Amy Chua wrote the notorious book, The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom. She has been trashed repeatedly over her theory of child-rearing. But let's take a look at her from a different angle.
I thought as a parent that I didn't want to raise my kids the way I was raised. I think a lot of people since the 60s thought that. But I think what we missed was that yes, our parents were harsh, but they were right too. Rather than take the best of what they did and use that, we kind of through out the rule book and came up with a lot of nonsense ideas, touchy feely crap and we screwed up our kids. I have never been big on competitive things. But there are some good things about it.
I don't believe in being harsh on my kids, but tough love, with love, might be the right thing. Kids don't like being told what to do, parents don't like being the bad guy, but perhaps we all need to tough it out and get it done. America's kids are lagging too far behind in the world. We need to kick some ass and take names, to push our kids to the top.
However, we do NOT need to be pushing them into the top schools, making them crazy about how they perform in grade school. in pre schoole. But we should get them the best schooling possible. We should make them do their MATH.
First and foremost, they need to learn CRITICAL THINKING.
They need playtime, but they need school time, lots of it. One thing my kids did get, was homework, they finished it. They got good grades. There were problems, there were issues, but they are really bright, smart and excellent critical thinkers now as adults.
What they are lacking in if anything, is that motivational factor that I got from my parents. Not something to push them into suicide, or trying to be a CEO, the President, or something like that, but to focus, to achive a goal, and finish whatever they start. Not to have to "be" somebody, but to be themselves, to decide what they want, to go get it, and to be happy.
My parents didn't give me all those things, but neither did I give my kids all those things either. I think, I hope, all parents try their hardest, do their best for their kids. I know I did, but I also know many parents who didn't, who thought they did but were too self centered, self serving, to actually go the distance all the way for their kids.
So I think Tiger Mom is right. And I think we should take a closer look at ourselves. Read her book. Make up your own mind. Do for your kids what your parents didn't do for you, and what you won't do for your kids. Recognize your failings, and stand up to the bar, raise yourself up to your standard and your kid's standards.
We need more. Our kids need more from us. Let's give it to them.