Amy Chua: Inspiring or Cringe Worthy?

Last night I sat at the table after dinner with Tweedle Dee practising for her upcoming spelling test.  As a grade one student in  french-immersion we try our best to learn 6 or 7 new words a week. 

Some weeks it’s a breeze, this week was not one of them.  Instead of taking a deep breath and moving on hoping next week would be better I morphed into a Tiger mother and was convinced that she could and would learn all 6 of these words because I knew she could, damn it. 

We were going to sit there and go over and over and over the spelling words until they just rolled across the page.  I heard myself saying things like “Not everything in life is fun.”  Classic I know.  “Spelling will never be fun or easy or something you want to do but I know you can do it.”  And I hate to say it but this went on and on and on. 

I know I was inspired but what I have read about the new book by Amy Chua, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”.  The excerpt published in the Wall Street Journal that has since gone viral and provoked a wide swath of controversy in its path.  Although a lot of what she says is controversial,  some of her points hit home with me.

For Chua explains that effort is everything in life.  As we all know to get good at anything in life takes work and who as an adult let alone a child wants to work for something without someone pushing you and believing in you? 

 I know there are times when I would give my right arm to have a Tiger Mother breathing down my neck and demanding that I will do it because she knows I can and I will not be leaving the table until I do.  Who couldn’t use that every once in awhile?

I must admit that I did not hold my Tiger transformation for long.  As soon as Tweedle Dee pushed back and looked up at me with tears in her eyes I retracted my claws.  Did she learn all of them? No.  Does it make a difference?  That I can’t answer but I just requested Chua’s book from the library to learn more.

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3 responses to “Amy Chua: Inspiring or Cringe Worthy?

  1. When I my kids were younger I found myself turning into Tiger mom on many many occasions. I think it’s because we tend to see the potential in them that they claim isn’t there, “I can’t do this, it’s too hard, I don’t understand”
    I’ve learned that Tiger tactics works with only some kids. The others, well let’s just say the tears proved to be too much for me too.
    Great post!

  2. Great post! Well said and makes me think. Thanks!

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