A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what Chinese 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...Amy Chua's daughters, Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) were polite, ...
A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what Chinese 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...Amy Chua's daughters, Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) were polite, interesting and helpful, they were two years ahead of their classmates in maths and had exceptional musical abilities. But Sophia and Lulu were never allowed to attend a sleepover, be in a school play, choose their own extracurricular activities, get any grade less than an A, and not be the #1 student in every subject (except gym and drama). And they had to practice their instruments for hours every day, as well as in school breaks and on family holidays. The Chinese-parenting model certainly seemed to produce results. But what happens when you do not tolerate disobedience and are confronted by a screaming child who would sooner freeze outside in the cold than be forced to play the piano? In Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua relates her experiences raising her children the 'Chinese way', and how dutiful, patient Sophia flourished under the regime and how tenacious, hot-tempered Lulu rebelled. It is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It's also about Mozart and Mendelssohn, the piano and the violin, and how they made it to Carnegie Hall. It 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 you can be humbled by a thirteen-year-old. Witty, entertaining and provocative, this is a unique and important book that will transform your perspective of parenting forever.
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I was interested to see what all the hype was about and very curious to read this story. It started out very engaging and I could very well relate to what she was saying growing up in an Asian home myself. But the whole story revolves around her obsession with getting her children to practice music which 1) you get tired of even reading about and 2) really feel bad for the children. She tries to redeem herself in the end by saying how her children appreciate her for pushing them so hard but I can't imagine what the children lost in the process. She defines that giving her children this hard discipline leads to happiness in the Chinese sense which I don't agree. Success does not mean happiness and the way she ended her story was weak, as if she had to come to conclusion as to how she chose to raise her children to justify her doing it in this way.
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