Dragon Parenting: A better choice?

I just finished Amy Chua's book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom". Coincidentally, I saw an article with her on CNN about the time that I finished it and she was reflecting on how at the time when she published this book, her girls told her: "Mom, no one is going to read this."

Were they ever wrong. She's been rocketed into the middle of the universe with such a controversial parenting style. Chua said in the interview that in reflecting on her newfound stardom, she thinks the reason for the books acclaim is that she tapped into two "nerves"- fear of China, and fear of parenting. She wrote the book as a memoir and an explanation of how Chinese methods of parenting are far superior than Western parenting styles. Recently her daughter was accepted into Yale, serving as vindication of her methods.

Is it better? As a teacher in Asia I see many of my Asian students obsess over grades with such a heightened sense of drive and ambition, that almost seems humorous. "An A- is a terrible grade!" The extoll. I also hear of parents focusing on the grade, the grade, the grade, and don't really look deeper to see whether or not the learning objective was met. All it seems to be for many of these parents, is chasing a grade.

Although many of my western parents and their kids have a more subdued approach, they don't focus so much (I'm generalizing here) on the grade, but that process. They tend to ask more question such as "Does Johnny seem to be improving?" and more touchy feely issues. I think a happy medium is what is ideal.

Regardless of your philosophy, I think the reason Mrs. Chua has become such a coveted, and perhaps targeted figure, (she has received death threats) is that she is rude awaking for many parents whose children are jockying for places at universities around the world. With the rise of Asia upon us, she signifies us of the drive and dedication of millions of more parents whose children wield motivation unfathomable to a western value system of learning and education. How can one compete?

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