‘Tiger Mom’ Defends Parenting At Cambridge Book Signing

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — She’s the internationally known “Tiger Mom” and she took her book signing tour to Cambridge hoping to convince skeptical readers that her book is not a parenting guide but a memoir.

“Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” has sparked a fiery debate over extreme parenting.

“If I had known the book would be taken this way with so many people reading it, I could have made myself a lot more likeable,” said author Amy Chua, a professor at Yale Law School.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

The book has a struck a nerve which is why Chua packed Harvard Book Store. She writes of forcing her daughters Sophia and Lulu to practice piano and violin for hours without bathroom breaks. No play dates or sleepovers, no television or computer games, and only straight A’s allowed at school.

“I thought this woman was crazy, I’m not going to hear her talk. And here I am,” said Eve Sullivan.

Chua says the book was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising children than more permissive Western parents. But she writes, “it’s about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how I was humbled by a 13-year-old.”

That 13-year-old is her daughter Lulu who rebelled against her style of parenting.

“It’s really me looking back eighteen years ago to the cocky, overconfident parent I was,” she said.

It’s a parenting style she adopted from her Chinese immigrant parents, and admits she may have been hard.

“Whether she likes it or not, she has perpetuated stereotypes,” said Amelia Lin, who attended the book signing.

Still, Chua says the tone of the book is meant to be satirical. Asked whether she agrees with the style of parenting, Eve Sullivan said, “I don’t think so, but I think she learned maybe it wasn’t so right herself.”

More from Beth Germano
  • Cynic

    Being a Yale Law Professor at 39 is one of her minor accomplishments.Read her whole resume’……Amazing !
    (Feeble attempt at Humor)… Why are all Great Chinese writers named AMY?

  • Sue Eskenazi Sweeney

    To expect absolute perfection in a chld is wrong. Some children have learning disabilities and cannot always perfect “A’s” in scholl, but they try to do their best. I have a child with a learning disability and very proud of her. Also, children need to interact with other children to learn social skills which will help them in life with their communities and workplace. I feel “Tiger Mom”, is wrong and not fair to her girls.

    Sue in Salem

  • Denise

    from what I hear she has two very successful children! This obviously worked for her and them! Now she can write a book about it and make $$. Good for her! Did she report anything illegal to sensationalize her book! I can’t comment on the book itself until I read it – but it isn’t of any interest to me… so I probably won’t!

  • Cynic

    Most of my Chinese friends complain about their STRICT Parents,But few are not thankful that they were.

  • Tiger Moms Network

    Why has the creativity index of American youth been declining for decades?

    Why is American kids’ creativity index decreasing sharply starting from 1990s while Asian kids have developed a balanced and advanced brain functions between left and right sides, which means Asian Americans have not only advanced skills in reasoning, logics, math, science and languages but also advanced expertise in creativity, imagination and music like China’s young pianist Lang Lang?

    In the Chinese Tiger Moms debate, most Americans have argued that it was creativity that had boosted up US to its current monopolistic glory while Tiger Cubs under Tiger Moms’ extreme pushes may have practiced a lot but lack creativity overall. Also, IBM recently polled 1500 Wall Street business leaders who have been managing the largest firms in the world and led to a conclusion that the first priority in developing leadership is creativity, otherwise one business would not be able to handle ever-increasingly fierce competition due to deeper and deeper globalization. In the meantime, a country’s overall creativity can finally translate into job opportunities and thereby contribute to the fast growth of its economy. In the past, US has held an unbeatable position in creativity in almost any area from patents to technology innovations to business operations to everything that people need or businesses operate. Unfortunately, per Newsweek, “For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining based on tests on 300,000 American children yearly.” What went wrong and how can we fix it? Will Chinese Tiger Moms’ tough discipline be a possible solution to stop bleeding of US creativity among our youth?

