Dr. Stephen Graf
A Mixture of the Two
“At a time when American students are ranked seventeenth in the world in reading, twenty-third in science, and thirty-first in math, can the country settle for anything less than excellence” (Behrens, Rosen 258)? Perhaps this deems as the reasoning for the strictness of how Amy Chua describes herself and others who are of Asian descent, as a “Tiger Mother.” Perhaps this stems from the fact “that nothing is fun until you’re good at it” attitude towards ‘life’ itself (Chua 262). One common goal remains true for Tiger Mothers and Western mothers, which deals with the fact that the parents only want their children to become successful in life. The combined parenting styles for both Tiger mothers and Western mothers would produce well-rounded children. Tiger mothers work in conjunction with their children, ensuring that they achieve their goals to become successful throughout life; whereas, Western parents allow independent learning for their children. In Amy Chua’s memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, she expresses authoritative power amongst her children, providing them with both words of encouragement and words of dismay during any activity to help achieve their goals. Western parents tend to caudal their children and “are extremely anxious about their children’s self-esteem” (Chau 263). By using straightforward techniques from a Tiger Mother, children will become better tuned towards learning anything that comes along their way.
“Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore, override all of their children’s own desires and preferences” (Chua 263). Children of Tiger mothers do not get to “attend a sleepover” or to “have a playdate,” because children are all dependent upon their mothers towards choosing their own destinies, so-to-speak. Western parents tend to let their children be children… “the point of childhood is childhood itself. Childhood take up a quarter of one’s life, Mr. Summers observed, and it would be nice if children enjoyed it” (Murphy 279). Amy Chua takes great pride within herself for the parenting she does. How can we judge her for trying to raise two successful individuals? Children should develop to become successful in life, to account for a career and family, and to remain happy throughout their lives, which is all any parent should strive for in their children. I believe that mentality exists within Amy Chua, a Tiger mother, as well as, a Western mother. In order to become prosperous throughout life, one must start