Stories about: Spanking & discipline

Taming the Tiger Mother in me

Claire McCarthy,MD

“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.”

This is how Amy Chua, a Yale Law professor, got her 7-year-old daughter to learn a complicated piano piece. It’s from an essay on titled “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” an essay that has gotten a lot of attention in the media. Apparently, Chinese mothers are superior (and have more successful children) because they expect excellence from their children—and are willing to go to any lengths to get that excellence out of them.

The “any lengths” Amy Chua describes (it’s an excerpt from her book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”) include not just tactics like these, but hours and hours of homework and practicing instruments, forbidding playdates, sleepovers and TV, and not allowing her daughters to choose their activities (or instruments). Oh—and calling them “garbage” if they misbehave.

I love this chick.

She makes me look so good.

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