And we think we're strict

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by HaoZi, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

  2. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    All I can say is WOW!
  3. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    HaoZi, I saw her interview from The Today Show yesterday. My goodness! Her poor daughters ! I didn't see her husband make any comments as to whether he was on board with her parenting practices but I guess he is if he has let this all go so long... I can barely get difficult child to pass some of his tests let alone mandate he not come home with anything other than an A. And that is not to say husband and I don't work very hard with him ... geeze
  4. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Quite honestly, I don't know whether to laugh or cry on reading that.

    One thing is certain -- her daughters are not difficult children!

    Love, Esther
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I think to tell your kids not to come home with anything other than an A grade is a little unrealistic for some kids. Not every child is an A student and if parents see that and decided to try that at home they will be in for disappointment, not to mention to the stress they will be putting on their kids.

  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I have to say there are some interesting things being said in this article. What struck me most was the comment that a Chinese mother "assumes strength, not fragility & as a result they behave very differently".

    There were other comments made that made me stop & think. I've treated kt & wm as the poor little orphan children rather than assuming strength ~ encouraging them to survive. My twins are strong & are survivors yet I've allowed them to "wallow" in their misery rather than pushing them forward. I might not have taken the same tack as this mother but I buckled under various & sundry comments by tdocs.

    Was this right or wrong? I pause & wonder now?
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'll agree, that same part sure had me thinking. on the other hand, it also reminds me of previous generations in the U.S., with their tendency to not look at biological reasons for bad behavior but just send them to the woodshed and assign more chores until they got their act together.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    LOL - I would love to do this. However... They just refuse...
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I can see positive points and negative points. I have also had those assumption and demands of my kids. FAR more than husband or most parents ever did. Maybe with easy child kids this is possible, but it just was destroying Wiz. Literally. This tactic, had I kept it up, would have seen him in a box with a tombstone. Not exaggerating - he had a first grade teacher who firmly believed all of this, raised her kids this way and tried to teach this way. In many ways it fit with my expectations - at first. Then I saw what it was doing to my child.

    I can see where we backed off too much, but no matter WHAT choices you make, if you truly are a good parent there is some doubt. WHile this is NOT admitted by many, MANY chinese mothers (using it in the way the author did, not to mean just those born in China or of Chinese descent), NOT every child in China gets straight As. It is NOT universally good for the kids, and there ARE children raised this way who stop trying because they cannot meet expectations. They are NOT treated with anything remotely resembling human rights by their families and often the family will refuse to even admit they EXIST. Gee, I wonder what THEIR opinion on this is?

    I can see that we could expect and demand more of our kids, and give a whole lot less, and have them be better off. I can also see that a LOT of kids from "chinese mothers" grow up with a whole lot of problems that THIS woman seems determined to ignore. The "lavish praise" is not a replacement for the knowledge that your family will love you or even admit you EXIST if you get Bs in school. Esp for daughters - MANY of htem grow up, get high powered "successful" jobs and still feel it is not enough for their parents to love them. I know doctors, lawyers, professors, and successful business owners who are all afraid that if they lose a case, patient, their students get bad grades, or they lose a business deal then their parents will stop speaking to them or will verbally attack them.

    I could see this behavior if it changed to respect the choices of an adult child, but it doesn't. The child NEVER stops owing the parent - and NEVER meets the standards expected. It may spur achievement but it also has spurred use of cocaine, meth, etc... among people who's parents treat them like this.

    As with all things, moderation between this and the much more permissive Western ways is probably called for.

