Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tiger Moms: Is Tough Parenting Really the Answer?

Time Magazine

t was the "Little White Donkey" incident that pushed many readers over the edge. That's the name of the piano tune that Amy Chua, Yale law professor and self-described "tiger mother," forced her 7-year-old daughter Lulu to practice for hours on end — "right through dinner into the night," with no breaks for water or even the bathroom, until at last Lulu learned to play the piece.

For other readers, it was Chua calling her older daughter Sophia "garbage" after the girl behaved disrespectfully — the same thing Chua had been called as a child by her strict Chinese father. (See a TIME Q&A with Amy Chua.)

And, oh, yes, for some readers it was the card that young Lulu made for her mother's birthday. "I don't want this," Chua announced, adding that she expected to receive a drawing that Lulu had "put some thought and effort into." Throwing the card back at her daughter, she told her, "I deserve better than this. So I reject this."


  1. Shelomo haMelekh tell us that the article's title is incomplete. At best we can ask "Is Tough Parenting Really the Answer for Johnny/Samantha/Bill...?"

    My inclination is that there are very few children for whom this is the most successful strategy.

    But I just wanted to back away a step and note the absurdity of the premise, not just the unpalatability of the conclusion.

  2. Whole thing has been blown out of proportion by journalists trying to crank out their living by rehashing Cold War fears, this time with China as the feared boogeyman.

    Author Amy Chua explains herself quite well in a frank interview.


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