Mother superior: Are Chinese moms better?
More than a few mother hen feathers were ruffled this week after this article appeared in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” by Amy Chua.
Chua argues that Chinese mothers set the bar high and don’t deviate from it. “All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that,” including not allowing their children to, “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.”
Chua states that the difference largely comes from the concept of self-esteem, and how Western parents go to great lengths to protect it while the Chinese mother wouldn’t consider it as part of her parenting model.
The article has generated over 5400 comments online, over 100,000 on Facebook and still more on Twitter and other social forums. Many of the comments are supportive, while many others are quite critical regarding her style. So much so that she responded with a follow-up article to readers. No matter what your opinion, the article is certainly provocative.
What are your thoughts? Does she have some valid points or completely off-base? Are we Western parents too easy on our children to their detriment, or does the Chinese style expect too much?
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