- 10 years ago
- Wedding: October 2000
It reminds me of the movie, Joy Luck Club.
It reminds me of the movie, Joy Luck Club.
I think there is a big difference between encouraging/nurturing your children’s education and what the author describes.
I love that the author thinks Chinese parents can get away with calling their daughters “fatty” without causing damage.
I had a roommate in college who was very much raised in the parenting style from the article. Her parents insulted her appearance all the time and insisted she get straight As in a field she really wasn’t interested in (she wanted to major in art). She ended up having a huge, huge breakdown in the middle of the semester that almost resulted in her leaving school. Last I heard, almost ten years later, she still doesn’t speak to her parents.
I know that’s just one example, but my point is, kids ARE different. Some might thrive in the environment the author describes but many don’t.
I had a lot of chinese friends who weren’t allowed to stay over, were forced to attend chinese school on saturday, take lessons after school, forced into music lessons, etc. I don’t 100% agree with the method or how it’s implemented because i think children should be children and allowed to have fun, but I think you can read between the lines and pick up a few good things. Music is good for children and I know I was forced to play piano. I wanted to play, and then when i realized i wasn’t good at it, i wanted to quit. my parents said no. guess what? i still suck and i gave it five years, but at least i learned a valuable lesson about not quitting along the way. And i’ll greatly encourage grades, too…there’s no reason to come home with a C. Grades aren’t rewarded, they’re expected. If my kids come home with bad grades, they will not be rewarded with fun times. I think a lot of american kids are lazy and entitled, so I think a balance can be struck.
There are a lot of studies about this as well.
I think the concept is great, I think the article kinda looked at it from one extreme perspective.
I think there is a big difference in child success based on how hard a parent pushes their children. If the parent is willing to sit down for 2-3 hours per night and ensure the homework is done, correct, and understood, then yes that child is probably going to do much better than the parent that doesn’t even think about homework.
I liked this quote:
“What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it”
I think there are some good points made – like not allowing kids to quit if they aren’t immediately good at something or worrying too much about their self-esteem. I think some parents coddle their kids to the point where they don’t know how to deal with it when they’re challenged.
I DO think children should be expected to earn A’s or B’s and to learn to play a musical instrument or a sport, but I DON’T see the point of not allowing children to go to camp or have a playdate, if anything it would make it more difficult for them to adjust to being with their peers.
Mostly I think parents SHOULD have high expectations for their children – asking for more pushes them to do better. If you just ask them to do okay then they may never really try. But it doesn’t mean that if you’re child simply isn’t good at something they should be insulted or berated.
So what happens when there’s more than one chinese student in the class? All but one goes home and gets berated nightly?
Aiming high is wonderful and there are great things to be said about establishing home as an education base but a lot of the methods mentioned in the article seem pointless. Social development is important as well, it’s hard to be any sort of leader if you’re socially isolated or unsure. How does preventing sleepovers help make you smarter? My sisters have had plenty of academeic and athletic success while still having friends.
Children are children, not mini adults.
I think its potentially really dangerous to tell kids the blanket statement (which the author made several times) that grades less than an “A”, or not being able to play a certain musical piece/sport/whatever is a result of being lazy. There are plenty of kids who work incredibly hard at a certain subject and still are not going to be the top performer. That’s not laziness, that’s reality.
Not everyone is going to be a superstar in every arbitrary field the parents decide at birth the child will excel in.
It’s great to instill work ethic and love of education in your children, but I don’t think the author is doing this at all. She is simply teaching her daughters to define their successes by outside influences only (praise from others, escape from demeaning insults), and to succeed because it’s expected. There’s something to be said for enjoying what you are doing, which in part comes from within – not from just being told to succeed en mass. I’ve been successful at plenty of things I didn’t like, and it didn’t make me a happier person just because from the outside I “won”.
I think all these parents do is teach their children to be obedient and not think for themselves. While this might create ‘successful’ straight A students and hard working drones, it hardly fosters leadership skills or helps discover one’s own strenghts and weaknesses.
I think the the article and parenting style make some good points but in the examples given, it is all taken too far to the extreme.
I do think that parents should not let their kids quit quickly if they aren’t immediately good at something. I do think children should be expected to earn A’s or B’s and I do think kids should be expected to learn an instrument or play a sport (some kind of activity they enjoy and they choose). That said, they should also still be able to sleep over with friends, play outside on their bike and go to the park, etc.
Kids should learn about winning and losing too. I hate the whole “everyone’s a winner simply because they participated” attitude that is given to so many of today’s kids. That’s not how life works. In life there are winners and losers and how hard you work often determines where you shake out. Kids need to learn and understand that and also learn that life isn’t always fair and they aren’t always going to get what they want.
I think that some of the basic ideas are true and are in line with DH and I as parents. Namely that children shouldn’t quit, have more resilient self-esteem than we think, and don’t know what is in their best interest, and thus decisions should be made for them. DH and I both grew up in homes where we knew that we were loved, but the worst “punishment” we ever got was disappointing our parents with subpar performances, either in school, with chores, or in music or sports. I think most children today are WAY to babied and coddled, which is why we have a generation right now that are self-righteous, feel entitled to things in life, and have very little work ethic.
I don’t agree that hours upon hours of drilling academic subjects will equal happiness. But I think that strict rules and high expectations are very important. I don’t think it’s fair to expect children to excel in every area, but I also think that having low or no expectations is also a failure to kids.
While I think that some western parents are too permissive and do not put enough focus on academics, I think this style of parenting is totally off base and does nothing to prepare children for the actual adult world.
When it comes to getting into college, sure top grades and playing at Carnegie Hall as a child can help, but when it comes to actually getting jobs, being socially adept and having done things like sports, drama, and other collaborative activities is going to make you much more able to navigate networking, job interviews, and working within a corporate environment.
I’ve known tons of people who were GREAT at the academic, practice-oriented skill sets. It does not transfer particularly well towards being a successful adult since the people skills that this mother is preventing her children from gaining by banning the social activities she sees as useless are so key to getting hired in the first place.
But in life, trying isn’t sufficient. Excellence is the minimum requirement most of the time. I agree that the author had an extreme history, but I agree with much of the technique.
The only misgivings I have is that this sort of parenting does not foster independence or leadership. It fosters obedience. That won’t get you far when you reach 18.
PS Does anyone else not understand why the article is entitled “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” I didn’t get that at all.
I agree with what some of the other folks (including FutureKMM, Entangled, and mrstilly) are saying. Our kids these days typically aren’t pushed very much and it would be awesome to do a bit more of that. I plan on having the house rules on the fridge, one of which will be to bring home a B or higher, to only watch TV on the weekends, etc. If the rules are violated, I’ll point to the fridge and say “you did/n’t ____, therefore your punishment is ______”.
I like what the article said about assuming strength instead of fragility. My parents assumed the latter of me and I don’t think it helped that much. I don’t know how much it hurt but I know that it would have been good for me to have been lovingly pushed harder and shown that I could do it.
Like others, I found many things in the article that I thought to be extreme and knew several people who were pushed to do something they didn’t want to because of their ethnic heritage. For example, I worked with a lot of students who were planning on going to medical school (and didn’t want to) because their parents wanted them to be doctors, which is really too bad. They had a disadvantage over their peers who worked hard and really wanted to be in the profession.
ETA: @heather25: hear hear.
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