Parenting Department

Are you a 'Tiger Mother'?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A lively conversation began after Post columnist Petula Dvorak wrote about Amy Chua's book on parenting, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Chua, a Yale Law School professor, contends that Chinese parenting is in some ways superior to the relatively undemanding Western style of parenting.

hakafos44: What works for one does not work for many.

llucke: The important consideration here is whether child-rearing is a sprint or a marathon.

If the goal is to get the kid into the [insert name of prestigious program here], then this method surely produces the result.

For me, though, the goal is to have a happy, productive adult whose company I enjoy and who likes spending time with me.

crazy2da: My parents didn't parent this way at all. No screaming, not a lot of pushing. They had firm expectations, and provided a lot of support. There were consequences for breaking rules, and we definitely had to do our work. We are all accomplished, successful adults.

karlmarx2: Bullying parenting is bullying of the absolutely worst kind. Giving it a sexy name like "Tiger" doesn't disguise that fact. Endorsing it in any way is horrible beyond comprehension.

limpscomb: No one knows what their child will eventually become as an adult. We must do our best for them as well as for ourselves, as when they leave we will remain and if we did our parenting with love and understanding, they will return it to us.

DecafDrinker: Chua's daughters were projects for her, not objects of affection.

playahatah: My parents were very tough on me, especially my dad. He once told me that he didn't want a coward and a quitter for a son and one day I would thank him for it. I might have resented and maybe even hated him at the time, but now I completely understand.

Every time I see an adult quit or wilt or whine in the face of even a little adversity, I think to myself that their parents must have been soft on them.


© 2011 The Washington Post Company