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Old 12-22-2011, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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The tiger children fight back against Amy Chua | Joanna Moorhead | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk


Quote:
A pair of schoolgirls in Beijing driven to despair by their mothers' desperate drive to force them on to success, have fought back with the online publication of a guide to how savvy but wrung-out kids can retaliate when they're being driven to the edge of the cliff of over-ambition.

It's the latest in a fascinating saga about two of the oldest debates the world has ever known. Number one, what happens when eastern values meet western ones; number two, how does a wise parent raise his or her child?

I don't usually condone deception, but in the case of some of these mothers, well I don't blame these kids, it's survival.


Interesting that a book published by an American born Chinese-American mother has sparked the debate in China.
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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This is interesting, although I have to say I'm not surprised there is a backlash from children who have been over-parented in some of these extreme cases. All humans have a "breaking point" if you will, for the amount of sustained pressure we can bear up under.

For me, it begs the question "how much pressure to succeed is too much and how much is not enough?" I don't have a great answer for this, beyond my general parenting philosophy of balance and suspect it is a question we all wrestle with at some point. I suspect that it varies greatly by child-parent dyad, as well. That is, the amount of guidance and pressure required for one child to "optimally perform" (while also being well-adjusted) may be a lot different than for another child, even within the same family. At the risk of sounding very vague, I think it has to be a balance of expecting and coaching each child to do his or her best at whatever task, with the understanding that "one's best" does not equal "the best" necessarily. I think the challenge is in the dialog with the child and having strong lines of communication so it doesn't turn into a totalitarian or completely permissive atmosphere.

Last edited by eastwesteastagain; 12-22-2011 at 03:34 PM..
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
This is interesting, although I have to say I'm not surprised there is a backlash from children who have been over-parented in some of these extreme cases. All humans have a "breaking point" if you will, for the amount of sustained pressure we can bear up under.

For me, it begs the question "how much pressure to succeed is too much and how much is not enough?" I don't have a great answer for this, beyond my general parenting philosophy of balance and suspect it is a question we all wrestle with at some point. I suspect that it varies greatly by child-parent dyad, as well. That is, the amount of guidance and pressure required for one child to "optimally perform" (while also being well-adjusted) may be a lot different than for another child, even within the same family. At the risk of sounding very vague, I think it has to be a balance of expecting and coaching each child to do his or her best at whatever task, with the understanding that "one's best" does not equal "the best" necessarily. I think the challenge is in the dialog with the child and having strong lines of communication so it doesn't turn into a totalitarian or completely permissive atmosphere.
From what I've seen it's better to err on the side of less pressure to succeed.

Kids who are highly motivated will succeed without external pressure placed on them. Other kids will grow up believing that their best was just never enough, they will always feel they just never were good enough even if they found successful careers.

It's better to raise happy and adaptable kids. If they are driven just support them in that but you won't need to push them.
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by malamute View Post
From what I've seen it's better to err on the side of less pressure to succeed.

Kids who are highly motivated will succeed without external pressure placed on them. Other kids will grow up believing that their best was just never enough, they will always feel they just never were good enough even if they found successful careers.

It's better to raise happy and adaptable kids. If they are driven just support them in that but you won't need to push them.
I can see what you're saying. Perhaps I should have chosen different words. I meant encouraging kids to put in their best effort/ develop a good work ethic rather than being super ambitious, per se.

I totally agree that some kids who have too much pressure on them will end up feeling like they could never be good enough. In some cases, it can result in mental health issues, as well. I have seen some parents be very laissez-faire with their kids, to the point of not expecting anything (again probably a poor choice of words on my part), including accomplishing basic life skills. So I should probably rephrase my original question to "how to best encourage our kids to find their niche, and work hard at whatever that is."
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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I think the one factor worth remembering when discussing this issue is the role Confucianism plays in most Asian cultures. This idea that the goal is perfection plays a huge role.

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Originally Posted by malamute View Post
Other kids will grow up believing that their best was just never enough, they will always feel they just never were good enough even if they found successful careers.
Interesting. Do you think that is actually the case in these children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
I totally agree that some kids who have too much pressure on them will end up feeling like they could never be good enough. In some cases, it can result in mental health issues, as well.

Interesting point. I have no clue about this, but are mental health issues very prevalent in the Asian-American communities?

So I should probably rephrase my original question to "how to best encourage our kids to find their niche, and work hard at whatever that is."
Million dollar question, and probably different for each and every child.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:06 PM
 
Location: You know... That place
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That was an interesting article and I won't be surprised when we see more of this.

I know that in my house I push DD to do her best. She doesn't have to be the best, but she does need to do her best. I also know that (just like adults) sometimes kids are tired of going 100% all of the time, so if she needs to back down for a couple of days to recharge that is fine with me too. I just want her to be proud of the work behind whatever it is she is doing.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
The tiger children fight back against Amy Chua | Joanna Moorhead | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk





I don't usually condone deception, but in the case of some of these mothers, well I don't blame these kids, it's survival.


Interesting that a book published by an American born Chinese-American mother has sparked the debate in China.
I didn't see anything that indicated that the two girls had even heard of Amy Chua. I think they did their thing independently.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
I didn't see anything that indicated that the two girls had even heard of Amy Chua. I think they did their thing independently.
I said sparked the debate, not that they had written their book in response to her. And this book was big news in China.

Amy Chua's 'Chinese Mom' Controversy: The Response in China - The Daily Beast

Chinese Mom: American 'Tiger Mother' clueless about real Chinese parenting | CNNGo.com

Tiger Mother Chua Gets Mixed Reviews in China - China Real Time Report - WSJ
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
My mistake. And I apologize for my tone. I realized later that it sounded abrupt. Not my intention.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
My mistake. And I apologize for my tone. I realized later that it sounded abrupt. Not my intention.
Not at all. It's all good!
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