Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tiger Mother

I admit it…I am completely intrigued by “Chinese Tiger Mother.”

For those of you who don’t know to whom I am referring…this is the nickname for Amy Chua, a Yale law professor and the woman who wrote the “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” a book about parenting the “Chinese Way.” Chua has been all over the airwaves defending her position on “terrorist parenting.” She proudly defends her accounts of telling her children they are “garbage” when they don’t perform to her standards, that their toys will be donated to the Salvation Army if they don’t master a piano concerto by the next day and throwing hand made birthday cards made by her children in their faces and proclaiming they did not show enough effort. She defends these behaviors by explaining that the “Chinese Way,” where hard work, enforced by parents by punishing means, results in excellence, which excellence ultimately makes the children feel good about themselves. Parenting blogs are abuzz…

Yet I, for one, don’t care about her parenting theories. So her daughter played Carnegie Hall at 12…what self respecting Jewish mother isn’t asking, “But is she happy?”

Speaking of Jewish mothers.....in-law....

Ms. Chua, declaring herself an expert on growing up seeking excellence in all things…presumably including selecting a suitable man with whom to procreate…did not marry a Chinese man…she did not marry a man raised as she by “immigrant” parents who scoff at Western ways. She married an American Jew raised by a Yiddisha mama who likely told him he was God’s gift to mankind even when he got a B on a test and quit guitar lessons. Does anyone else find that interesting?

Perhaps hubby Jed Rubenfeld is the ying to her yang? Does he just stand by like a "shtummy" while his beloved bride berates his daughter over an A-? The unimaginable guilt that man must suffer. And whether Grandma Rubenfeld is alive or dead how does he explain the way her granddaughters are being “reared” either to her face or in his head?

Maybe he tells her not to worry…that Amy’s girls will follow in mother’s footsteps and one day one of them will write an acclaimed best seller, “The Lullaby of My Pussycat Daddy.”

1 comment:

LeGalAide said...

What about a middle ground? Praise and reward for good work, and showing disappointment for lack of effort? Surely both parents and children know the difference?