly.

Having said that, I don't believe that it needs to be implemented in the way Amy Chua does.  I certainly wouldn't.

Ultimately, parenting is a very personal matter.  If we think we can use some of the principles, then use it. If not, do something else you're comfortable with!


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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2011, 06:40:33 PM »

Are you wondering what her own children think?


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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2011, 02:08:09 AM »

  Stop labeling and evaluating your kids and they will perform better. 

This is one of the best things that I have read here. I understand the idea behind steady motivation, but anything that makes any person feel any less joy in themselves as a person will come to accept themselves as a failure. Children want to make their parents proud.

As a child, I was an over achiever. I made the grade, because I knew I could and I knew it was expected of me. However, that really had nothing to do with the person that I have become as an adult. I may have made the A's, but I stopped there, because that was all that was expected. Over time, I lost sight of the things that I truly enjoy. I have only recently rediscovered these things. I didn't know who I was or what I was about. My parents weren't abusive (well, maybe a little verbally as I got older), but there was always pressure. I glowed in knowing that I had reached their expectations, but still, I have only recently delved into my passions.

I was labeled the successful one. My siblings were the failures in my shadow. In the end, we all crashed. They accepted failure and I accepted that academic success was what mattered. All wrong. Guess what? College Drop Out, by choice. Had a full ride, total scholarship. I just didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't know what I liked. I was great at performing in everything, but I didn't enjoy it. And if I did, I wondered if I would enjoy something else more? After I let everyone know that I was doing things my way (by dropping out) and all the pressure left, I was finally able to discover myself. If we keep telling our children who to be and that someone is better because of blah blah blah, how will they control their own lives?

I do believe that children should try their best and that ANYONE can make an A, but I think as parents you'd better be ready to show your child the joy and benefit in whatever you are pushing them towards. If you can't help them enjoy math, then how can you expect an A? Are you not responsible for raising your children? Is education not part of growing up? And aren't parents suppsed to show and teach children to become adults? Education is part of adulthood. A child is merely a direct reflection of a parent. If your child can't "naturally" rise in a certain area, you should take it personally.

And as for discipline, that is also a reflection of parenting. Rude adults bring about rude children. And people that believe "That is just the way I am" need to get a "real" life, and expect nothing less of their children's attitudes.

Those are my thoughts. They weigh heavy on my heart, because my youngest brother should be graduating high school this year. He dropped out from the wrong kind of pressure. Everyday, he is told that he useless, lazy, won't go anywhere. And more and more, he believes it, and I want to cry, because I can't undo what has been done.


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« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2011, 09:42:57 AM »

It took a week for me to read all these comments
but every story here was  as earthbreaking for me as the original article.


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« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2011, 10:22:03 AM »

Thanks for sharing, some insightful reading.


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