Jan 25 2011, Written by Ziwen Deng in Backpages, 0 Comments
I’ll admit that I’m a little biased in writing this piece, but there are some topics you just can’t stay away from. Amy Chua, a Yale Law School professor—and self-proclaimed stereotypical Chinese mother—recently wrote a controversial piece about the differences between Western and Chinese/Asian parenting that has so far garnered 7367 comments. Chua portrays the strenuous nature of the latter method as much more effective than the softer nature of the former, going as far as to claim that Westerners “seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly.” She believes that children from Western cultures do not respect the debt owed to their parents, and thus are less motivated to work; in contrast, Chinese mothers relentlessly push their children because they see the potential to be “perfect” within them.
As you’d expect, most comments on The Wall Street Journal express shock, scorn, disapproval, and ultimately rejection. Western society balks at the slightest hint of a threat to individual rights, even when the subjects are unable to decide what’s best for themselves. Chinese culture, on the other hand, cringes when its youth is exposed to any form of recreation or relaxation.
Being a product of Chinese parenting combined with Western education has taught me that neither method is a foolproof way to raise a child. Whipping your six-year-old every time he gets a B does not convey that you only want what’s best for him. Then again, buying your daughter a car when she finishes in last place at a science fair doesn’t help either. Raising a child is a task that requires more than one way of thought. In conclusion, the next time you have a kid, make sure you are exposing him or her to both evils.
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