The mommy wars are under way...welcome to the panzer division, said Judith Warner in The New York Times magazine. Amy Chua's new memoir, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother", has triggered a passionate debate about proper parenting, by laying out the case for raising your kids "with an iron hand".
Chua, a super achieving Yale Law School professor herself, demands that her two daughters get an A in every class, and spend hours on home work everyday and additional hours practicing piano and violin. She forbids, as a waste of valuable time, sleepovers, play dates, school plays, and extracurricular activities. But where many of my listener friends had a problem was in her methods. Amy Chau yells and screams to get compliance and calls her kids "garbage" if they show her disrespect; she even threatens "to burn the children's stuffed animals". It may sound draconian, but it works said Patricia Wen in The Boston Globe.
Chua admits "the truth is, I'm not good at enjoying life." Is she teaching her kids to be similarly joyless? It's worth noting that Asian-Americans have the highest rate of suicide among women ages 15 to 24, said Ayelet Waldman in the Wall Street Journal. Still, Chua has a point says Mona Charen in National Review Online. "Our awareness of how soft and indulgent we have become." The reality is that our pampered 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.
So, are we too soft on our children? Is Mrs. Chau too tough? Listen to some comments made on the air this morning, and please leave your comments on my blog.