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‘Crouching Westerner, Hidden Tiger’

15 Feb

Need new reading material?.. Do yourself a favour and buy a copy of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Professor Amy Chua. This book outlines the harsh parenting methods she says are typical of Chinese families and that are highly effective in producing successful children as opposed to the ‘lax’ Western kind. Chua sheds light on the way Chinese parents pretend to be very liberal in their attitude towards their children’s upbringing when while in private the reality could not be more opposite.

The very first page of her book she sets the tone when she lists some of the things that her children were never allowed to do. Among the offending items: “attend a sleepover; have a playmate; be in a school play; complain about not being in a school play; watch TV or play computer games; choose their own extra-curricular 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 violin.”

Super working mum of two, Ms. Chua became a law professor and now teaches at Yale. She and her husband, another Yale law professor, hired a Chinese nanny to speak Mandarin, though Ms. Chua doesn’t speak it herself. Ms. Chua grew up as a Roman Catholic, but her daughters were raised as Jews. The book has attracted international uproar as well as profound support from fans of the ‘school of hard knocks’.

Check out this recent interview conducted by CNN as Professor Chua is put in the hot seat:

I know this is going to stir the old hornet’s nest regarding ‘to smack or not to smack?’, but if you’ve read this book, what are your thoughts?

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