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#1593865 - 01/09/11 11:11 AM Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers
dumdumdiddle Offline
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Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: California
Here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.

Your thoughts?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...hp_mostpop_read
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#1593888 - 01/09/11 11:31 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
eweiss Offline
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Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Superior? Interesting word choice. This from the article...

"What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences."

Nothing is fun until you're good at it? Huh?

That explains everything. smile
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#1593903 - 01/09/11 11:46 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
The Little White Donkey by age 7? They must be really talented.
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#1593918 - 01/09/11 12:09 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
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Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
I realize we "western parents" aren't as strict as we should be sometimes but what this woman did to her daughter because of a little piano piece not going well absolutely disgusts me. I'm very curious what this "chinese mother" would do with a disabled child?
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#1593932 - 01/09/11 12:29 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
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.... and lots of people around here think "I" was a hard @ss. grin
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#1593946 - 01/09/11 12:50 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.

Your thoughts?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...hp_mostpop_read


A whole bunch of nonsense, really.

Richard Feynman wouldn't be Feynman if his Father had been such a Chinese parent. Watch some interviews of the man, how he talks about how his father influenced him to develop Scientific thinking by making it fun. I'm sure there are numerous examples from the music world too. That coercion works in a lot of cases, shouldn't be a case made for "Coercion is the only way to do it". Nobody coerced me to take up the piano. I'm nowhere as good as a Chinese pianist at my age but that's because there is not a single good piano conservatory in my country. I had to make do with whatever teachers I could find in the area. I practiced 2-3 hours every day as a kid, on my own accord. There was occasions when I was less motivated and my teacher would push me. I've practiced 7-8 hours a day during my summer breaks and those were some of the most enjoyable days of my life. My teacher, who was a priest in a Church, would take me to his "house" for lunch. They had great cooks and we had fabulous meals there. We would then go see the cows in the farms and then would head back to the music academy where I'd continue practicing. No Chinese parent (by the definition given in that article) can ever give this to their kids.
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Next in line:
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#1593954 - 01/09/11 12:59 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
I know a ton of children of "Chinese Mothers."

I also know how many of them hate the piano, art, and school in general - not to mention their parents.

"If a Chinese child gets a B—which would never happen—there would first be a screaming, hair-tearing explosion."

I actually snorted hard enough to hurt myself at that one.
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#1593988 - 01/09/11 01:31 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17770
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I read that article last night and was going to write a thread about it here, but you beat me to it, dumdumdiddle. smile

My reactions were this:

1.) The author clearly intended to be provocative (and succeeded... there were over 900 comments on it at the time I read it!). I also think that there was more than a little bit of tongue-in-cheek things going on here.

2.) A couple of years ago I would've concluded that the approach described in it was overly exaggerated just to get a rise out of people. However, my daughter started a Math-Science-Technology magnet program, which is heavily Asian in demographics (she jokes that she is the token white girl in the entire program, which is pretty close to the truth), and her closest friends are Asian. They report many of the same parenting techniques and rules (no sleepovers, no non-academic extracurriculars, insistence on straight As, no dating/boyfriends, etc.). In fact, my daughter has teased me on more than one occasion that she "should have had an Asian mother" who would push her more than I do and not let her procrastinate; apparently I am too lax in such things, LOL.

3.) Like most things, I believe that the optimal approach is probably somewhere between the parenting described by Ms. Chua and the prototypical "just try your best" and "you are special no matter what grades you get" American style.

4.) The psychological literature has shown that many Asian students actually suffer a dip in achievement in the first couple of years of college. The most likely explanation is that they have not developed the independent studying and time management skills to allow them to do well on their own, because their parents have been overly involved in their school work. By the end of college, they have caught up, but the adjustment takes a while.

5.) The teachers here may be especially interested in a response to that article posted by a piano teacher:

A piano teacher's response to the Chinese Mother article
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#1593995 - 01/09/11 01:39 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
That response article is great!
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Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1593996 - 01/09/11 01:40 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
eweiss Offline
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Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Here's a graphic I'm going to use for my new article..
"Where are the Chinese Nobel Winners?"



