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There s no way to review a book like this without disclosing some of my upbringing because it shaded how I saw all of this while reading My father had control issues I wouldn t consider him a Chinese mother because it was about dominance than it was about the individual success of any of the children A slip in any grade would definitely result in extreme punishment, but it would also take a lot less a lot less.My main problem with the Chinese childrearing system is it can easily breed abuse The author would roll her eyes at this and call it so American of me to say that, but a roll of the eyes doesn t change it More than once the author expressed her fear of her children having outbursts in public, not just because it was humiliating, but because Westerners didn t understand her methods The children couldn t have play dates, sleepovers, or friends involved in their social spheres Secrecy and isolation are things child abusers feed on If either of Chua s children had told a teacher some of the things she said and did to them I think child welfare would ve gotten involved I don t think the children would have been removed from Chua s care, but I think she would ve been under some scrutiny Perhaps that scrutiny would ve led to a balanced life for the children.Do I think Sophia and Louisa were abused Yes and no Loving a child, which Chua clearly does, doesn t create an impenetrable shield against abuse Isolating children and hitting them are two different things I believe Chua raised her children the best way she could, but I don t think the methods are utterly infallible Isolation is damaging although not in the same way physical abuse would have been.Chua does a fair bit of questioning her own rearing She doesn t flinch from telling the truth, even when it portrays her in a bad light By the end of the book I respected her and I believed there were some merits to the system It s impossible not to respect someone who happily enthusiastically sacrificed for her children, but I wish she had done some intensive research on child abuse instead of universally dismissing the idea of child abuse as an American thing Sometimes she sounds racist and ignorant, as if child abuse was strictly pseudoscience She also blinded herself to the issues within her own culture China s got some serious flaws with childrearing and I m not just talking about the kids so terrified to tell their parents about a B that they fling themselves in front of trains Think about the two child policy and the missing female children of the country China s standards are not the automatic golden ticket.So mixed feelings I think Amy Chua could do with a big dose of empathy and the occasional glass of wine to unwind, but given how much she loved her children and how hard she tried and the way she learned to evolve her system over time, I think there are far worse people to have as mothers. Before I finish reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, I would put Totto chan The Little Girl at the Window up as an antidote.Like Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Totto chan is also a memoir about the upbringing of children mostly focuses on the little girl main character Totto chan , but it sends an entirely different message to its readers.Disclaimer 1 I m a Chinese and I had my own taste of strict parenting throughout my childhood, but comparing with what Amy Chua s daughters had gone through, my experience is really, really tamed Disclaimer 2 No, please don t think every single pair of Chinese parents raise their kids with Amy Chua s so called Chinese parenting. It s misleading I can see that her parenting methods are partly inspired by Chinese culture and practices, but it s not the whole picture.Disclaimer 3 I read the Chinese translation of the book, not the English text.Disclaimer 4 Amy Chua aimed to train her daughters into successful young musicians as soon as the girls were old enough to sit before the piano Honestly I have no idea how young pianists and violinists are supposed to be taught and trained, maybe Yo yo Ma had gone through similar treatment when he was a little boy, who am I to judge Disclaimer 5 No, I m not a parent.My reaction to Amy Chua and her parenting methods Link If I made it a drinking game to down a mouthful of liquor every time I have to suppress my disbelief when reading this book, I would be dead before I finished.If I had to sip down a mouthful of liquor every time Amy Chua screamed at her daughters, I would still be dead before I turned the last page.To be honest, I don t think there s anything outstanding about a woman forces her daughters to study and practice Everyone can do this the same like everyone can train animals to obey orders.The kind of parenting which I would consider to be outstanding and amazing is when parents find their ways to motivate their children to go studying and practicing on their own, at their own free will.To make a long story short, I m as outraged by this book as people are outraged by Fifty Shades of Grey.Well, I might have not been so outraged by Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother if only it s merely a memoir just like Chua has claimed, I know Tiger Moms and Tiger Dads exist, and I accept that s how some people, if not many people treat their children But sadly Chua s claim isn t quite true, throughout an entire book she went out of her way to tell you how and why HER parenting method is superior than the other methods Some readers may ask, how can you tell her method is superior That s easy, look at her daughters Sophia and Lulu, haven t both of them turned out to be well mannered, highly accomplished young ladies The end justifies the means, right Obviously to many people, it does.So why would I have problem with this book Here re some points.First, I would like to point out I have problem with