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The Forum > Article Comments > Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother: review > Comments

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother: review : Comments

By Helen Hayward, published 18/4/2011

The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother upholds parental discipline but is more nuanced than you might believe.

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It is easy to make children happy. Simply give them a pizza and a DVD movie.

But that only seems to make them happy for a short period of time.

How to make them happy over a longer period is more challenging, and I tend to think it is something our society is losing the skills at being able to do.
Posted by vanna, Tuesday, 19 April 2011 4:54:47 AM
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Amy Chua does sound like a good read but from the few quotes given it has the general sense of an attack on Western parenting based on a select group of New York parents.

"Unlike my Western friends, I can never sayÖĒ

Interesting and her friends sound a bit crapo.

Donít worry Vanna, there are still plenty of parents out here unafraid of their children who want them to excel and spend time with them to insure they do so. I just donít think Amy met many.
Posted by Jewely, Tuesday, 19 April 2011 8:05:35 AM
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I've been following this story for a couple of months now, and all its associated drama.

My first unworthy thought was - way to get great publicity, Amy Chua. Then it became clear that she was actually serious, and the book did actually describe real life situations, with real life daughters.

And the reviewer is perfectly correct in pointing out that it is irrelevant whether we agree with her or not. The issue is that it sheds light on the fact that we tend to bypass the question of what is, objectively, the "best" strategy for educating and bringing up kids.

What struck me immediately was the positively Victorian (era, not State) approach to child-rearing. Given that we are only talking here about the middle classes, the attitude is fundamentally old fashioned in its approach to the work ethic. Switch the environment to boarding at an English Public School of the Tom Brown's Schooldays era, and there it is in all its glory. Except that those boys were occasionally allowed a short time to frequent the fives court, it could be the same system.

The ingredients are familiar - alienation from any warmth or empathy, and an unwavering focus on results. The system still produces the vast majority of high flyers in the UK, so it obviously pays dividends.

Pity about the loss of anything that resembles what most folk might describe as a childhood I guess. But somebody has to pay the price for the pursuit of "excellence".

One question that occurs, is what future work environment is the child being prepared for? It would be a great shame if the qualities so fervently instilled, turned out to be inappropriate in the long term for the US market. As a consolation though, it's likely they would still be in great demand in Shanghai.
Posted by Pericles, Tuesday, 19 April 2011 12:37:58 PM
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Jewely
Considering the issue from the perspective of what makes an enjoyable childhood, if someone believes they had an enjoyable childhood, they are more likely to attempt to create that childhood environment for their children.

Unfortunately I donít think many children are having a very enjoyable childhood in our current society, but they may not know anything different.

So they may feel that something is missing, but they are unsure of what it is.

Perhaps Amy didnít have an enjoyable childhood herself.
Posted by vanna, Tuesday, 19 April 2011 1:34:57 PM
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Vanna:ďUnfortunately I donít think many children are having a very enjoyable childhood in our current society, but they may not know anything different.Ē

Like if they are spoilt they think it is fun but really teaches them no skills for later etcÖ Iím going to go away and dwell on it for awhile, very good point.
Posted by Jewely, Tuesday, 19 April 2011 2:19:59 PM
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Reading about other peoples comments on this. It's disgusting and shame how we are living in 2011 in nearly may the month and still life in children's society with parents can still be the same. Like there is still parents that treat their children in a very awful way. I can understand about Amy Chua. Because I come from a western background. My parents can be very strict but, at least I feel love and their caring towards me. My parents can be strict but they are strict because they love me. However in the world there is still parents that don't love their children and they do stuff to really hurt them, which is unfair! And so shame!!
Posted by mars77, Tuesday, 19 April 2011 2:50:53 PM
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