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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2011 / 7 Shevat, 5771

Tiger mother the new grizzly

By Marybeth Hicks





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | She's opinionated. She's controversial. She's a grizzly mama. And her outspoken comments about certain Americans are generating Twitter memes and death threats.

She's not Sarah Palin; she's Yale Law professor Amy Chua, author of the new book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," a tell-all about her successful (and not-so-successful) use of "Chinese parenting" to raise her two daughters.

Released last week with an excerpt in the Wall Street Journal, Mrs. Chua's book has garnered the attention of parents, parenting experts and Asian-American culture observers thanks to her provocative assertions that Western parents are too concerned with our children's happiness, compared to "Chinese mothers" who, in her view, are correctly obsessed with their children's achievements and success.

Mrs. Chua uses the term "Chinese mothers" broadly to describe a stereotypically Asian style of authoritarian parenting. Compared to Western parents, she makes sweeping generalizations, such as that:

Western parents are too soft and easily manipulated by our indolent, unmotivated children. "Chinese mothers" are driven, disciplined and self-sacrificial; consequently their children are more accomplished and successful.

Western parents think our children's social skills and psychic well-being are the measures of success. "Chinese mothers" measure their success by their children's exceptionalism.

Western parents underestimate our kids' abilities and therefore rear mediocre children. "Chinese mothers" believe their children are always capable of being the best at everything, and are relentless in their quest to help children fulfill their untapped potential.

In practice, Mrs. Chua's "Chinese mothering" seems extreme. Her daughters were required (not encouraged) to get all A's in school and to play the piano and violin. They weren't allowed to be involved in drama or sports, but instead practiced their instruments for hours every day. They didn't go on playdates or sleepovers, didn't watch TV or play video games. When they resisted or complained about their lives, Mrs. Chua employed traditional "Chinese mother" tactics like name-calling, screaming and public humiliation.


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The result? Musical prodigies with superlative academic records, but also what could be a child's garden of neuroses.

As the "tiger mom" reveals, even she questions her methods, thanks to her younger daughter Lulu's teenage rebellion. (Of course, in this case rebellion is relative. Lulu fought ferociously for permission to trade the violin for a tennis racket. Oh, the shame!)

The reaction to Mrs. Chua's parenting premise is as extreme as her methods. At last count, the WSJ story alone has generated more than 6,000 comments and the mommy-blogosphere is inundated with stories about the "tiger mom." That's because nothing ignites Internet fervor like criticism about parenting.

But most bloggers don't realize that "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" isn't a parenting book. It is one mother's confession, and an embarrassing one at that. And unfortunately, Mrs. Chua's parenting journey is stirring the wrong debate.

The question isn't success versus happiness. In fact, both of those goals reflect selfish and self-absorbed parents whose shallow values are rooted in emotional immaturity.

Is it any wonder our kids — and our culture — seem to be floundering?

We need to stop asking easy questions like, "Are my kids happy?" or "Are my kids as successful as they could be?" and ask a more difficult one, "Are my children good?"

We need to be concerned with the condition of their hearts. If we focus on raising children of authentic good character and well-developed consciences; if we instill a moral code that identifies good and evil and teaches right from wrong; if we promote the obligation of stewardship of the gifts and talents they are given; and if we frame these lessons in the context of a deep and abiding faith in God, we're much more likely to raise human beings with the capacity for genuine happiness and unlimited success.

Who knows? They might even get into Harvard anyway.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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© 2009, Marybeth Hicks