Where are they? smile Oh, that's right. Too busy having fun.
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#1594034 - 01/09/11 02:14 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: eweiss]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Here's a graphic I'm going to use for my new article..
"Where are the Chinese Nobel Winners?"



Where are they? smile Oh, that's right. Too busy having fun.


I'm Asian (not Chinese) but I think you have a point! I'm more American/European in my philosophical views on things and would like to bring up my kids giving them freedom to experiment and learn on their own. I will however make sure that I embed them in a favorable environment.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1594042 - 01/09/11 02:36 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
The latter half of that article was hard to read. It is naive to think that bullying a child and coercing them to achieve a goal that is entirely willed by the parent and for days on end, is acceptable in the name of anything.. The fact that the child snuggled with her mom afterwards is presented as a subtle suggestion that the child "forgave" the hardship and is now co-celebrating "success" with her "loving" mom. Pathetic scene and interpretation. Has Amy Chua heard of the Stockholm syndrome?
The child has no choice but to try and believe that her mother still loves her despite her slowness at playing the little white donkey!! AT 7, children are anxious and need the security of a loving home and parent.
Nowhere in the article did we hear whether little ms. Chua is interested in piano or music. What is the goal then other than CV building and parental ego inflation??? there is no attempt at identifying the child's interests or talents. Eventually you need self-motivation to drive children. Otherwise, rebellion is right around the corner, once they reach their early teens and are less interested in pleasing their parents.

I don't have a problem with insisting on some discipline and higher goals, but Chua takes things to ridiculous extremes. Her lack of empathy and understanding of child development are really abhorrent. I can only hope that she is exaggerating for the sake of article "ratings".

It is perhaps relevant to note that suicide rates among young people exceed 20 per 100,000 (35 per 100,000 in Japanese males), double that of the US. Certainly suicides are not all related to poor parenting but there is much evidence in support of the negative role of "shaming" young people into achievement.


Edited by Andromaque (01/09/11 02:38 PM)

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#1594052 - 01/09/11 02:54 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Also, its a prevalent notion amongst people of my country too that children owe everything to their parents. I think everybody is selfish and does things that make them happy. Even these so called "sacrifices" are really means to one's own ends. These parents want to boast about their kids when they go to parties, etc. Its high priority for them, which is why they put in the hours to get their kids to achieve what they (the parents) want. So these "sacrifices" are really not sacrifices in the strict sense of the word. Then when the child grows up, the parents even decide for the kids what they want to choose for a career. In my country, its mostly doctors and engineers. High rates of suicides amongst engineering students in my country might be indicative of the fact that this is not what the kids want. Its a vicious cycle. These kids then go on to live their dreams through their kids. Its extremely unhealthy. Its part of the reason why these countries don't produce nobel prize winners. The education business caters to the market for these engineers and doctors. Research facilities are poor, and don't have any money invested in them. What schools are designed to do is produce "engineers" who then go on to get business degrees and then go on to get high pay packets in some MNC. So you wouldn't see too many Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Nobel Prize winners in that list.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1594076 - 01/09/11 03:35 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Monica K.]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Monica K.

3.) Like most things, I believe that the optimal approach is probably somewhere between the parenting described by Ms. Chua and the prototypical "just try your best" and "you are special no matter what grades you get" American style.



I think the missing element is that the parental style is merely an overlay upon the huge influence of the deeply embedded culture.

It is simplistic to think that a child's development is the product of his/her own genetic legacy plus some parental interaction. What I've been reading lately has slowly been convincing me that the real cultural and peer influences far outweigh those. (just a small snippet: children raised in bad neighborhoods by great parents do much much worse than those raised in great neighborhoods by lousy parents)

There is a long section in Gladwell's "Outliers" on the work ethic and practice approaches of people from rice farming cultures, even generations later. Worth reading, I think.
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#1594077 - 01/09/11 03:37 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: TimR]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Of course on the other hand, the article illustrates another point: that you can develop superb technical skill at the piano without the slightest internal interest.
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#1594080 - 01/09/11 03:43 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10354
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
So, what's the Chinese Mom's favorite blood type? A+ of course!