how Amy Chua defined Chinese parenting and Western parenting Simply put, her definition is misleading at best, totally fucked up at worst.According to Amy Chua, Chinese parents are not limited to parents who are ethnically Chinese white people and Jewish etc can be Chinese parents as well, as long as they treated their children according to Chua s methods of Chinese parenting e.g making all decision for your kids, not allowing them to have any say, being strict to them etc etc etc And Chua s so called Chinese parenting is a mixture of Chinese belief and practices, the practices of Amy Chua s own parents and Chua s own achievement focused parenting.Well, then why call it Chinese parenting instead of Tiger Mom s parenting or Amy Chua s parenting This definition of Chinese parenting is just so confusing Hey, own up to your own ideas and actions Don t use Chinese as a shield As to the so called Western parenting , basically Chua gathered all sort of examples for lousy parenting and then labeled them all as Western parenting , that s it It looks a bit unfair to me Secondly, I want to talk about Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother as a story Our main characters are Amy Chua, her husband, her two daughters and two family s dogs Supporting Characters being Grandmother her husband s mother , Chua s own parents and sisters.The narrator and main character of this story is Amy Chua herself, so don t be surprised when you find Chua went out of her way to make herself the focus of the whole book She had so many things to express, she came on so strong to try convincing you that her Chinese parenting is better than the lousy, spineless Western parenting , to a point that her husband and daughters become very secondary in the book Guess what After reading the whole book, I still have no idea what Chua s older daughter Sophia likes and dislikes, I only know she is there to practice piano, get high grades and be the Perfect Daughter so her mother would be pleased Well, I believe this girl actually has a personality, but her mother never bothers to present it to us Plus, Sophia is no fool, she saw right through her mother s halfhearted respect to their Grandmother for what it really was.Thankfully Sophia s younger sister Lulu is vivid and three dimensional character, she is a fighter, she s outspoken than her sister, she doesn t like being forced, she likes to do things by her own terms, she fights back when she is bullied or treated unfairly I admit I adore this girl To be honest, I m not sure I can put up as much a fight as Lulu had done if I were in her position, I might long have gone self destructive if I had been dragged through the mud the same way like Amy Chua had done to her kids.As to Amy Chua s husband, I found out he got shove to the background for most of the time Plus I m surprised that Chua barely appreciates what her husband had done for their kids HOW DARE HIM to let the girls play, read story books, have outings, have fun and just be kids HOW DARE HIM I m serious, Chua gave her husband hardly any credit when their daughters upbringing is concerned She bragged about how much time and effort she had spent on the girls, how much sacrifice she had made for them She downplayed her husband s role, she made it sounds like the daddy did nothing but playing and having fun with their daughters not once did she ever consider perhaps her husband alongside with some of their relatives having the good sense to allow the girls to have fun and simply be children helped the kids to develop further No, Chua just has to claim all the credit I learnt that after her book was published, Amy Chua claimed her messages have been read out of context, but I see that she has only herself to blame, it was her who chose to present her daughters childhood in that way It was her who filled her book with what SHE wants her kids to do, what high achievements SHE wants her kids to achieve, what SHE thinks is best for her two daughters, what sort of expectation SHE wants her kids to meet up with Seriously, who else can she blame here Thirdly, I want to talk about how Amy had chosen to present herself in her book I found her to be so arrogant, so unlikable, so self centered, so judgmental e.g allowing your kid to play drums will make them junkies, yo She also loves to brag about her successes, she puts people into stereotypes and generalizing different cultures, parenting methods and practices in an overly simple and offhand way Remember she s a Yale professor Then why would she views things and measures successes in such a narrow minded way I don t know why Amy Chua also based her moral high ground on the Chinese culture and virtues she presented I admit many of the virtues she had mentioned are accurate, but I would like to remind you Amy Chua only shows you a narrowed version of Chinese virtues or presented them out of context in her book There re so many things in Chinese culture and belief system which Chua had ignored to a point that I think she misrepresented Chinese culture a culture she claimed to be oh so familiar with. I also found it rather ironic because this woman seems to forget being humble and subtle is a major traditional Chinese virtue as well Instead she spent a lot of time to brag about her shinning career, her fine husband and daughters, such kind of bragging would be viewed as rude and bad taste in the eyes of many Chinese.Plus, somehow we re supposed to believe it s okay for Chua to brag about her degree and many successes, but at the same time her daughters need to have their ego hammered down non stop Since when it s okay to set up double standards when you re educating your children There s one thing in the Chinese s belief system Chua never bothers to mention balance, remember Yin and Yang s no balance in Chua s mind You either spoil your children into spoiled brats or groom them into obedient little