OK, I've read a few pieces (WSJ article, several blog posts, and the David Brooks opinion piece in the NYT) about the book and the method of Tiger Parenting. I just ordered the book. What are your thoughts about the topic?
I don't exactly agree with David Brooks choice of words, but if I understand him right, I tend to agree with him. There is a LOT more for children to learn than their ABCs and getting perfect A's. I understand Chua now claims that the WSJ passage was taken out of context from the book but I don't think it changes my opinion of her parenting philosophy. Assuming for a moment that Tiger parenting isn't actually abusive, it's an authoritarian parenting style and authoritarian parenting has been consistently shown to be not great for kids. In my view, she's no more superior than fundamental Christians who use Blanket Training.
Children who grow up with controlling parents tend to fail to learn how to be self-reliant. These girls will never be able to make decisions for themselves because their mother has made nearly every decision for them. From an early age they have been receiving the message that their own thoughts are not good enough, they must always defer to mother. Terrible. As far as intelligence and grades, these kids will be great technicians. They've learned how to drill and kill with the best of them. What they won't be is inventive, innovative, or creative. I know I'm generalizing—I know that some kids will manage to rise above their childhood but too many won't, and in fact will never live up to their potential as individuals that their parents so desperately seek.
My husband is Korean and while he did not grow up with parents at all like Chua. He still lives with the after-effects of not being good enough. Not getting high enough grades. 98 on an exam? Where are the other 2 points? I could go on but it's not really my place to discuss his childhood.
I don't think I could stomach reading her book personally.
Just thought I'd add this...
I just finished Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers". In it Gladwell deconstructs our cultural myth of success. Two points he made come to mind: 1. to be a Nobel prize winner you only need to have an IQ over 120 - it isn't about being uber-smart, rather it's about being smart enough; 2. the 10,000 hour rule - focused practicing on anything for 10,000 hours will make you an expert (that takes about 10 years).
Gladwell writes that the super successful have worked really, really hard and were very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.