Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

If you have a tiger mother and you have no idea what to buy for her this christmas, get your hands on Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, wrap it up nicely and give it to your mother. But this is only on the precondition that you are sure that she wouldn't treat it as a guidebook and starts dishing out the antics of Amy Chua one by one on you. If what she does surpasses Amy Chua, then get her this book to subtly tell her  to go easy on you. 

This is a very relaxing and easy read. It talks about different characters in her life, including her husband, her in-laws, her two daughters, her parents and sisters and her dog. And of course, the spotlight is put on her two children, Sophia and Louisa (Lulu), who are portrayed as they are under some dictatorship of sorts. So, they are not allowed to be in a school play, choose their own curricular activities, not play the piano or violin (or rather, to excel in it) etc. 

The publication of this book brought to the front issues of parenting between Asians (using this term very loosely) and Westerners. An excerpt of this could be seen on the Wall Street Journal Article, Why Chinese Mothers are Superior. Well, for all the disparaging comments that this book has gathered (mainly attacking her, not her writing), it needs to be emphasised that this is not a parenting book. It divided parents into two camps- the Amy Chua and the anti-Amy Chua camp. 

At the end of day, whichever camp you belong to, just treat this with a pinch of salt. It's afterall just meant to be an entertaining read! 

p.s. Came across the youtube link below and it was pretty amusing. I added this here, perhaps as a justification for Amy Chua's methods. For a person who threw a birthday card back to her daughter as it was poorly drawn, I'm quite sure she would not have allowed any of these reactions to happen. 


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