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  1. #41
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Totally agree with fidelia's assessment.

    I do think Western parents place far too much emphasis on building self-esteem that hasn't been earned in any way. I see the results in the generation I teach. So many students who do average or below average work that believe they deserve top grades. Faculty essentially being asked to be more understanding, to "enable their success," to dumb down and not have high standards. It's hard to teach someone that is used to getting by with little to no effort.

    I also agree that there are many worthwhile things a kid will not want to do, but a parent should make them do it/stick with it, anyway. If I'd had a choice, I'm sure I'd have quit piano somewhere along the way. I had good years and bad years and indifferent years. But since my mother informed me I wouldn't be quitting, I eventually accepted it, and I am definitely grateful. Kids don't know what's best for them. They won't volunteer to do things that feel like work. Kids are inherently lazy, and will get away with what they're allowed to get away with. I was like that. I appreciated having someone make me follow through.

    Here's the difference, though: my mom made me keep taking lessons, but she also let me play music I liked. I'd have to practice the classical stuff, but she'd buy me books with songs from the radio or whatever, and let me explore and have fun with it. The kid needs to get some enjoyment out of the experience.

    I think the ideal is probably somewhere in the middle. There's definitely a problem with the current western way, but I wouldn't be comfortable with Chua's way, even if it produced results.
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  2. #42
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    I love how people are talking in thread (some, not all) about this small snippet of a much larger book that talks about Amy Chua's transformation as a parent. This excerpt has received much of the press, but Chua indeed has evolved as a mother due to a crisis she had parenting her second daughter (during her daughter's early teen years).
    Well, we can't exactly talk about a book if we haven't read it. All we have is the excerpt quoted here, which is why everyone is commenting on the excerpt rather than the book.

    No matter how difficult parenting is, this particular method sounds pretty insane based on the excerpt. I suppose it's theoretically possible that the rest of the book shows an entirely different parenting style, but I haven't read it so I can't say.

    I might try to find this book at the library though, since it does sound interesting.
    -end of thread-

  3. #43
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    The MacLean's article I read suggested that as her second daughter started to rebel, Amy Chua started to relax a little, allowing things like sleepovers from time to time, some computer time etc. I'd find it interesting to read the whole book though.

  4. #44
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Here's a timely Cracked.com article: humor with a point!

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19026...ate-china.html

  5. #45
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    If you haven't heard of it by now, googling "Amy Chua" should give you plenty of news stories and angry blogs about this book.

    So since this has sparked much debate elsewhere on the interwebs... What do the members of TypoC think about 'Tiger Mom'?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...528698754.html
    So funny. The next door neighbor speaking about her husband. "He fat. He lazy." It's exactly what she said. She's Japanese though.

    Here's a story in favor of coercion, Chinese-style. Lulu was about 7, still playing two instruments, and working on a piano piece called "The Little White Donkey" by the French composer Jacques Ibert. The piece is really cute—you can just imagine a little donkey ambling along a country road with its master—but it's also incredibly difficult for young players because the two hands have to keep schizophrenically different rhythms.

    Lulu couldn't do it. We worked on it nonstop for a week, drilling each of her hands separately, over and over. But whenever we tried putting the hands together, one always morphed into the other, and everything fell apart. Finally, the day before her lesson, Lulu announced in exasperation that she was giving up and stomped off.

    "Get back to the piano now," I ordered.

    "You can't make me."

    "Oh yes, I can."

    Back at the piano, Lulu made me pay. She punched, thrashed and kicked. She grabbed the music score and tore it to shreds. I taped the score back together and encased it in a plastic shield so that it could never be destroyed again. Then I hauled Lulu's dollhouse to the car and told her I'd donate it to the Salvation Army piece by piece if she didn't have "The Little White Donkey" perfect by the next day. When Lulu said, "I thought you were going to the Salvation Army, why are you still here?" I threatened her with no lunch, no dinner, no Christmas or Hanukkah presents, no birthday parties for two, three, four years. When she still kept playing it wrong, I told her she was purposely working herself into a frenzy because she was secretly afraid she couldn't do it. I told her to stop being lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic.

