Sunday, January 23, 2011

Learnings from Parenthood – Learnings from Amy Chua

Tiger Mom Amy Chua has sparked unprecedented debate about parenting styles and what is good and what isn’t, what works and what does not. Apparently, her article in WSJ titled “Why Chinese Mothers are superior” was the most forwarded title for 1 week, ahead of adult videos.  Amy has literally opened a pandora’s box by attacking western parenting style and positioning what she calls as Chinese parenting style as the supreme style. There is a consensus emerging in the blogosphere about her views not being representative of the Chinese community and that her methods not really keeping up with times. I have however, learnt a lot from her thoughts and I want to thank Amy for that.

Thank you Amy Chua. For starters, there is some truth in her basic assumption that a child needs to be driven in a specific direction sometimes against their wishes. There are many issues they don’t really understand and from three years of parenting experience and 40 years of experience of being a son, I can say that children don’t really take bottomline responsibilities for their decisions. On many occasions they take the decisions and blame their parents for not stopping them from making wrong choices. I have also found that those children around me who enjoy autonomy in their daily life are often more confused and unsure whether they have made the right decision. Children subconsciously expect their parents to draw a boundary line and expect to be protected within that boundary lines. I thank Amy Chua for reinforcing my belief.

Thanks Amy Chua for highlighting how self esteem is treated differently across the world. In some sense I agree with you that if you treat the child as if they are strong, they will be strong. If you treat them as though they are weak and need to be protected, you would need to protect them. When I started treating my three year old son as grown up child, he started acting like one. As a parent, my first duty is to communicate what is good for my child than trying to double guess how he would feel about it. Offcourse there would be pain but when the child learns about my intention, he will start respecting me more. Trying to sugar coat the message, ignoring the problem is the biggest disservice that you can do to your child.

Thank you Amy Chua. You highlighted the stereotype of those parents who consider academic success in school as be all and end all of the world. They measure the success in medals and grades. They forget that schooling and education is meant to prepare the child to be successful in the world. They forget that school is end to the means not the end in itself. They forget that life is a marathon and not a 100 m sprint race. They celebrate completion of first 100 m segment so much that often the child forgets that he has to run another 42.5 km. What helped them to win first 100 m may or may not help them to even complete the entire stretch. Thanks Amy for highlighting this stereotype so I can ensure that as a parent I don’t venture anywhere close to that profile and prepare my child for the marathon irrespective of how he performs in first 100 mtr.

Lastly, I thank Amy Chua for giving a biggest idea about how to launch your book all over the world. How to use electronic media and how to be politically incorrect to be noticed. I am sure your book is doing much better than expected. Ultimately, what works for one child may not work for another but what worked for one book may certainly work for another. Thanks.

For those who have no clue who Amy Chua is , her is the link

1 comment:

Tweets that mention Learnings from Parenthood – Learnings from Amy Chua | Vivek Vaidya -- said...

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vivek Vaidya, Vivek Vaidya. Vivek Vaidya said: Learnings from Parenthood – Learnings from Amy Chua [...]