Stress and Parenting (1)

An article making the rounds of my social network, titled Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, was published January 8, 2011 in the Wall Street Journal.  The subheading is “Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games, and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?”  The author, Amy Chua, was born soon after her Chinese parents arrived in the U.S.  She is a professor at Yale Law School and the article is excerpted from her forthcoming book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  The article has generated over 2500 comments in three days.

The author describes her parenting choices which include never allowing her two daughters to:

• attend a sleepover

• 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 No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.

She is willing to go to almost any length to achieve these goals including calling her child “garbage” and threatening to send their dollhouse to a charity when they fail to meet her standards.

Because I have interviewed over 4000 adults who were ill largely due to their mistreatment as children, this was troubling to read to say the least.  But there is more going on in Ms. Chua’s home than emotional and verbal abuse and I will explore that in the next post.

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