    Jed took me aside. He told me to stop insulting Lulu—which I wasn't even doing, I was just motivating her—and that he didn't think threatening Lulu was helpful. Also, he said, maybe Lulu really just couldn't do the technique—perhaps she didn't have the coordination yet—had I considered that possibility?

    "You just don't believe in her," I accused.

    "That's ridiculous," Jed said scornfully. "Of course I do."

    "Sophia could play the piece when she was this age."

    "But Lulu and Sophia are different people," Jed pointed out.

    "Oh no, not this," I said, rolling my eyes. "Everyone is special in their special own way," I mimicked sarcastically. "Even losers are special in their own special way. Well don't worry, you don't have to lift a finger. I'm willing to put in as long as it takes, and I'm happy to be the one hated. And you can be the one they adore because you make them pancakes and take them to Yankees games."

    I rolled up my sleeves and went back to Lulu. I used every weapon and tactic I could think of. We worked right through dinner into the night, and I wouldn't let Lulu get up, not for water, not even to go to the bathroom. The house became a war zone, and I lost my voice yelling, but still there seemed to be only negative progress, and even I began to have doubts.

    Then, out of the blue, Lulu did it. Her hands suddenly came together—her right and left hands each doing their own imperturbable thing—just like that.

    Lulu realized it the same time I did. I held my breath. She tried it tentatively again. Then she played it more confidently and faster, and still the rhythm held. A moment later, she was beaming.

    "Mommy, look—it's easy!" After that, she wanted to play the piece over and over and wouldn't leave the piano. That night, she came to sleep in my bed, and we snuggled and hugged, cracking each other up. When she performed "The Little White Donkey" at a recital a few weeks later, parents came up to me and said, "What a perfect piece for Lulu—it's so spunky and so her."

    Even Jed gave me credit for that one. Western parents worry a lot about their children's self-esteem. But as a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child's self-esteem is to let them give up. On the flip side, there's nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn't.

    There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids' true interests. For their part, many Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it's a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.

    Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they're capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away.
    There is another possible outcome of this. Child learns to hate piano and quits playing.

    Somewhere, there is an approach that is more middle ground that would be effective.

    Please provide feedback on my Nohari and Johari Window by clicking here: Nohari/Johari

    Tri-type 639

  6. #46
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Well, we can't exactly talk about a book if we haven't read it. All we have is the excerpt quoted here, which is why everyone is commenting on the excerpt rather than the book.
    Oh I agree totally! And this is how the book really gained notoriety too ... that excerpt was printed in the WSJ pre-publication with the provocative title "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" ... there's very interesting dialogue coming out of her memoirs!

    Edit: this too should be of interest to review: http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/2...enting-debate/ - the Tiger Mom had help ...
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  7. #47
    He who laughs
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I read a McLeans article interviewing Amy Chua with interest.

    As a teacher, I've noticed a huge trend in schools that downplays the role of "rote" learning and direct instruction. As a result, many children have not had the repetitions needed to develop basic skills needed to do anything in those subjects.

    In addition to this, an increasing number of children have not had their wills crossed before they arrive at school. This results in children who cannot listen to instructions, adapt to routines, do things in the way they are requested and listen attentively. They are self-centred, not adaptable and quite demanding, making it increasingly difficult to get as much accomplished in a group setting.

    As parents become busier and are also dealing with split households, some expect schools to take on responsibilities that were traditionally theirs: caring for emotional needs, training in routines, feeding children, offering counselling, doing homework, listening to reading etc. There simply is not enough time in the day to cover all of this.

    Principals are reluctant to make parents accountable for their child's behaviour and both teachers and principals are loathe to publicly state that there is a problem, lest it reflect on their own competance, or not effect change and simply make ripples that complicate their work and career path.

    Therefore, content is getting watered down as teachers simply do not have the hammers to make children do what they need to, they don't have the time because there is such a high volume of need and lack of reinforcement at home, and they are not allowed to instruct in ways that would most quickly equip children with the required skills for success. Unfortunately, content is the vehicle for teaching children the basic life skills they need: confidence, character and communication. Without these skills they will be unsuccessful at anything they try, in or out of the academic realm.