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#1594110 - 01/09/11 04:52 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
So, what's the Chinese Mom's favorite blood type? A+ of course!




That deserves a real rim shot..



Just kidding around of course. smile
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#1594114 - 01/09/11 05:05 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Chinese mothers are only a few generations away from foot binding. Forcing kids to practice piano obsessively seems mild by comparison.
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#1594119 - 01/09/11 05:14 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
I had a piano teacher who was like this. He got very good results and was able to take kids to highly advanced levels after 2 years of study if their parents were on board with putting on the pressure at home. I totally didn't fit into his studio because my parents don't agree with that style of parenting. On the other hand, it's not just the Chinese who are strict with kids. One of my teachers here in Canada talked about it used to be common to whip students at the beginning of his career. Are rates of depression and suicide dropping or going up?

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#1594129 - 01/09/11 05:42 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Wombat66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 262
Loc: Cornwall UK
I'm sure that it is entirely unintentional on the part of the posters, but I'm as uncomfortable with some of the racist generalizations appearing on this thread as I am with the sick description of a mother's ill-treatment of her child to produce a performance of little donkey.
The child abuse described in the original article and racist generalizations submitted in response are both more appropriate to the ethos of a Nazi concentration camp than the promotion of the civilized art of piano playing.
I fully understand that Ms Chua herself has ignited this fire - why not try substituting Aryan and Jewish in the title of her article? "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers".
I am disappointed some people seem to have swallowed Ms Chuas bait so readily.

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#1594167 - 01/09/11 06:42 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: eweiss]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Here's a graphic I'm going to use for my new article..
"Where are the Chinese Nobel Winners?"



Where are they? smile Oh, that's right. Too busy having fun.

Ed--even if your post is in jest, there are so many things wrong with it, it's not funny at all.
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#1594173 - 01/09/11 06:58 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: eweiss]
pianoist d'amore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 184
Loc: El Macero, CA, USA
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Here's a graphic I'm going to use for my new article..
"Where are the Chinese Nobel Winners?"



Where are they? smile Oh, that's right. Too busy having fun.


Have you checked how many of the 320 in your chart are Chinese?

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#1594176 - 01/09/11 07:06 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: pianoist d'amore]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: pianoist d'amore
Have you checked how many of the 320 in your chart are Chinese?

Good point. And no, I haven't checked.
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#1594181 - 01/09/11 07:10 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
pianoist d'amore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 184
Loc: El Macero, CA, USA
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.

Your thoughts?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...hp_mostpop_read


I remember reading a law review article which argues that Asian minorities as a group often are over-achievers because they need those achievements to compensate their disadvantaged social status. It's from a critical theory class.

Not getting into the racial issues, I do know from observing many of my friends that a lot of over-achievers have very low self-esteem. They work extra hard to achieve external honors to boost their confidence, yet that never works out well for them.

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#1594183 - 01/09/11 07:14 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: pianoist d'amore]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: pianoist d'amore
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.

Your thoughts?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...hp_mostpop_read


I remember reading a law review article which argues that Asian minorities as a group often are over-achievers because they need those achievements to compensate their disadvantaged social status. It's from a critical theory class.

Not getting into the racial issues, I do know from observing many of my friends that a lot of over-achievers have very low self-esteem. They work extra hard to achieve external honors to boost their confidence, yet that never works out well for them.


Makes sense, except for the last sentence. What do you mean by "that never works out well for them"?
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1594210 - 01/09/11 07:46 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: pianoist d'amore]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2079
Originally Posted By: pianoist d'amore
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Here's a graphic I'm going to use for my new article..
"Where are the Chinese Nobel Winners?"



Where are they? smile Oh, that's right. Too busy having fun.


Have you checked how many of the 320 in your chart are Chinese?

