I am a Chinese student who is born and raised in the parenting style and cultural background that you describe in your article "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior". As a Chinese parent, a mother, you demonstrate that the parenting styles of the Chinese mothers as the best in ensuring that children attain educational achievements, and only consider that some “Korean, Indian, Irish, Jamaican, and Ghanaian parent to exhibit similar or close characteristics. However, you worry that Western parents value their children’s self-esteem, and are too permissive that they allow these children go extents that Chinese parents would not think of doing. Given this wrong stereotypical assertion, you believe that Chinese parents value the education of their children than the Western parents do. Nevertheless, as a Chinese student, and a victim of the circumstances you praise in your article, I believe you parenting style obliterate children’s nature such as childhood, talents, and their own dreams, which are even more valuable than the only success on academics. Moreover, David Brooks, (2011) also believes that this style protects children from the most intellectually demanding activities because you do not understand what is cognitively difficult and what is not.
You begin with indicating the activities that your daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were not allowed to do such as “attending a sleepover,” “having a play date,” “participating in school play,” “watch TV or play computer games,” or “get any grade less than an A.” You continue to indicate that you Western friends who think that they are strict ensure their children practice their instruments for lesser hour and with less strictness as the Chinese parents do. To stress you point, you cite studies that show “marked and quantifiable differences” between these two parenting styles. For instance, you quote the study that revealed that 70% of the American mothers do not prefer “stressing academic success” for their children, and contrast it with “roughly 0%” of the Chinese mothers who affirm this assertion.
You believe that according to most of the Chinese parent, hard work is mandatory for success, and that children would never wish to work hard on their own, thereby making it mandatory to “override their preferences. Even though you understand that children would resist to this parenting styles, you also believe that the insistence nature of the Chinese parents have made them triumph over Western parents, who usually give up at the challenging early stages. You also compare the term “garbage” in both contexts. You believe that a Chinese father would comfortably use this term, giving the example of your personal experience with your father. In contrast, you indicate the reaction of Western parents when you used the same word on your child. Additionally, while you innocently took in the word from your father, your daughter walked out on you. You also give the reactions of parents from both cultures when their children come home with different grades, and indicate that Chinese parents would dare to use even legally actionable terms, that American parents consider to damage their children’s self-esteem. You continue to indicate that children can at times become rebellious, and give the example of your experience with your child. Finally, you have provided how Chinese mothers insist on ensuring that their children achieve their parents’ desires through the piano incident with Lulu, and continue to depict the Western parents through your husband’s reactions.
Comparing and contrasting the Chinese and Western parenting styles with regard to educational attainments, you indicate that the former parents have higher expectations for their children’s educational attainment, but the latter have higher regard for self-esteem of their children. In your conclusion, you believe that the Chinese parenting style is superior over the Western parenting style. However, according to Kim Keltner (2013) in the “Tiger mothers”, she believes that the Chinese parenting style might achieve extraordinary academic outcomes, but fail to achieve the same of the children’s socio-emotional outcomes. Additionally, in her interview with Martin, Kim also explains that this style might make children feel spurned and they learn to detach from the parents, which is not what the parents wanted in the first place (Brooks, 2013). As an immigrant and a student in a Chinese family, I believe that Chinese parents should also allow their children to pursue their interests, and that these children are unique in different ways. If parents insist on making choices for their children, then it implies that children owe their parents. As Jed suggests, children do not choose their parents. Parents, therefore, should not make choices for their children. You also argue that “Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence” (2011). Although diligence is significant to be successful, interests are essential as well. In my view, not all skills can be excelled in just by children’s efforts on these automatic practices, such as the inspiration of arts and the emotion of nature. For example, a person good at playing the piano may not be a music composer. Children are gifted in different ways, and parents should help them to find what they interested in and encourage them to realize their dream.
In the end, both complaining Chinese ways to be strict or praising Western ways to be enlightened are stereotypes, which we should avoid in education. General speaking, all parents dream of the prosperity of their children, but the children have their dreams too. It is a more proper and effective way to give the encouragement on academy and the freedom for them to develop their characteristics.
Martin M. (May 14, 2013). Are 'Tiger Babies' Breaking The Cycle? National Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2013/05/14/183924821/are-tiger-babies-breaking-the-cycle
Keltner K. (May 14, 2013). Children of 'Tiger' Style Parenting May Struggle More. National Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/05/14/183924819/Children-Of-Tiger-Style-Parenting-May-Struggle-More
Brooks D. (January 17, 2011). Amy Chua Is a Wimp. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/opinion/18brooks.html?_r=0