puppets who don t even dare to have a thought of their own Can things ever really be that simple in reality For me, the one thing that Amy Chua s book has managed to do is to show me the many shortcomings of the parenting methods which focused upon gaining good grades and achievement, which are adopted by many Chinese parents For example, Chau mentioned about her days as a student I am not someone who s naturally critical about everything I am not keen to get to the bottom of things I only want to write down everything the professors had said, then memorize all these.Well, if you planned to educate your children to become some machines to memorize details, be my guest.Next, I want to mention how much I was unable to suppress my disbelief when I read about how Amy Chua put her daughters through so much unnecessary stress and discomfort throughout their childhood No, I m not even talking about her forcing Lulu to practice piano for hours, cutting off dinner and bathroom break until the girl could play the piece perfectly Plus I want to make it clear that I don t think there s anything wrong about parents disciplining their kids, even parents expecting their kids to get good grades is fine, as long as they are being reasonable about it Butfor the life in me, does discipline have anything to do with calling your kid garbage What good can come front when you hit your daughter for not holding the violin perfectly What good can it do to interrupt your child s school life and social life to a point she doesn t have friend What kind of mother would ignore her daughter s emotion outburst at the eve of her grandmother s funeral MY GOODNESS I can t see why being a total jerk to your kids and bully them would be viewed as ideal parenting, I just don t understand, and I need to tell you I hate bullies, I hate bullies even when they are some people else s parents sighs It s not like I can t see where Chua s ideology if you can call it that came from as immigrants, Chua s own parents needed to work extra hard in order to get a head start in America, so they taught their children to focus on achievements and making their way to the top of the food chains with hard work and extraordinary performance All of these are understandable, really But it s quite ironic that in the end even said parents have the good sense to realize time has changed, and their parenting method is not suitable to every child, whilst Chau ignored their advice and kept demanding her daughters to be perfect sighs My suggestion Well, please brace yourself and prepare for disbelief, disgust and eyes rolling if you ever decided to read this book Just to light the mood, let me tell you a little story Once upon a time there was a boy in Japan, whose parents were music teacher and musician of classical music said parents wanted their son to be a classical musician as well, so they arranged for him to practice violin.Later the boy grew up, but instead of becoming a violinist, he dyed his hair, learnt to play a guitar and joined a rock band Need not to mention, his parents protested against his choices bitterly, for they honestly thought rock n roll was garbage.But the boy, now an adult, still played violin for some of his band s songs.Article about the basic problems which come with Chinese parenting here s someone else s excellent remark on the book 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 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 ChuaAll 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 InspiresHere Are Some Things Amy Chua Would Never Allow Her Daughters To Do Have A Playdate Be In A School Play Complain About Not Being In A School Play Not Be The Student In Every Subject Except Gym And Drama Play Any Instrument Other Than The Piano Or Violin Not Play The Piano Or ViolinThe 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 MandarinOf 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 Oh My God, You Re Just Getting Worse And Worse I M Going To Count To Three, Then I Want Musicality If The Next Time S Not PERFECT, I M Going To Take All Your Stuffed Animals And Burn Them 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 Holy cow, I hate this lady so much Her book kind of gives me a headache, but I can t stop reading it I hope it doesn t end with one of her kids waving a gun around at a piano recital, but I won t be surprised if it does I slept on it before I finished my review of this book, seeing if it would make me calm but nope Amy Chua is just appalling I can t stand this woman She pushes her daughters to be the best at everything, because if you re not the best then you re garbage a term she uses for one of her young daughters She makes them practice their piano and violin everyday for hours and hours and they can never play or hang out with friends or do anything else Chua writes off as a dumb, time wasting Western thing to do shudder Lots of people seem to respect this lady for her strict parenting but I don t Is being the youngest person to perform at Carnegie Hall the very most important thing in the world Chua thinks it is I don t She is so controlling she ruins an idyllic family vacation to Greece with making her daughter practice her violin and do it the way Chua wants or it doesn t count I can t argue with the fact her daughters ARE accomplished and amazing musicians and all that But I m pretty sure that isn t the most important thing in the world No matter how I try to look at it, I just can t understand the Gestapo parenting that Chua is advocating Seriously I couldn t put this book down because it was so disturbing As a mother who has taken a pretty staunchly anti tiger approach to parenting, I took this book on as an exercise in cultural literacy I expected my feathers to be ruffled and they were , and to be furiously highlighting areas of philosophical difference and I was my Kindle got quite the workout What I didn