Asian Americans

From Wikipedia, it looks like there are ten (do a search on that page for "nobel"). Considering that a prize often comes near the end of someone's career, and the fact that Asian Americans have been relatively new immigrants to America, one would think that number will probably go up a lot in coming years.
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#1594283 - 01/09/11 09:53 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
malkin Offline
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Those who think that nothing is fun until they're good at it will never have as much fun we who enjoy the journey.
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#1594289 - 01/09/11 10:04 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Oh, I see, the "Chinese Mother" is publicizing her book...
Not a book I will purchase, TYVM.
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#1594335 - 01/09/11 11:05 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Frozenicicles]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Are rates of depression and suicide dropping or going up?
Over that long period of time, we don't know, because in the relatively recent past, depression was not recognized in the same way it is now, and the topic of suicide was much less socially acceptable for surviving family members to discuss (or even admit).
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#1594356 - 01/09/11 11:42 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Monica K.]
T'sMom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 227
Originally Posted By: Monica K.

The author clearly intended to be provocative (and succeeded... there were over 900 comments on it at the time I read it!). I also think that there was more than a little bit of tongue-in-cheek things going on here.



I agree that the author was trying to be provocative, and exaggerating for dramatic effect. She did have some good points about the value of high expectations. I *totally* get her point about the school play; my husband didn't have a clue what she was talking about there.

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#1594365 - 01/09/11 11:59 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 837
I think using suicide as a marker of dissatisfaction is problematic. Aside from the fact that mental illness can hit anybody, previously abused or not, it doesn't take into account the unhappiness of those who survive abuse. Many years can go into the healing process for these survivors. Then too, many years go into overcoming a lax parenting style that left you without skills.

In another room, another mother of a seven year old was paying for an extra lesson on how to join rh and lh for the Little Donkey, and having a lot more fun.

To the writer who was overly sensitive about racism in our replies, this is nothing like the Aryan philosophy. People innocuously discuss stereotypes about different races all the time. The reason stereotypes become stereotypes is because there is some basis of truth, albeit insufficient for strident generalizations.


Edited by Candywoman (01/10/11 01:25 AM)

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#1594565 - 01/10/11 10:06 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Candywoman]
EastRock Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 6
Loc: Southern New England
There is certainly a tongue in cheek quality in Prof. Chua's article. If she was advocating discipline, hard working and stronger parental supervision then I am for them. Rote learning and drills work only to an extent, but last time I checked Hannon was not Chinese.

The problem is she took it to the extreme and lost sight to what ends her authoritarian tactics serve.

No play dates at all? No school plays at all? Aren't social skills and ability to function in a team matter?

Only piano and violin allowed? Soon we will not have any symphony orchestras? No more Rostropovich?

All As but gym class? Physical strength, agility and health do not count?

Even in the scope of academics, don't you want to figure out what is your child's particular strength? Some are better in biology then in physics, others are good in history and social sciences. If you want to be pushy, don't you want your push to be more tolerable and effective, instead of using the invariant "excoriation" technique?

Also, Prof. Chua's tactics work only if most parents do not do the same, or if her kids are inherently smarter than most of their classmates. If your children have about average IQs among their peers and all parents of their peers try to excoriate their kids into straight As, chances are your kids may not get the praise and admiration Prof Chua's kids got, they may not get straight As unless there is a grade inflation, their self confidence may not be that high, and last but not least, they will not have the opportunity to find their own callings.







Edited by EastRock (01/10/11 10:10 AM)

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#1594590 - 01/10/11 10:49 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
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ANY statement of what "ought" to be done in such a black and white way is wrong. The article is full of stereotypes and assumptions, and it deliberately uses negative emotion in a provocative way. There is a book to sell, I understand.

Some of us have raised our children using exactly the opposite approach. I would not tell everyone to do what I did. I suspect, however, that it is the sensitive and intelligent child who has a strong natural drive who potentially can be damaged by bullying. That same child might do quite well otherwise.

Lots of assumptions are made. There is one kind of Western parent (and one kind of Chinese parent). This parent considers her child to be fragile, and protects the child from difficulty, etc. Good heavens! How can there be one single mindset?

Although we are opposite in approach, I think there are some commonalities: belief in the child's strength, involvement with the child, and understanding that real enjoyment comes from a certain mastery. The difference is whether the child is pushed into it, or whether he pushes himself into it and is helped in that effort.

