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In Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, the author Amy Chua not only strikes a blow at "Western" parenting but introduces the "Chinese" way of raising children.
Summary Of The Book
In Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua introduces her readers to her own parenting methodology. The author criticises the Western way of dealing with kids, which allows them a childhood of fun and games, and she also looks down upon junk food and Facebook, as these aspects are detrimental to the future lives of children.
While the Western notion is that children must be allowed to explore their own creative sides and encouraged, owing nothing to their parents when they grow up, the Chinese are of the view that children are the parents' responsibilities and it is up to the parents to turn them into skilled, confident, and gifted individuals. Even if that "gift" is forced upon them, once they grace it, they will start loving it, and it will prove to be beneficial to them once they step out into the world.
Some of the parenting techniques she describes have been lashed at and condemned. For instance, the author details how she refused her daughter water breaks or bathroom breaks until she perfected a piece on her piano. Eventually, the child masters it. The kids were not allowed sleepovers, playdates, or roles in school plays. Instead, they were made to prepare for the future. At one instance, on receiving a handmade birthday card from her daughter, she snubbed her by telling that she could have put in more thought and effort into it and she even told the child that she didn't want it.
All these incidents sound extremely harsh when it comes to parenting. However, there is no denying the fact that it results in highly skilled and competent children who excel in every field. Of course, the average American parent, much like Chua's husband himself, was mortified at her treatment of her children. However, in a world where it is assumed that emerging powers like China will soon topple the United States, it also instills a quiet fear.
Published on January 11, 2011, this book went on to sell millions of copies and garnered a lot of hype for its controversial content. It received mixed reviews. While some readers and critics were generally appalled, others were impressed by the results of her parenting. Most critics, however, were of the view that it was an engaging, at the same time a shocking, read. The Wall Street Journal garnered a lot of responses for the book, which were both negative as well as positive. Chua, in her defense, said that this was in no way a parenting guide, but just a memoir.
About Amy Chua
After teaching law at Duke University, Amy Chua now teaches law at Yale Law School.
Other books by Amy Chua include World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (2003), and Day of Empire: How Hyper-powers Rise to Global Dominance - and Why They Fall (2007).
Amy Chua's writing style is humorous, engaging, and revelatory.
Chua is married to Yale professor of Law, Jed Rubenfeld, and has two daughters Sophia and Louisa. She is of Chinese descent and lives in Connecticut. Her first book was a best seller, and she is also an expert in ethnic conflict, globalization, law and development, and the study of international business transactions.