Essay on Chinese Mom superior Mom

Submitted By rabsar
Words: 1110
Pages: 5

Response to Amy Chua’s “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”. “You are so smart; you can achieve anything you want.” This was a common mantra in my house… at least when it came to me. It seems that I had set the bar for myself pretty high, walking at nine months and reading by the age of five. My brother, on the other hand was precocious in a different way, testing the limits of his physical body instead of stretching his mental muscles. The expectations for each of us were completely different. Thinking back to my childhood, I don’t remember ever hearing my parents say that I had to get straight A’s in school, but I would never have thought of bringing home anything less. My brother, however, constantly brought home C’s and below with never any consequence. I often felt the sting of injustice at what seemed to me to be double standards, and I’m sure I complained about it at the time. Just as I was expected to be good at school, my brother was expected to be involved in sports and get in trouble. We both managed to not only meet those expectations, but stand out at them. In Amy Chua’s essay “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” she asserts that superior children with skills, discipline and inner strength can only be molded by the tough practices of “Chinese mothers,” and that “Western parents” worry too much about the child’s consciousness to create such a child. While I would agree that Chua has had success with her method of parenting, I don’t believe that the success comes from the restraints that she imposes, but rather from the expectations that are put on the child. Chua asserts that there are three main differences between “Chinese mothers” and “Western parents.” Her choice of wording alone gives an essential clue to her particular bias. Chua uses the phrases “Chinese mother” and “Chinese parent” interchangeably throughout her essay, but she only uses the term “Western mother” once. Chua does a great job of breaking down, and even naming several stereotypes, while perpetuating them with her own language. Her first assumption is that Western parents are too worried about damaging their child’s self-esteem to be effective parents, where”Chinese parents… assume strength, not weakness.” I absolutely agree with Chua that assuming a child can do something is the keystone to success, but I don’t agree that concern for your child’s psyche and assuming success are mutually exclusive. Again, her syntax implies that the Western parent’s concern is connected to thinking that the child is weak or will be unsuccessful. What parent doesn’t want the best for their child or hasn’t at one time worried about an incident damaging their child’s inner strength? Being a parent is constant vigilance and hard work. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my parents’ high expectations of me or their instilling the ability for me to push myself, but I am certain that they didn’t always know if they were doing the right things as Chua asserts her “Chinese mothers” do. My parents led me to success by their exemplary life choices and the evidence of their own successes rather than instill in me a sense of indebtedness toward them. Chua’s second argument about Chinese mothers building better babies has to do with the issue of gratitude and power. She builds an illusion through her carefully crafted essay that Chinese parents are the only kind that sacrifice and work hard toward the child’s success. She claims that “Chinese mothers get in the trenches, putting in long grueling hours” to ensure that their children are successful. While she never comes right out and says it, this sentence assumes that by comparison, Western mothers neither sacrifice nor work to make their children successful. Chua feels that because of the Chinese mother’s dedication that “Chinese children must spend their lives repaying their parents by obeying them and making them proud.” My parents were my role models, and at times my heroes, but I was never once made to feel that