Hello world, hope you are all enjoying your Wednesday, it is mid-week so must be making many of you at least somewhat happy. Besides enjoying my pregnancy in a calm and relaxing way I also try to read a lot of baby/children related books so that I can formulate my own views of what it is to be a parent in the near future with all that background information. I try to read one ‘famous’ bestseller a month and will gladly share my views on those.

 This month I have gotten my paws on a book many of you have heard about I’m sure called ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’. If you haven’t heard of the title, then you must have heard of a term ‘tiger mother’ widely discussed in various newspapers, TV programs and magazines. The definition of that term is ‘a strict or demanding mother who pushes her children to high levels of achievement, using methods regarded as typical of childrearing in China and other parts of East Asia.’ 

The author, Amy Chua is one such mother and she has stirred a lot of controversy with her ways of parenting, which she reveals in her book. Although, her husband is an American, Amy widely criticises American and Western methods of upbringing, so she had to go against her husband quite a lot of times to uphold her rigid standards. 

This is just some of the criticisms she shares ‘As I watched American parents slathering praise on their kids for the lowest of tasts..I came to see that Chinese parents have two things over their Western counterparts: 1. Higher dreams for their children 2. Higher regard for their children in the sense of knowing how much they can take’. ‘Chinese parents spend approximately ten times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contract, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams‘.

Amy believes that only with very strict and disciplined parenting can kids achieve their dreams and gain self respect, whereas in the West we hope that they will gain that self respect by praise and love and are generally afraid to be that strict. Just to give an example of Amy’s discipline-one of her daughters was practicing piano 90 minutes daily (including weekends) and twice as long on lesson days when she was just 8 years old. The numbers of course escalated massively with every year.
At the end of the day both of her daughters went to study in Harvard, have received numerous awards from very high profile establishments for their musical talents-so you can see that Amy has achieved in making them ‘really great’. It seems from her children’s point of view that they too were happy with their childhood, even if they felt it was tough.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to give some insight into other methods of parenting and perhaps take away part of it, as I think many will consider her ways  too harsh or worse call it ‘child abuse’. I personally, don’t think its child abuse, because her children are grateful for her parenting at the end of the day, but I’m not sure I would raise my kids quite the same way. Let me know what you think folks, would be interesting to see your opinions on this matter.