Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tiger Mother Thoughts Cont.

I've been thinking more about The Battle Hymn book and had a couple more thoughts.
Chua does try to raise her kids consistantly with some of the ingredients recommended by McCurdy to raise genius' and leaders:

(1) children should spend a great deal of time with loving, educationally minded parents;
(2) children should be allowed a lot of free exploration; and
(3) children should have little to no association with peers outside of family and relatives.
~ H. McCurdy, "The Childhood Pattern of Genius."
Chua does part of #1. Her kids spend a great deal of time with her. She is clearly educationally minded. The loving part? Maybe not so much, behaviorally, loving seems very hit or miss.
Chua allows her kids little, if any of #2
Chua ensures #3.
Chua's kids are prodigy's musically and perhaps linguistically.

Chua, and according to her, Chinese parents "get" the point of Outliers, which is this: it takes around 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. She is determined that her children become experts at a young age, which they do. Not only that, but they understand hard work, self discipline, focus, determination and how to study.

While Chua's book irritated me (see earlier post) it did revitalizemy own commitment to drill and skill, expecting more from myself and my children. Chua drives the point home that she is actively and intentionally involved in her children's lives and this I think a lot of folks could improve on. Many parents send their kids to school, send them to after school activities, send them to friend's houses and provide lots of gadgets and electronic toys to fill the remainder of the day.  They don't spend time with their kids and they are not intentional about what their kids are doing or learning.

While Chua's lifestyle demands an exhorbitant amount of money and resources, I believe that her underlying point of being a focused parent with clearly defined expectations, dreams and visions for our kids is worthy. Very much so.\\


sunshine23 said...

I throughly agree with the limiting the time with outside peers. Until a certain age and then only handpicked ones. I have seen that my children become as discerning as I am if I teach them what I see in others. Behavioral patterns and attitudes are there if you are taught how to recognize them. But the loving part is the key because if the children don't want to please you, why would they want to do what you ask. The same is with God, if He is portrayed and seen as a wrathful God with no compassion or love for His creations, why worship such a cruel God? I think the Tiger Mom has great intentions but the expense that is paid is her children't hearts. She may be respected but not loved. How desolate my life would be without the spontaneously hugs and kisses bestowed by my children. Even the almost 20 year old. :)

LaughingLioness said...

Exactly. Her kids do respect her but even her own mother told her to back off with her 2nd dd because she was pushing too hard.
Parenting is one of the world's most difficult, and most important, jobs. Without a moral compass it becomes all about our own goals and need fulfillment.

Like you wrote, without the loving relationship, why comply? Chua writes frequently about the shaming, name calling and yelling that went into getting her kids to do what she demanded. Geez Louise.

Fairy Tale Mama said...

Thanks for the great review. I'm looking forward to when it comes in for me at the library :-)