Getting good grades is not a sign of mastering a subject. Winning a Nobel or other prize does not necessarily show who is the greatest in what: but who has been noticed. Some of the most remarkable men and women with various abilities will never be known, while some who are by far more mediocre will be quite known.

In any case, I would rather read an article written by somebody whose children are adults. It is easy to speculate when they are young. Childhood has so many twists and turns.

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#1594595 - 01/10/11 10:51 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
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I'd like to know from our Asian teachers and students.... is this how you learned piano? Is this what you experienced as a child (no play dates, no dating, etc...)?
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#1594601 - 01/10/11 10:56 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: EastRock]
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Quote:
If your children have about average IQs among their peers and all parents of their peers try to excoriate their kids into straight As, chances are your kids may not get the praise and admiration Prof Chua's kids got ....


Two things: The child with the high IQ and high potential is also the child who might be the most badly marked through such tactics. Awareness and sensitivity will be toward anything.

More importantly: wanting one's children to get praise and admiration should NOT be any parent's goal.

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#1594709 - 01/10/11 01:43 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: eweiss]
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Originally Posted By: eweiss

Nothing is fun until you're good at it? Huh?


I think this is true for learning violin. Piano is much easier for beginners, at least you can still make good sound if you hit the right key at the right time. For violin, it takes time to be able to control your bowing (right hand) and get the pitch right (left hand position). Since my son learnt piano first and he knows what good sound should be (in his mind), he just could't make that sound and it was really not fun for him playing violin the first year. Now he is able to control bow much better (better tone quality) and the left hand positions has been an instinct (right pitch for all notes), he is really having fun playing now.

If anyone knows how to make playing violin fun during the first year or so, please do share (but it doesn't count if you consider making scratching and off-pitch sound fun.)


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#1594717 - 01/10/11 01:51 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: keystring]
bitWrangler Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Winning a Nobel or other prize does not necessarily show who is the greatest in what: but who has been noticed. Some of the most remarkable men and women with various abilities will never be known, while some who are by far more mediocre will be quite known.


One need only look at the 2009 Peace Prize that was awarded to Barrack Obama vs someone less well known like Greg Mortenson. Not saying that Obama is "mediocre" in any way, just that the prize itself is also a reflection of those awarding it, not just those who receive it.

The timing of this thread is amusing. My wife just this morning forwarded me an article on the importance of "imaginary play" in childhood development and questioned whether or not we push our kids too hard. Definitely an interesting and often divisive topic.

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#1594731 - 01/10/11 02:13 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
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I have seen some American parents treat their kids in sports just like the author. Yelling at the kids if they made mistakes, yelling at the coaches if kids getting pulled, year-round training with private lessons. Should I stereotype this with American parents too?

Come on guys, the author is trying to sell a book. playing dates are not allowed? None of my Chinese parents friends do that. Actually one of my neighbors (American parents) don't allow their kids playing outside of their property with other kids.

As far as why most Chinese kids get good grades, I think there are several reasons. Usually most Asian parents put great value in education, we teach kids to respect others (especially teachers) and expect they will do their best in school.

Another is the curriculum in American public school (especially in math and science), it's way too easy compared to Asian countries. Most parents would just teach their kids (1 or 2 grade level up) and give them extra homeworks.

Also the authoer is a law school professor, I am sure most college professors (Chinese parents or not) would not expect their kids to get low grades in school.

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#1594746 - 01/10/11 02:44 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: keystring]
Smallpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
I suspect, however, that it is the sensitive and intelligent child who has a strong natural drive who potentially can be damaged by bullying.


Yes, KS, only thing that I can think after reading the article is that the mom is bullying the child.
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#1594749 - 01/10/11 02:48 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Another is the curriculum in American public school (especially in math and science), it's way too easy compared to Asian countries.

You don't see the entire picture. In the US, why would you want to teach math and science in public schools when you can make (easily) double the money and have much, much less headache working in math/science industries?? It's a no-brainer!

The union is partially to blame for this. It doesn't matter if you teach Calculus or P.E.--the payscale is the same. Years of experience and post-B.A. units of education ALONE determine your salary. Ouch.
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#1594769 - 01/10/11 03:15 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
miaeih Offline
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Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I'd like to know from our Asian teachers and students.... is this how you learned piano? Is this what you experienced as a child (no play dates, no dating, etc...)?


