Saturday, February 16, 2013

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Amy Chua)

(This is not a post about how I find Chinese and Western parenting & whether or not I support/ condemn Amy Chua's parenting although I truly enjoyed her memoir and I certainly agreed with most of her views)

When I first read this memoir, after discovering it among a stack of leadership books at my training center's library, I found it hilarious and honest. I then got myself a copy and took my time to read it for the second time two months later.

I was filled with mainly two thoughts. Firstly, I recall with bitterness those days with an oppressively strict and demanding mom. Yes, I had a tiger mom. Afterall, I am an Asian living in a developing Asian country. But then again, I think it is unjustified to relate it to my background because my younger siblings were not entirely subject to the same parenting style. Everything Amy Chua shared was no stranger to me, except the part about playing musical instruments. Like Lulu, I rebelled. I was determined to make her life hell. At one point, things got so bad between us that we didn't speak to each other for a minimum 5 years. My liberal and supportive dad, who gave me all the choices and freedom in life, borne the brunt of the conflict. Things finally improved when I turned 18. Nevertheless, we still have this love-hate relationship going on today. After reading this memoir, I realized I was not alone as I previously assumed other teenage daughter-mother pairs seemed to have no problem getting along just fine.

Secondly, I start to question whether I have pushed myself hard enough to the limit. There are truths we simply can't deny. The younger generation, who has it so easy compared to their parents and grandparents, can be self-indulgent and pathetic. I looked around and saw peers who felt entitled to good things in life without wanting to fight hard for them. Then I was reminded that I too, was guilty of spoiledness and laziness. If we don't work as hard as possible and climb as high a mountain as we can when we are still young, we will never have the energy to do it when we are older. Among the meaningful quotes are:
'Everything valuable and worthwhile is difficult.'
"Nothing is fun until you are good at it."
"There is nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn't."

1 comment:

  1. I don't have a tiger mom but I pressure myself a lot more. But I think children would benefit from having one. What's the point of raising a bunch of spoilt brat?

    I read this 2 Augusts ago but I did not review it.