|Nomadic SA Chick||
Publisher: Penguin Press
Page Count: 237
Nonfiction Genre: Autobiography, Memoir, Parenting, Cultural
Dates Read: December 31, 2015 - January 16, 2016
Reading Challenge: RL Book Club
Topic: AH Pick
Good Reads Summary
An awe-inspiring, often hilarious, and unerringly honest story of one mother's exercise in extreme parenting, revealing the rewards - and the costs - of raising her children the Chinese way.
All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence.Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way-the Chinese way-and the remarkable results her choice inspires.
Before I get too far into this review, I want to throw out the disclaimer in my life that at this point, I have zero intentions of being a parent. I love children, and have enjoyed the many years I have spent as a nanny. I absolutely adore my friend's children and my nephew, but I am not certain that motherhood is my shtick.
All that being said, there were many things I appreciated about Chua's approach to parenting. I cannot say her approach was the best, or even right. However, I cannot say it is wrong either. There were times I found myself cringing at her interactions with her youngest daughter and their constant headbutting. I appreciated how much she focused on her daughter's success in academics and extra-circulars, but was disheartened to see her not put as much emphasis on her daughters social development. I can respect her expecting the best out of her daughters, even in simple things as making birthday cards, but struggle to support her decision to publicly tear her daughter apart when said birthday card is not up to her standard. Chua gave us an interesting contrast of the American ideal of child care to that of traditional Asian child. Our cultures have a lot of different values and focuses, and Chua shows us how deep the difference are, as Americans focus on sportsmanship and the "everyone is a special snowflake" mentality, whereas Asians focus on academics, cultural appreciation, and always being at the top of your game/class.
I greatly respect Chua and her book, even when I don't agree with her, because she has given me a different approach and way of looking at raising a child. No way is perfect. No culture has perfected the best way, bet each culture has found a way that works for them. Even within each culture there is a shifting paradigm of differences that are ever changing.
Ratings (based on a 10 point scale)
Quality of Writing - 9
Pace - 6
Plot Development - 6
Characters - 7
Enjoyability - 7
Insightfulness - 9
Ease of Reading - 6
Photos/Illustrations - 5
Overall Rating - 4 out of 5 stars