this book quite interesting and it has kicked up a ton of controversy and comments from the masses (here's just one article from the Washington Post, google her and there are countless more). It focuses on the Chinese model of child rearing which she applied with an iron will to her own two high achieving daughters.
It's written by brilliant Yale Law School professor Amy Chua who is Chinese American. She's been called everything from monster to child abuser to genius. Whatever the case, there seems to be a method to her madness. What I like best is that she learned from herself and her daughters and freely admits to where she went wrong and what she'd change if she did it again.
Here are a few things she would not let her daughters do in order to study, practice their musical instruments and focus on becoming an above average student and adult:
- 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 #1 student in every subject except gym and drama
- play any instrument other than the piano or violin
- not play the piano or violin.
Yikes! However, everything changed when her younger daughter rebelled at the age of 13 and Chua had to reconsider her choices. The book is a fascinating look at child rearing and frankly, makes me feel better about being a bit of an education fanatic. I sit with Claire to write her name, go over her alphabet and numbers every day. We spell things when we're out (signs, etc.). I worried it might be overkill - not at all! I'm a lightweight compared to Chua and apparently, quite a few other mothers. Granted their children are high achievers but are the socially able?
I think a balance between study and play is essential for children to be well balanced and prepared for the adult world. I don't think either of my children would fare well if they couldn't play and decompress with some Mickey Mouse or Peppa Pig.
What do you think of her parenting style? She's extremely successful, her children are both going to be extremely successful so it does work. But at what price? I think I'll stick to my own model of child rearing - it worked for my mother and my two sisters and brother all turned out just fine. Good enough for me!!