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Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Essay by   •  February 26, 2012  •  Essay  •  960 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,980 Views

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Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Are Western parents excessively worried about their children's self-esteem, and thus preventing them from living up their full potential? Is the tough love approach to parenting more rewarding? And do Chinese mothers actually love their children more than the Western parents do? Amy Chua has with her book Battle hymn of the tiger mother sparked a debate on how to be the best parent. But how do we measure the parents' success? Through grades, happiness or...?

In the article "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" Professor Amy Chua discuss the different approaches to parenting, and gives an outline on how she succeeded in having to straight A students for children. The stereotypic Chinese child achieve highly successful results in academic fields and isn't shy of playing the piano or violin extremely well. Amy Chua argues in the article that this stereotype, which is being supported in various statistics, is a result of strict parenting common among Chinese immigrant parents. As an argument she presents her own two children, whom both have success in both academics and music.

Amy Chua makes a list in the beginning of the article summarizing some of the things her daughters weren't allowed to do. The list included "no sleepovers, any grade less than A and watching TV or playing computer games" (p. 1 paragraph 2). Furthermore, Chua believes to have found two mind-sets dominating Western and Chinese parents respectively. These mind-sets consist of three parts: firstly, Western parents are afraid of hurting their children's self-esteem, Chinese parents aren't. Secondly, Western parents don't believe their children owe them anything. Chinese parents believe their children them owe them everything. And finally, Chinese parents are sure they know what's best for their children. Western parents might give up if their child doesn't seem interested in piano lessons, but the Chinese mom insists on drilling her child 3 hours a day no matter what the child's saying. These three parts are what Amy Chua believes to be main reasons why Chinese moms foster smart children.

But although these arguments seem to explain the gap while reading them, they are not based on any real empiric evidence. Chua believes these mind-sets to be true, but she has no real data to support her claims. This makes her arguments pure stereotypes. The other reasons why we could be led to listen to her are few. First of all, one can't attack her own experiences. She's successfully raised her two children, and they can serve as proof. Secondly she's talked with some Chinese moms and Western parents who can provide some empiric evidence even if it's limited. Lastly she claims some authority through her function as a professor at Yale, although this case of Ethos really can't be accepted. Interestingly

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