‘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.”

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