    Amy Chua's statement that nothing is fun until you are good at it and children naturally are not inclined to do things that are not fun is true. We as a culture and within the educational system have gone to a very child-centred model of parenting and teaching. This is not serving us or our children well. Aquision of real skills is a huge source of identity for children (which both busies them, and helps protect them from negative peer influences), develops close relationships between adults and children, and lays the groundwork for children learning the other skills needed to be successful in life. It is not easy work, and it requires people that will help them through the hard parts and who will guide them in their progress.

    I used to teach an adult fiddling class and found that people would often buy all the gear before they had even had a lesson, be unwilling to practice in between classes, and finally quit because they just "wanted to jam out". They didn't understand that you cannot "jam out" until you are able to hold the instrument effectively and make pleasing sound, which involves coordination between two hands. To attain even basic skills, it requires hours of practice. I could not sit with them for hours while they did their "homework" and so they ended up quitting. If adults, who are accustomed to identifying and solving problems have difficulty with this, how much more are children likely to, who have not had prior experiences in problem-solving and who have yet to develop the character traits needed that allow them to stick with it?

    Secondly, I think Amy Chua makes an excellent point that parents need to be prepared to be in the trenches just as much as their children. This is something that the majority of Western parents are unable or unwilling to do. It takes an incredible amount of committment, stamina, determination, time and relationship to help your child learn something difficult. I often encounter parents who want to drop their children off for music lessons and place all the responsibility for success on their child. It simply doesn't work that way.

    I insist on parents having an hour long meeting with me before I accept their children for lessons so that they understand the level of committment required of THEM: showing up at lessons and taking notes, being the teacher during the week, making time in the schedule for daily practice, working with their child and encouraging them as well as teaching them how to make effective use of the time spent on task, arranging for emotional reinforcement through family members and friends listening to the child's progress, setting goals and helping the child attain them, asking me the questions they need to be able to help their child, purchasing an instrument that will work effectively and hiring an accompanist when needed.

    Most Western parents simply do not have the time to do this, or they aren't willing to. In many cases, their relationship with the child is not strong enough that the child would take direction from them, and they do not have/do not wish to spend the time in strengthening it so that they could embark on something together. I believe that if they were willing to do this in one area, they would have much more secure, happy, successful kids who have a sense of identity and who are able to take on challenges and risks much better as they become adults. Walking a child through the process helps the child to see the end prize is worth it and gives a sense of pride in self and accomplish. It also develops character.

    I think that Amy Chua ignores the need for a positive relationship with the child. I am not saying that a parent should never cross a child's will. However at some point, a child will become too big for a parent to control, and if they do not learn to lead by establishing the child's trust in them, they will not be able to help their child any longer. Given a choice between too overbearing and too uninvolved though, I would venture to say that the overbearing parent will create a more secure child than the uninvolved one.

    A love of something is best fostered through the child wanting to please the parent because the child's heart is tied in closely with theirs and they want to emulate their parent's loves, interests and desires. I do know that this works, as I got an enormous amount accomplished during my junior high and high school years, but my mother was in the trenches with me and provided the emotional support that made me buy in and feel that it was worthwhile. I don't think it would have produced a longterm love of music if she had not taken into account the emotional element and had she used some of Amy Chua's methods, I know that I would have responded very badly.

    I've concluded that a parent can expect that a child will be fickle and also needs guidance in learning how to work, so it is not fair to the child to leave their success up to them. They simply do not have access to the information or the emotional fortitude to see the benefit in the long run. At the same time, a parent can only expect to direct AFTER they take the time to connect with their child and listen to them. I disagree with Amy Chua's methods (name calling, shaming, threats of loss etc), even though I do think western culture does need a pendulum swing as far as achievement and parental involvement.

    I'm glad that Amy Chua did write this book though, as it opens up this sort of discussion.
    I totally agrees with this, especially the bolded.

    We all know that its always in the start of learning a new subject that its the hardest. So if parents know this, why dont they use that knowledge on their children?

    When it comes to music we dont need more musicians that can copy how their tutors are playing or how some tutor system wants them to play. They need to jam find their own sound. Its like giving students in artschool sketches to draw from only.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Totally agree with fidelia's assessment.

