February 13, 2011

Tiger Mothers

This, if you dont know, is Amy Chua, author of the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Her book has sparked global debate as it mentioned how strict, regimental Chinese Mother-style parenting methods are the way to produce successful, genius children. Even many Chinese moms themselves do not agree with her ways of raising a child.

 After reading today's NST article regarding Tiger Mothers, I too disagree with the Tiger Mother method way. (Although maybe my opinions are influenced due to not being raised by a Tiger Mum, but then again, the same goes for almost all of us ~)

The Tiger Mother (TM for short) way gives zero tolerance for the child to enjoy what is to be the happiest times of their lives. Every second of the day is not wasted by sending them to (as I read in the NST), Latin classes, gymnastics, piano lessons, and anything possible to develop the child mentally so that they will be able to be major successes before they even reach adulthood. The TM does not allow for anything leisurely like playing sports, hanging out with friends, or watching cartoons. Some TMs even cane, slap or give harsh criticisms on their children so that they will always maintain top-level performances and discipline. They will not accept grades lower than an A+ or scores below 95% in exams, otherwise the child would be punished. 

(Man, if my mum were a TM I'd be mauled 5-6 times over for that)

Sure, TMs and those who support them would say it is for their own good as it is vital for them to perform and succeed in this fast-paced, high-demanding, modern world and that the sacrifice of their childhood is worth it.

How many percent of the world population would agree to that in the first place? Will these children have a sense of fun when they grow up? If you ask me, stealing a young one's childhood is the next worse thing to stealing one's life. Yeah sure children will grow up to be highly skilled and capable, but will they enjoy the journey there? When they get old, they'll recall what a terrible childhood they had and scare the hell out of their grandchildren. In the end, no matter how successful one is, we'll all grow old, wrinkle, some will bald, and then die. So why not make the best of life, do what you want and what makes you happy, especially in those early years when it's your best chance to?

To close off, have a look at these world figures, who werent raised by TMs:

 Academics and mental prowess arent the only ways to success

Carlos Slim Helu, the world's richest man is worth 53 billion US dollars

Steve Jobs, one of the 3 men who founded the Apple company

and, as I can see, the perfect balance of success and happiness...

51 years old, driving all sorts of sportscars as his job, traveling the world, and this picture just says how much he enjoys it.

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