    I will NEVER forget a girl who lived down my hall. She had eating disorders (NEVER spoken about with her parents - it was "expected" because she "had a weight problem" which actually meant she was over 90 pounds at 5'4") and if she got a 98% on a test or assignment it was greeted with an hour of screaming from her mother and father via the phone. Often we could hear them outside ehr room with the door closed - and she was NOT using the speakerphone. She would then cry for hours because she was a "terrible daughter". This girl had a full scholarship including room and meal plan and books AND a monthly stipend. Her education cost her parents the phone calls because she got airfare and some other bennies from a grant for her field. She HATED what she was studying with a PASSION but her parents told her what she would study and what classes she would take. She got bumped from a class because enrollment issues and her mother learned she had a TA instead of a "real professor" so the mom spent about 4 hours screaming about how worthless she was because otherwise the university would have her taking classes with full professors (assistant and associate professors also were a sign that she was a "slacker") and would give her the classes her mother dictated at the times she dictated. This just isn't something that is factored in when students are assigned to classes, nor does a student have ANY control over it. Usually the prof listed in the catalog changed at least once for half your classes, at least at the univ I was attending.

    Even going to the doctor was a sign that she was weak and a slacker. heck, needing to take a break to eat after 6-10 hours of studying wasn't okay if she didn't have 100% in every class. It was physically and emotionally painful to watch how this woman was treated by her parents. 100% got "lavish" praise alright - "At least you didn't fail us this time. You had better not fail us ever again." The rest of us "mothered her" and did all we could to help - to the point of bringing her meals on OUR meal plans. her parents would monitor the meal plan and if her grades were not "good enough" then she didn't deserve to eat. She got a 92 % on a test - largely because the only answers offered were all incorrect - and her mother forbade her to eat for a week. It wasn't possible to get 100% because it was a multiple choice test and the answers given were not correct. You couldn't write the correct answer in because it was on a scantron and the prof didn't look at the other part of the test no matter what you put on it. I had the same class with her. It was a nightmare for her - she passed out the third day and spent 2 days in the health center because this being forbidden to eat for days was a common thing and had seriously damaged her body.

    Sadly, this was NOT an "extreme" example of what the author is praising as good parenting. It is actually pretty common, or was among the kids from her area. Not all parents go to those extremes that often, but many of the things are pretty common , even expected of "Chinese Mothers", at least according to the Asian women I know who have parents who raised them like this. One family friend is a delightful woman who has run several highly successful businesses and has 2 doctorates and teaches at a major Asian University. The MOST praise her mother has given her is "at least you didn't fail us this time". Her brothers are also expected to succeed but do NOT get this treatment. They get pushed and insulted, but weight issues, drug problems, even losing a job because of layoffs was not enough to have them threaten to kick them out of the family (friend has heard this for years - I have heard her mother and father screaming this over the phone at her.). This friend wears an 8 in US sizes because she is tall - but her mother regularly calls her a fatty and a fat cow and a giant piggy (with snorting noises), simply because she is not super tiny. She has a body fat of about 15% the last time she was at the gym and had this figured. It is extremely low for women, but her mother says this is almost obese.

    This friend says her mother has mellowed a LOT from when she was an undergrad student or a child. She is unable to see how special and beautiful she is, or how smart, well educated and accomplished she is. Not to brag about herself, but to even feel she has done a good job is very very difficult.

    This may produce people who achieve lots, but it does NOT do healthy things to them. Not to the extremes that this mother is praising it. I am NOT saying that the "western" style is perfect or not in need of some improvements, just that a happy medium between the two styles might be a great thing, Know what I mean??
  10. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Each child is so different. If this woman had my Ant in her house trying to teach him the piano??? :rofl: Ten years later, they'd still be there with Ant STILL refusing to put his fingers on the keys. So even though her method works fine for her kids, it wouldn't work on Ant. But, there are a lot of parents out there that seem to be afraid of their kids.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    High expectations are good... But demeaning and abusing children are not. There's a need for a balance.

    Susie - exactly.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    I agree, she clearly doesn't have g'sfg. The piano would be in splinters.
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I had a Chinese coworker and she would have her daughter on speakerphone practicing the piano while Mom worked.

    They are very strict, but I don't think it's abusive. They have different expectations. However, I know how much they give up for their children. No expense is spared.
  14. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I tried piano lessons with Missy. I'm surprised the plastic Samsun Keyboard we have isn't in splinters. As it is, the girl that used to be my mother's helper had a phone, Legos and other things thrown at her while she tried to help Missy practice her lessons. Her lessons lasted all of about 5 weeks. It is very obvious her children are not difficult children. With Missy, the keyboard would be destroyed, then the room, then the dog and possibly Mighty or anyone else who got in the way.

