Things that make you go hmmm....: "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior"
When I first read the article "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior", I wasn't sure if it was a joke. As an Asian American mama myself, I hated the stereotypes the article perpetuated. I have since calmed, and I appreciated reading Amy Chua's response to readers.
When I was growing up, my parents decided what were acceptable extracurricular activities. I had some independence (they did not necessarily prefer that I played soccer or basketball, but they allowed it), with the only expectation that I would do the best that I could (i.e. "excel") in any of my activities, from sports to academics. I recall a memorable lecture from my father; the gist of it was "you will never be mediocre." Luckily, I did pretty well and rose to the challenge.
Now that I am an adult, I cherish mediocrity. Now that I am a parent, I find myself shirking from applying pressure on the kids. "I don't want to practice the piano!" they say. So, I respond, "Ok", shrugging shoulders. My partner, however, does have the strict streak, even raising the voice to a stern-almost-scolding tone when insisting that they practice, practice, practice when they have already reached their limits.
"Eastern", "western" or not, the original article begs the questions: when it comes to extracurricular activities, are you strict with practicing until perfect? When it comes to socializing, do you allow your children less latitude, in favor of academics and parent-selected activities? Do you think there is value to applying rigidity, regimen, pressure and expectation in the kids' lives? Or, do you opt for the child-directed? Leaving expectations self-set and pressure low or nonexistent?