Amy Chua says she won’t let her daughters play an instrument other than piano or violin, have “play dates” with friends or be in a school play, let alone watch TV or play video games.
In her Sunday Wall Street Journal essay, the Yale law professor champions the virtues of “Chinese mother”-style parenting, an approach with rigidly high standards and little concern about a child’s self-esteem. She says children aren’t as fragile as people think; she sees no problem with calling her daughter “fatty” if she’s gained weight or “worthless” if she is disrespectful or receives a B on a test.
“Western parents,” as she calls them (and she says she knows plenty of Chinese-Americans who fit into that category), worry more about their child’s individuality and feelings of self worth than about their success.
Sara Mead responds to this essay today on her Ed Week blog post. Mead bemoans the tendency of news stories and essays to rely on anecdotal evidence and cultural stereotypes, rather than research, and writes that parenting is far more complex than Chua describes in her piece.
At the risk of perpetuating the anecdotal analysis of this issue: What was your reaction to Chua’s essay? Do you know parents like her? Teachers like her?