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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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. 19, 2011 / 14 Shevat, 5771

The Tiger Mother and Us

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Amy Chua may or may not be a superior mother, but she is a superb marketer — and I say that with admiration. Who among the literate has not heard of her defiant declaration of independence from the American style of cosseted childrearing — "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother"? My 17-year-old son demanded to know whether I had seen the Wall Street Journal excerpt — "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior." I hadn't. Before I could catch my breath, he had uncovered research showing that Asian females ages 15-24 have the highest suicide rate of any race or ethnic group.

Talk about touching a nerve! My son had lots of company. A follow-up piece in the Journal sampled some of the 4,000 comments (a record) the piece had elicited on the paper's website. (It reportedly received more than 100,000 responses on Facebook.)

Chua, a professor at Yale Law School, purports to let the rest of us in on how Chinese families produce so many straight-A students and musical prodigies. "Here are some of the things my daughters ... were never allowed to do: attend a sleepover; have a playdate; be in a school play; complain about not being in a school play; watch TV or play computer games; choose their own extracurricular activities; get any grade less than an A; not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama; play any instrument other than the piano or violin; not play the piano or violin."

Some Americans might be prepared to call child protective services on the evidence of that list alone, but Chua is just getting rolling. "The fact is that Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable ... to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, 'Hey fatty — lose some weight.' By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of 'health' and never ever mentioning the f-word ..."


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The really hair-raising part is Chua's account of a battle with her then 7-year-old daughter who was having trouble mastering a piano piece. Declaring that her older sister had been able to play it at her age, and flinging a fusillade of insults and threats at the child, Chua "rolled up my sleeves and went back to Lulu. I used every weapon and tactic I could think of. We worked right through dinner into the night, and I wouldn't let Lulu get up, not for water, not even to go to the bathroom. The house became a war zone, and I lost my voice yelling, but still there seemed to be only negative progress, and even I began to have doubts." Then the child mastered it.

Happy ending? Chua thinks so, to a point. According to her follow-up comments published the next week, her book actually chronicles her evolution away from such tyrannical tactics. But only a little.

Some of the comments about Chua's piece were negative, even vehemently so. But others, a surprising number, were admiring and even envious. That even an exaggerated and half tongue-in-cheek account of a rigid, demanding, insensitive approach to parenthood elicited positive comments reflects, perhaps, our awareness of how soft and indulgent we've become.

"In one study," Chua writes, "of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70 percent of the Western mothers said either that 'stressing academic success is not good for children' or that 'parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.' By contrast, roughly 0 percent of the Chinese mothers felt the same way."

Chinese (and other immigrant) parents believe that drill, effort, and some rote memorization are paths to accomplishment and that it is mastery — not empty praise about how "special" each child is — that builds self-esteem. The tiger mothers may overdo it a bit — but let's face it, many American parents are too reluctant to demand work that isn't "fun" and too ready to believe that our children have something to teach us rather than the other way around.

Americans may also be spooked by an unavoidable reality of our shrinking planet — our kids will have to compete with more than 2 billion Chinese, Indian and other Asian kids who, through whatever combination of genes, culture, and technique, are outperforming us. On a 2007 international test of math and science (in which China and India didn't participate) U.S. fourth- and eighth-graders lagged behind those in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Latvia, England, and Korea.

But parenting, in the end, is not about winning trophies, nor even about keeping up with the Asians. Could we stand a bit more steel in our spines? Sure. But to want your children to be happy is no sin — after all, it's in our founding documents.

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Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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