Recently there has been much debate on American parenting versus Chinese parenting. Amy Chua’s ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ has raised some serious concerns about parenting. In contrast to American mothers she believes herself to be disciplined and strict parent. Unlike them she follows a set of rules for her two daughters.
The traditional model of parenting is something very similar to Indian parenting. Apparently there is a different approach altogether in India these days. The best way to describe is somewhat in the middle of being strict and soft. But this ‘Madhyamarg’ also results in a child’s mediocre performance.
Many researchers have proposed that the constant pressure to do well in a way instills the urge to excel. There are a many case studies of some of the geniuses whose parents pushed them on to do well.
The book also emphasis on this mantra of success as simple and straightforward. It is making your child do hard work and follow discipline to succeed in life. The tough competition we have to face is something inculcated right from the childhood. It is like making your child so used to being on the top and nothing else. So being a good parent demands being a strict parent for a bright future of the child.
The question arises that is this not making a way for soring high ambitions. What if a child’s performance is below average. If that be the case then it can lead to negative effect on his\her overall personality. Instances of student suicides are not unknown to us. The failure to get good grades sometimes results in such serious steps.
Amy Chua’s memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and the book’s excerpt, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal a few days before the book’s debut. In the excerpt, which was called “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” Chua outlined her own strict rules of parenting, revealing a list of things her two daughters–who are, in fact, musical prodigies–were never allowed to do:
- attend a sleepover
- have a playdate
- be in a school play
- complain about not being in a school play
- watch TV or play computer games
- choose their own extracurricular activities
- get any grade less than an A
- not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
- play any instrument other than the piano or violin
- not play the piano or violin
I could describe my parents as a mix of strict and soft. During the formative years there was constant check on the report card. All through my school years me and my siblings were reprimanded for the poor performance. Especially my mother who seemed to be never satisfied and would always say that you could have done a lot better. My mother was not really a tiger mother but just a mom for me, a pillar of strength to rely on. Once I left school and entered college I was left to make my own choices.
Whatever I am today is result of all that and my own choices. I believe that it could have never made me better person or more accomplished in the worldly sense if my parents have dictated me on each of my moves. All that I pursued were set of right and wrong choices. Along with there is a sense of satisfaction of doing what I wanted to. I feel confident and moving on to achieve more. The urge to do something is as alive as ever.Therefore I am not able to relate to the idea of being a control freak and constantly keeping a watch on your children’s daily activities.
On second thoughts I can’t even reject Amy Chua’s ideology completely. Whatever it is that certainly has made her daughter get accepted in Harvard and Yale.http://www.businessinsider.com/tiger-mom-wins-daughter-gets-into-both-harvard-and-yale-2011-4 . We certainly need to reconsider the right way of parenting. Is it Chinese or American or somewhere in between ‘Madhyamarg’ ????