"This is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. This was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it's about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how I was humbled by a thirteen-year-old." - Amy Chua
An awe-inspiring, often hilarious, and unerringly honest story of one mother's exercise in extreme parenting, revealing the rewards - and the costs - of raising her children the Chinese way.
All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way - the Chinese way - and the remarkable results her choice inspires.
Here are some things Amy Chua would never allow her daughters to do:
The truth is Lulu and Sophia would never have had time for a playdate. They were too busy practicing their instruments (two to three hours a day and double sessions on the weekend) and perfecting their Mandarin.
Of course no one is perfect, including Chua herself. Witness this scene:
"According to Sophia, here are three things I actually said to her at the piano as I supervised her practicing:
But Chua demands as much of herself as she does of her daughters. And in her sacrifices-the exacting attention spent studying her daughters' performances, the office hours lost shuttling the girls to lessons-the depth of her love for her children becomes clear. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is an eye-opening exploration of the differences in Eastern and Western parenting - and the lessons parents and children everywhere teach one another.
The Tiger, the living symbol of strength and power, generally inspires fear and respect.
The Chinese Mother
A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:
I'm using the term "Chinese mother" loosely. I recently met a super-successful white guy from South Dakota (you've seen him on television), and after...
Amy Chua's controversial book has inspired fervent responses from BookBrowse readers. Withal, the majority of reviewers agree it is worth a read - 16 out of 23 people rate it 4 or 5 stars:
I was, at turns, both amazed and horrified by the descriptions of her mothering techniques. Her style of writing was humorous and engaging, and I think this would make a terrific book club choice. I would be fascinated to hear her husband's perspective (Lynette M). Personally, I do not agree with Chua's harsh practices (including calling her children "garbage" and threatening to burn all their toys). Chua's descriptions of her daughters' punishing music practice schedules made me cringe (Gwendolyn D). Chua's ability to admit her flaws turns this book into a wonderful meditation on what it means to do one's best (Eileen P). (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
Full Review (1147 words).
In addition to her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua's Wall Street Journal article entitled, "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" (which is excerpted from Tiger Mother but does not fully represent the message of the book) has created quite a stir in the media, and has inspired hundreds of opinionated articles and blog postings around the world. (Of note: Chua denies titling the article herself.) In it, among other things, she explains the benefits of what she considers "Chinese mothering" and highlights three major differences between the Chinese and Western parental mind-sets:
First, I've noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children's self-esteem. They worry about how their children will feel if ...
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Looks past the "scare" stories to those that enlighten parents and enable them to empower girls. Offers a comprehensive road map to the many emotional and physical challenges girls ages six to sixteen face in today's challenging world.
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