Yes, yes, and much more extreme.

I wonder where the author grew up/raised her children. I know many who grew up in this type of household. However, the majority are from rural areas. Also, I believe rather than "Chinese Mothers" it should be immigrant families and the first few generations.

I do agree that most like playing pieces after they become "easy." There are few students, as least the young ones, who enjoy practicing.

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#1594774 - 01/10/11 03:22 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
liszt85 Offline
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Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I'd like to know from our Asian teachers and students.... is this how you learned piano? Is this what you experienced as a child (no play dates, no dating, etc...)?


I was 8 when I was first taken to a piano lesson. The reason my mom took me there was because I had begun playing tunes by ear on a little toy keyboard that my Aunt had gifted me. I loved playing for people when they came over to visit. My parents didn't know a thing about Western Classical music or the tradition of piano studies or whatever. They had heard of this Anglo-Indian lady nearby who offered lessons and so I was fortunate enough to get started in the right direction. My first book was John Thompson.

I didn't have a piano at home. It was way too expensive for us. I had lessons everyday for the first year though. The lessons started 10 minutes after school closing time. My mom and I would run to the lesson (we didn't have a car then and the piano lesson was not far enough for public transportation and there wasn't any for that distance). We would run and make it just in time. The teacher wouldn't let us in if we were late by 1 minute. Needless to say, I got tired of all the running at 8 years of age after school. We then moved to another State where I found a better teacher at a music academy. I now went there every day to practice. My parents didn't even know how well I progressed. They trusted my teacher with that and he did a good job as far as I was concerned. I didn't progress as well as the students of the teachers here probably progress because most teachers in my country are not half as qualified as you guys are. However I was lucky to have the best available teacher then.

All the things I did in my life, starting at the age of 8, was the result of my own decisions. My parents supported me in whatever ways they could. I wanted to go study the piano in college but I had to go outside the country to do that (no western music programs in college in our country) and our financial situation just wasn't right (and my parents were going through a divorce) and I also wasn't prepared enough to get admitted to a decent enough music program. So that dream ended there and I went on to study Physics, also of my own accord. As a child, I had most fun doing two things: playing the piano and playing chess. I played chess competitively until the age of 14 or so and then I had to choose between them as time was limited with increasing academic responsibilities. I chose the piano.

So as an Asian kid (not Chinese though), I enjoyed my music and my chess because they were my choice completely. My parents didn't bother about my grades in school either. In our country the 10th grade and the 12th grade final exams are the most important ones in our school lives. The school conducts model exams prior to that and advises parents based on what the model exams indicate. My math teachers called up my Mother and told her that I would fail the 12th grade test. My mother was worried but I think she trusted me enough not to bother me about it. I ended up getting a 97% on that exam, and it was the second highest score in the school. From my experience, these so called "methods" employed by schools and Asian parents (as described in this article) don't necessarily represent the best approach to education. I believe in giving a lot more freedom to the students. Since I was lucky enough to experience that freedom, I intend to make that available for my kids too. I don't care if people call me lax. I know what I'm doing. I think you American parents are doing just fine!
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#1594786 - 01/10/11 03:35 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Well, it got everyone's attention, didn't it? She has a book to sell, what publicity!

I think the author is definitely very extreme. The Asian kids that I know from my kids' school all seem to have play dates, watch TV, play video games (sometimes way too much). Most learn piano, but many stay away from violin when picking an orchestral instrument because the competition will be too fierce later on. Most do sports. So...

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#1594801 - 01/10/11 03:49 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
You don't see the entire picture. In the US, why would you want to teach math and science in public schools when you can make (easily) double the money and have much, much less headache working in math/science industries?? It's a no-brainer!

I am not even talking about the secondary education. Any teacher (even a bad one) is capable of teaching primary level math/science. I still think it's the curriculum to blame. Have you heard of the term "new math" (IMO a terrible curriculum)? That's the main reason we switched from the charter school to local school.
How many 4th grade kids still can't get the basic skills right? There is a reason American students' test score on math/science ranks behind so many countries.
I even read somewhere that more than half of US engineering graduate students were born in other countires.