t expect was a well written memoir with honesty, wit and even self deprecation and self questioning between the lines The author admitted that she wasn t yet sure about how it would end , referring literally to the memoir, but figuratively to the life and relationship outcomes for her and her girls There were also elements that induced me to think about and acknowledge the tiger parts of myself, and the parts of my own parenting that I often struggle to reconcile, and I think that my own walk and talk about parenting, teaching and learning is enriched as a result. I did not like this book and really won t recommend it except to argue with anyone who agrees with author Chua that she has an imitable or admirable parenting style Her tone was superior and smug, all the while mostly a brag book about her talented, abused daughters and how SHE made them so successful I don t understand a husband and father standing by listening to the insults and humiliation, disguised and excused as a fierce maternal love, heaped by his wife onto his precious daughters No, thank you I guess I m of the mind that parenting impressionable children and raising them to be responsible adults is difficult and lacks a fool proof road map, but I would choose a method and style that, though strict in some ways, would not be cruel I would also like to talk to children who have been raised like this, and also to see if later on, they do likewise to their own This, to me, is than mere culture difference But of course, just my opinion We are all going to ultimately raise our children in a manner that we deem appropriate I considered much of what this mother did to be child abuse and wonder if child protective services would have intervened had they been called If you must read it, borrow, don t buy. Ugh I am neither a Tiger Mother or a Pushover Granted, my daughter is only 4 Should I be concerned that she is not fluent in a second language, that she isn t reading and despite a year of ballet is not on deck to be a prima ballerina Of course not There is time for all of that.I have taught middle school for 15 years I see the impact of both types of parents As a result I have 8th graders on the verge of nervous breakdowns, ulcers or both because their parents demand nothing short of perfection On the flip side I also see parents let everything slide because he she s just a child after all.There is a happy medium to be found A life where children are taught that hard work and determination pay off, but there should also be time for play and celebration. Nothing like as extreme as some reviews would have you think It s an upper middle class very educated family trying to get their kids on the same track as themselves It seems like Tigger Daddy said that if Tiger Mother wanted to raise them in that hothousing and exhausting way and was prepared to do the pushing, pulling, chauffering and putting up with rebellion, then fair enough, but he was going to be Nice Daddy and just be there for kisses, hugs and recitals.In any case, it didn t last When the eldest daughter rebelled the mother caved in I almost heard a guilty sigh of relief from her at this point just as she will when the other, placid, child, gets a hormonal surge of rebelliousness in a year or two.There are three different ways of seeing childhood As a precious time to be cherished and indulged for its own sake As an expected part of life without too much philosophising or deviation from how it is in your community kindergarten, local school, college or not and then you re on your own Or the third, driven way, as being the time when one lays down the skills, resume and connections necessary for a glittering, high earning adult life And that s how the Tiger Mother saw it Tigger Daddy was of the second option Not a very laid back upbringing and one totally at odds with my own philosophy but just because her way isn t my way doesn t mean I don t think she isn t doing the right thing Each to his own Her to New York city and me to the slooow pace of island life Her great ambition is to get her kids into law school or similar and my kid, despite our no pressure life style made it there all the same The bonus for her kids is when its time for them to have major angst and go into therapy, they will really have something to grind up and get their money s worth sorting out My kid therapy Hmmm, what s he got to complain of with a perfect mum like me Some of my friends may be horrified, BUT I do not believe Amy Chua is the devil I actually agree with a lot of what she believes Although sometimes she may go over the top with it keeping your daughter up practicing until after midnight is just not okay in my book , I think that this disciplined, practice practice practice idea is the way to achieve greatness It s funny Yesterday in the car, I was explaining to my daughter Bianca my theory on talents It went like this I think that having a talent in something gives you an early success and that makes you want to do the thing again and get that feeling of success again So I don t think that if something comes naturally then you shouldn t have to work at it Then later, as I was reading this book, Chua explains it in a similar way What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you re good at it To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist things are always hardest at the beginning Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence rote repetition is underrated in math, piano, pitching, or ballet he or she gets praise, admiration, and satisfaction This builds confidence and makes the once not fun activity fun This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even Practice is the only way you can be good at something Now, I have to admit that reading about Lulu and Sophia s practice sessions with mom hovering sounds a lot like what happens at my house on given days I didn t MAKE Bianca