    OTH, if I had that type of parenting with Mighty Mouse, perhaps it might work. He is a completely different child. Sure, he's obstinate and loves video games, but if I pushed him that way, he'd succeed, but I have no idea how he'd react if I obviously dont' treat Missy the same. That's the problem. Treating one child differently than the other. The whole psyche thing goes haywire.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

  16. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I agree! I think harsh criticism, name calling, and other verbal abuse do nothing but destroy a child's confidence - perhaps forever. I sent the 'Tiger Mother' article to two of my children for their comments and they were both horrified. They thanked me for not using that parenting style. I always second-guess myself because of not having any positive parental model to imitate, so I pretty much got my parenting style from books and from intuition; and then my kids had various problems, so I've always felt that I must have done something wrong, there must have been some better way I could have parented. But I could not have locked my kids outside in the cold for not practising an instrument to my satisfaction, nor could I ever have called them 'garbage'. Been there, done that, on the receiving end that is; got the scars. To this day I don't have confidence. I can empathize with Lac Su's article.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Funny, just last night we were talking with easy child. She was showing me photos of a friend's wedding. Friend married a Chinese girl. Parents speak no English. There were two bridesmaids, both of them came out from China for the wedding. Daughters of a family relative, or daughters of friend of the mother. Something like that. She could not have her friends as bridesmaids because they MIUSt have unmarried bridesmaids, and they must be younger than te bride, otherwise the bride getting married before the older unmarried bridesmaid is an insult to the older bridesmaid ("hey, I'm getting married before you").

    As a result, bride had two bridesmaids who did what they wanted, turned up when they wanted to, were late for hair and make-up appointments, did not attend rehearsal, left photo session early, left reception early, did nothing to help. easy child, as wife of best man, did more to help the bride than any other. She arranged the bride's dress for photos, she carried her bouquet for her when she needed it held for a moment, she carried a spare coat for the bride, carried spare makeup for her. easy child commented that the bridesmaids are 'typical spoilt one-child family outcomes". I disagreed, but husband commented that he sees a lot of Chinese students in his job, and there are a great many who have a sense of entitlement. Some are very good students, yes. But too many try to get their A by cheating, or bribing.

    We live in a country that is considered to be part of Asia by a lot of people. We have a lot of Asians who call Australia home, for varying lengths of time. We do see cultural differences but we also see what works and what does not.

    I mentioned the Japanese disorder, hikikomori, a week or so ago. One suspected cause is high-pressure parenting. It afflicts mostly adolescent males in Japan. It is a combination of cultural shame issues in the parents, enabling a child who copes with pressure by eventually withdrawing. It is quite extreme, it is far more than a child who is quiet and doesn't talk much, or doesn't like to leave the house. A serious hikikomori kid may go unseen by his parents for years. Hidden in his bedroom, fed on a tray left outside his door. That's Japanese and not Chinese, but we don't hear much about China from outside. Only what we hear from the children when they grow up and leave.

    We have a Chinese family living near us. Both parents are artists. Their only child, a girl, is a really sweet kid who is also an emerging artist. But I know she was not raised with the Tiger Mother approach! On the wall of her father's studio, is an oils study of the girl's, begun at the instigation of her father. I have not seen a new brushstroke on that for almost a year - dad wanted her to do it, she started it then stopped to pursue other things. A Tiger Parent would have hounded her back to it. But they know she is working in a different direction and needs to be allowed to explore her other talents.

  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Interesting cause and effect, Marg. I had heard about that disease and on one hand, was surprise, because I felt like the US had the most dysfunctional people, but on the other hand, after thinking about how demanding their culture is, I was not surprised.
    I agree that the info that comes out of China is from people who have left.
  19. cboz

    cboz Guest

    That's the first thing I thought when I read this article the other day. I'd like to see her try her technique with my son.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Yeah, I think with most of our kids if those methods were tried things would start getting broken fast.