Edited by C.Y. (01/10/11 06:30 PM)

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#1594809 - 01/10/11 04:02 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Smallpiano Offline
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Haha, how about this?
Being unmarried after a certain age is socially unacceptable in most Asian culture......

http://nyc.gov/html/nycmg/nyctvod/html/home/aa_marriage_pressure.html
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#1594810 - 01/10/11 04:02 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.
I am not even talking about the secondary education. Any teacher (even a bad one) is capable of teaching primary level math/science.


What? You've got to be kidding me. Why would I want a "bad" teacher to teach my kids math and science? You are so joking.

By the way, the payscale is the same for primary and secondary education in the US. Both dismal compared to all the other professions requiring similar level of education.

Originally Posted By: C.Y.
I still think it's the curriculum to blame. Have you heard of the term "new math"?


Of course! That's the dumbest thing ever invented, beside the concept of "open classrooms." Still, I would argue that if you re-invented the payscale, public schools would attract much more qualified teachers to teach math and science.

Okay, this is getting off-topic.
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#1594846 - 01/10/11 04:47 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: childofparadise2002]
Smallpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: childofparadise2002
Well, it got everyone's attention, didn't it? She has a book to sell, what publicity!


I hope I won't get yelled at this:
Maybe we can all go and buy her book and read and make sure that we won't treat our children the same way that she suggested in her book.....

ha laugh


Edited by Smallpiano (01/10/11 05:34 PM)
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#1594865 - 01/10/11 05:10 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
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Any culture or sub-culture (not only Asian, not only American, but anywhere) that has as one of its main rules "hard work is the only way to success" has to be very careful and conscious about how it defines "hard work" and how it defines "success". Sadly, this is not usually the case.

By any measurements except stress & anxiety, learning to play the piano is not hard work. In fact, if it's hard, you're doing it wrong. Intentionally creating stress and anxiety as a means of making easy work seem hard, in order to fulfill a false prophecy, is harmful.

Either a direct personal memory, or a cultural-conditioning memory, that leads a parent to say "I did not (or, we do not) achieve success without hard work; therefore my child must be made to work hard also" is missing an extremely important point: namely, that in some fields, music among them, hard work brings only wasted time and failure. What is needed is intelligent, patient, truly productive work, without the distraction and harm that come from artificially-created pain.

There is enough legitimate pain in the world. Every child will suffer in life. It will not "do them good" for you to add extra pain, nor will it "teach them about the real world" - unless what you really want them to learn is "first, crush your parents; the rest of the world will be easy by comparison". Teach your children how to succeed, and what success is, by setting a good example. Let them decide if the work is hard.
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#1594879 - 01/10/11 05:33 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Smallpiano]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: Smallpiano
Originally Posted By: childofparadise2002
Well, it got everyone's attention, didn't it? She has a book to sell, what publicity!


I hope you won't get yell at this:
Maybe we can all go and buy her book and read and make sure that we won't treat our children the same way that she suggested in her book.....

ha laugh


You don't need to buy her book to learn how to avoid her methods. smile
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#1594894 - 01/10/11 05:56 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]
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David, well put. Thank you for writing that. thumb

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#1594921 - 01/10/11 06:53 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]
C.Y. Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
What? You've got to be kidding me. Why would I want a "bad" teacher to teach my kids math and science? You are so joking.

What I meant is with a curriculum similar to ones in Asian countries, it would be hard to screw up by a teacher (even a bad one). Primary level math is not rocket science.

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

Originally Posted By: C.Y.
I still think it's the curriculum to blame. Have you heard of the term "new math"?


Of course! That's the dumbest thing ever invented, beside the concept of "open classrooms." Still, I would argue that if you re-invented the payscale, public schools would attract much more qualified teachers to teach math and science.


With the "new math" curriculum, it would be hard to prepare kids for secondary level without any extra supplements (even the teacher is a great one). The "new math" doesn't even ask students to memorize the time table.