choose to play viola although piano is required by me as if it were another subject in school But Bianca chose music and I choose to make sure if I m going to put the money into her private lessons and expensive instruments, then I am damn well going to get my money s worth I ve threatened to make Bianca stop doing private lessons, then she cries and cries and goes over and does what she needs to do Because she likes being good at something Her thing is music You see, I ll never be a soccer or football mom, but I m already a music mom There s a whole vicious world out there It really is cut throat as Chua explains And it is highly dominated by the Chinese There s got to be a reason for that, and I think it does come down to Chinese parenting.And I think sometimes we re so worried about our kids self confidence that a lot of mothers praise their kids even when they don t deserve it I was once at the library when they were doing a little craft for children It was coloring a pirate hat and when you were finished, you could go get a golden dabloon Anyway, Portia was working on her hat for about twenty minutes when a little boy comes and sits next to us and starts scribbling crazily on the hat and his mom was praising him What a great job it s wonderful and I was thinking if that were Portia, I d say You re not doing your best work No dabloon Why would I praise her for doing mediocre work The part in this book about Chua rejecting her daughter s birthday card was okay with me I ve done a similar thing I know what my daughters are capable of and I expect them to do their best work I don t think we should praise mediocre work or why would our kids ever need to try harder Also, when Chua said that she made her daughter keep practicing although I would have given up way before Chua did because she believed in her, it kind of makes sense She was showing her daughter how much confidence she had in her by NOT letting her quit She knew her daughter could do it was it abuse or a confidence builder On the other hand as Chua discovers at the end, you ve still got to give a little There s a balance here that needs to be met that will work for each child and you are the parent and only you know it I actually see bits and pieces of both Sophia and Lulu in my Bianca, depending on the day and her mood I do know that my child has a lot of potential and if encouragement will help her be something a little above and beyond, then by all means I ll do it I actually don t think Chua was being selfish okay, it does feel good to have someone praise your child as it is a reflection on you but the child will not regret knowing how to play an instrument in the long run I fought my mom every day as a child and I m so, so, so glad she never let me stop playing the piano I enjoy it now than I ever knew I could It s actually a very relaxing thing to sit down and play The book was funny at times, informative, and deeply absorbing Even if you don t agree with chinese parenting , I d say this isn t a bad book for any parent to read. I loved this book This family is so interesting it reads almost like fiction It has been a long time since I could pick up a book and thoroughly enjoy it, but this one was a breeze to enjoy It s so entertaining She is funny, witty, intelligent, and.I have read a lot of criticism about her parenting style I can understand why people might criticize her, but when I have looked deeper into her actions and read the book carefully I see that she is a very caring mother Her style is just different The kids don t feel abused because they know that she loves them, otherwise they would not survive the pressure But they do survive, and excel The basis is the foundation of their relationship which is not explained in this book.For example, when it was her birthday and her two girls gave her a birthday card that they made themselves she said to them never to give her such a gift that they probably made in minutes Then she retold of how when she was a kid on her mom s birthday she would get up early , clean the house, and make her mom breakfast When I read this there is no way I can think she is an abusive and mean mom to her kids One child complained that she had to do piano practice that day so she didn t have time, and the mom said, so you should have gotten up earlier There is strictness no doubt, but not mean She is tough, but not aggressive or violent She lets her kids express themselves, sometimes wildly and aggressively such as when Lulu tears up the music script , but the mom doesn t react by beating her, as some moms might Instead she buckles down and gets determined to win and teach her child the music piece Why Because as she says, she has faith in her kids, and knows they can do well She won t let them fail, which is what happens to many western parents she says The worst thing she says is to give into the child s frustrations because then you are telling the child that they are right, and that they cannot do it Instead she seems to stick with them until they achieve It s several days later since writing the above.I m reading it again I love the freshness of her personality, the openess, the frankness, the directness She is such a trooper, so much on her plate, but she keeps going, flying to California for a lunchtime speaking engagement and returning to the east coast the same day She is forever on top of her children making sure they are keeping up with their music practice She includes a script of directions that she gives to Lulu when she isn t there to supervise her This script is so detailed I wonder how long it took her to write it And she says she has hundreds if not thousands of them laying about the house Her passion for life is irresistible I love her honesty in telling the story that led up to her running out of the cafe in Red Square in St Petersburg, in sandals, and crying Great stuff I want to hang out with her