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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother


Registered Member
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - WSJ.com

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, 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.
From the various articles* I read about this, some of the things she did sound outright abusive - until I started reading the excerpt, and then it still seemed bad, but maybe not as bad as I thought. Some of the comments about the article demonized her, but some were people raised that way who thanked their parents.

I think even if you completely disagree with her and everything she did, it's good to look at how people view things from a different perspective.

* Danny Westneat | Tiger Mom has our number | Seattle Times Newspaper

Books | Retreat of the 'Tiger Mother' | Seattle Times Newspaper


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
I've seen some documentaries of whizzes and prodigies, I feel like some of them have had a sad childhood. Perhaps it's because they've had it differently or seemed to not have the opportunity to be a child because they were already focused on honing their skills.

I also noticed the chatter when this article came out. I guess it will be easy to criticise if it's something you won't think of doing to your kids, or something you're glad you weren't subjected to when you were a child. In the end it will be a matter of how we choose to raise our kids and we have different strategies, some work for us but not for others. Also, kids are different - even with my own kids, I don't think I've used the same strategy for them (same parenting philosophy but personalised too depending on their personality and needs). In general though, I cannot imagine making those restrictions above to my children.


Registered Member
I think often kids are pushed to be whizzes or prodigies, and that makes for (what seems like?) a sad childhood. But sometimes they chose that path, or embraced it fully.

A couple of my cousins are in that latter category. One's 8 and the other's 10 I believe, and already they're learning Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Sign Language, and my uncle's mentioned maybe teaching them Russian (their mom is Chinese, their dad is Japanese, and they live in California so they're surrounded by Spanish). The older one loves numbers. As they drive by a gas station he'll chatter about how those prices compare to other gas stations in the area, or ask about what the gas prices are in other areas. Or he'll go onto a weather website and look at weather from all over the country.