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"Tiger Mother" Backpedals On Hyper-Strict Parenting Advice

Illustration for article titled Tiger Mother Backpedals On Hyper-Strict Parenting Advice

Amy Chua's piece on "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior," which outlines her own hyper-strict parenting practices, has been causing a stir on the web. This morning on the Today Show, Chua softened her message a bit.

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Chua's Wall Street Journal essay — an excerpt from her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother — drew fire for statements like "the solution to substandard performance is always to excoriate, punish and shame the child." But in conversation with Meredith Vieira, Chua was a little more measured. She said her book chronicles her parenting mistakes as well as successes, and that in fact it's about "my own transformation as a mother." She added, "I think there are many good ways to be a good parent."

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Chinese "Tiger Mom" Defends Tough Parenting [MSNBC]
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior [WSJ]

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DISCUSSION

Amy Chua is sort of crazy here (and I'm hoping she's exaggerating to make a point) but I'm seen as a sort of Chua-monster at my daughter's school.

You know why? I check her spelling and make her re-write misspelled words 1o times. Before she submits a project, I review it with her and quiz her on it. When she completed a project that I felt was sub-standard, I made her re-do it. I make her read aloud to me every night and I correct her pronunciation. I check her math homework and insist on corrections. When she makes a commitment, she's forced to see it through.

Although I love my daughter endlessly, I recognize her major shortcoming is her willingness to let things slide; be lazy, etc., and I'm not afraid to point that out to her and to ensure that she doesn't rest on the laurels of being naturally bright.

I don't think it's abusive to hold your children to the standard that you expect of them.