    I do think Western parents place far too much emphasis on building self-esteem that hasn't been earned in any way. I see the results in the generation I teach. So many students who do average or below average work that believe they deserve top grades. Faculty essentially being asked to be more understanding, to "enable their success," to dumb down and not have high standards. It's hard to teach someone that is used to getting by with little to no effort.

    I also agree that there are many worthwhile things a kid will not want to do, but a parent should make them do it/stick with it, anyway. If I'd had a choice, I'm sure I'd have quit piano somewhere along the way. I had good years and bad years and indifferent years. But since my mother informed me I wouldn't be quitting, I eventually accepted it, and I am definitely grateful. Kids don't know what's best for them. They won't volunteer to do things that feel like work. Kids are inherently lazy, and will get away with what they're allowed to get away with. I was like that. I appreciated having someone make me follow through.

    Here's the difference, though: my mom made me keep taking lessons, but she also let me play music I liked. I'd have to practice the classical stuff, but she'd buy me books with songs from the radio or whatever, and let me explore and have fun with it. The kid needs to get some enjoyment out of the experience.

    I think the ideal is probably somewhere in the middle. There's definitely a problem with the current western way, but I wouldn't be comfortable with Chua's way, even if it produced results.
    Agreed and again the bolded in particular.

    Personally, my parents taught me to excel, but I was not an easy child to get to actually excel. I was beyond lazy. I might even have needed that extra push to excel. Now, I sit with a mediocre education that eventhough its in a field I enjoy still dont give me any job and even worse it so beyond the potential I actually did have. Now, at 33 Im thinking of going back to school, but its going to take me until Im 38-39 maybe 40 until I can get a degree.
    Last edited by slowriot; 02-07-2011 at 06:15 PM. Reason: video taken down, I already posted that somewhere I think.....

  8. #48
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Most Western parents simply do not have the time to do this, or they aren't willing to. In many cases, their relationship with the child is not strong enough that the child would take direction from them, and they do not have/do not wish to spend the time in strengthening it so that they could embark on something together. I believe that if they were willing to do this in one area, they would have much more secure, happy, successful kids who have a sense of identity and who are able to take on challenges and risks much better as they become adults. Walking a child through the process helps the child to see the end prize is worth it and gives a sense of pride in self and accomplish. It also develops character.

    I think that Amy Chua ignores the need for a positive relationship with the child. I am not saying that a parent should never cross a child's will. However at some point, a child will become too big for a parent to control, and if they do not learn to lead by establishing the child's trust in them, they will not be able to help their child any longer. Given a choice between too overbearing and too uninvolved though, I would venture to say that the overbearing parent will create a more secure child than the uninvolved one.
    Don't you think theres a point where the child will understand why the parent acted the way they did, and appreciate them? I mean, the way I was raised wasn't Amy-Chua-Strict, but it was along the same lines. I was very much at odds with my parents - especially my mother - early in high school... But by the time I moved out of the house and gained understanding about her motives and her reasons behind everything... I really appreciated everything she did for me. And in the interviews with Amy Chua's children I have seen, they seem to mirror that same kind of appreciation. I just don't see how - if everything is for the greater benefit of the child - that child can walk away feeling like they were wronged.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  9. #49
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    ENTJ women, bashing Amy Chua is bashing yourselves. I don't get whats so difficult to understand about this.

    ENTJ women=Tiger moms
    Tiger moms=ENTJ women

    It is just an extreme example of J parenting.
    The fear of poverty turns people into slaves of money.

    "In this Caesar there are many Mariuses"~Sulla

    Conquer your inner demons first before you conquer the world.

  10. #50
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yenom View Post
    ENTJ women, bashing Amy Chua is bashing yourselves. I don't get whats so difficult to understand about this.

    ENTJ women=Tiger moms
    Tiger moms=ENTJ women

    It is just an extreme example of J parenting.
    This couple is just an extreme example of P parenting:

    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/45591362.html

    I don't get why any P would bash it, bashing it is bashing yourself. You must not see it the way I do because I'm just so freakin' brilliant.

    -end of thread-

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