    Tiger Mother Professor Amy L. Chua on a daily basis forced her daughters to practice piano and violin for 3~6 hours and most American parents regard Chua as in violation of her children’s personal interests, wills and choices, thereby leading only to a mechanically passive repletion and thus contributing almost nothing to their own creativity development. However, brain cognitive development theories prove those American parents wrong in this regard. Based on the working devision of human brain, the left brain is mainly for developing verbal and language, reasoning and logics, and math and science while the right brain is in charge of imagination and creativity, insight and intuition, and arts and music. Since Asian Tiger Cubs have an unbeatably monopolistic position in academics supported by all factual data in all college admissions offices or testing arenas like ETS SAT across the board, which is mainly controlled by the left brain. If Asian kids were to quit enough volume of practice in music and arts, then their right brain’s functionality would be diminishing over time, dubbed as “Left Brain Geeks” whose personality traits show stubborn, reasoningly logical, mechanical and less compromising, and high performing in math, science and logics. Smarter than others, Tiger Mother Chua forced her two daughters to practice 3~6 hours music either on piano or violin by denying their overall accesses to TV shows, video-games and social media networking like Facebook friending. This, ironically to their benefits, Tiger cubs have struck a balanced development in their brain, thereby de facto rendering them better-adjusted, more creative and more holistic.

    There’re other games (not video games) especially designed for developing the right brain as well as the left brain. For example, for young kids, Bakugan balls and battle gears can help to develop kids’ capabilities in 3-D structures observation, working sequence, perception and imagination dramatically, which will mostly contribute to the fast development in the right brain. Sure, Bakugan cards can also increase calculation and comparison of numbers for preschollers exponentially on a daily basis because almost all little kids who are crazy about Bakugan toys would like to focus 5x~10x times longer than normal on playing those innovative toys. And Ben 10 aliens combination toys set can also train your kids spatial and imaginative abilities very well as long as you buy enough aliens while spending time to play with them regularly. I guess all engaging Tiger Moms have done those for their kids since spending less than a grand dollar in buying a couple of hundred of Bakugan balls and battle gears or Ben 10 aliens combination sets is not a big deal for almost all American families.

    However, in stark contrast, most Americans didn’t follow Tiger Cubs balanced development between their left and right side of brain. Then what have they done on a daily basis? From the above chart by Bureau of Labor Statistics, in a typical American family on a daily basis a teenager in the age group of 15~19 on average spends 2.3 hours on watching TV shows, 0.9 hours in playing video games and 0.8 hours in being social with friends that has mostly shifted to Facebook-like social networking behavior over time. If deducting little time consumption on TV, videogaming and Facebook socializing by top 20% of academic performers, then an American kid on average would spend around 5 hours a day, rain or shine, weekdays or weekends, on dealing with machines including TV sets, gaming machines, iPods, computers and even smartphones, in fact crowding out precious time for creative trainings or even face-to-face people-skills practices, which Tiger Mother Amy Chua has called a huge waste of life.

    Fellow American parents, PLEASE DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR KIDS ANY MORE by letting themselves develop freely, which will no doubt make them boil down to mostly watching hours of TV shows, playing numerous video games, listening to iPod songs, and making tons of friends on Facebook on a daily basis, thereby leading to an addiction to TV shows, video games, iPod songs and computer uses like Facebook social networking. It’s TIME to RECLAIM our responsibility as engaging parents. If you don’t know how to achieve this grand goal, our Tiger Moms Parenting Battle Hymn blog site athttp://Blog.TigerMoms.net/ will teach you step by step about HOW-TOS in far greater detail free of charge than addressed in real Tiger Mother Amy Chua’s memoir. And all our daily editorial pieces are absolutly a-must-read classic for any parent, which has been supporting by all sorts of factual data, trends, charts, teaching experiments and cognitive learning theories and most importantly been practiced successfully by thousands of top elites in Global Elites Network alumni community from Ivy League schools like Harvard, not taking anything for granted as most others did. Tiger Moms Network presented by Global Elites Network has been built for this very purpose of ratcheting up US competitiveness over the long haul on the global stage, especially in the faster learning area of world’s educational arena. Try to think, if our Xpeed Learning Platform Knowledge Management System just like McKinsey’s KMS can shoot your kids learning speed to the sky by 2x~5x times, then your kids would be able to enjoy a much happier life while having enough time learning all sorts of knowledge several times more, applied subjects for later career improvements or basic math and science skills, both in breadth and depth. The answer is very certain: yes, we can make it happen to your kids so that you don’t have to abuse your kids like Tiger Mother did to her children.

    Please go to our Tiger Moms Parenting Battle Hymn blog site at http://Blog.TigerMoms.net for the chart by Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Tiger Moms Network

    Twitter@TigerMomsNet FACTS/DATA prove US high school education has deteriorated into 3rd WORLD and US higher education is decaying to 2nd-tier. WAKEUP Fellow Americans Do something to change the US derailing trek!


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