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#1594925 - 01/10/11 06:59 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]
C.Y. Offline
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Originally Posted By: david_a

Teach your children how to succeed, and what success is, by setting a good example. Let them decide if the work is hard.

Just curious how do you teach your children how to succeed? And what if they decide the work is hard (like 30 min daily piano practice)?

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#1594935 - 01/10/11 07:18 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
david_a Offline
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Originally Posted By: david_a

Teach your children how to succeed, and what success is, by setting a good example. Let them decide if the work is hard.

Just curious how do you teach your children how to succeed? And what if they decide the work is hard (like 30 min daily piano practice)?
1. By setting a good example, just as I said.

2. If 30 min daily piano practice is hard, why is it hard? Without the correct answer(s) to that question (different answer in each student's situation), any attempt to fix the problem will have a high probability of failing. Example: if piano practice is hard because the child has bad eyes and can't see, no amount of encouragement or explaining will help him.
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#1594948 - 01/10/11 07:46 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]
liszt85 Offline
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Originally Posted By: david_a
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Originally Posted By: david_a

Teach your children how to succeed, and what success is, by setting a good example. Let them decide if the work is hard.

Just curious how do you teach your children how to succeed? And what if they decide the work is hard (like 30 min daily piano practice)?
1. By setting a good example, just as I said.

2. If 30 min daily piano practice is hard, why is it hard? Without the correct answer(s) to that question (different answer in each student's situation), any attempt to fix the problem will have a high probability of failing. Example: if piano practice is hard because the child has bad eyes and can't see, no amount of encouragement or explaining will help him.


I can see that you're a very good teacher, David!
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#1594954 - 01/10/11 07:56 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
bitWrangler Offline
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.
With the "new math" curriculum, it would be hard to prepare kids for secondary level without any extra supplements (even the teacher is a great one). The "new math" doesn't even ask students to memorize the time table.


Just curious where you are located that this "new math" is taught? We have experiences with two school districts in the area as well as a few private schools and every single one of them focuses heavily on memorizing multiplication tables.

From my own personal experience with my kids, I would lean towards having a better teacher with weaker curriculum vs worse teachers with better curriculum. We've experienced both and from that definitely prefer the former vs the latter.

The range of responses to parenting are of course interesting and diverse. Being the parent of two very different kiddos, it seems apparent to me that there is no "one" way that works best in all cases, no matter how good it sounds. Heck, as kids age a parent has to be able to also change their parenting style as necessary. I'm always dubious of anyone who says "I will raise my kids like X" as if it were written in stone that X is the "best" way, regardless of what X happens to be.

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#1594968 - 01/10/11 08:14 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Monica K. Offline

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The Chicago Math method ("Everyday Math") used in many districts explicitly frowns on memorizing multiplication tables and other drills. My kids' teachers all independently supplemented the official curriculum with lots of drills and memorization just to remedy that gap.
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#1595044 - 01/10/11 11:22 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]
C.Y. Offline
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Originally Posted By: david_a

1. By setting a good example, just as I said.

2. If 30 min daily piano practice is hard, why is it hard? Without the correct answer(s) to that question (different answer in each student's situation), any attempt to fix the problem will have a high probability of failing. Example: if piano practice is hard because the child has bad eyes and can't see, no amount of encouragement or explaining will help him.


1 piano practice may be easy, but doing it day after day could be hard. I call daily piano practice hardwork (compared to watching TV, playing video games, etc). How many kids can do daily practice on their own without reminding? My son loves playing piano once he is on the bench and he is used to daily practice (part of his routine). But sometimes I still need to remind him that it's practice time.

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#1595046 - 01/10/11 11:25 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
C.Y. Offline
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Anyone interested in "new math" curriculum (everryday Math is one of them), check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI

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#1595106 - 01/11/11 01:46 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
david_a Offline
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Originally Posted By: david_a

1. By setting a good example, just as I said.

2. If 30 min daily piano practice is hard, why is it hard? Without the correct answer(s) to that question (different answer in each student's situation), any attempt to fix the problem will have a high probability of failing. Example: if piano practice is hard because the child has bad eyes and can't see, no amount of encouragement or explaining will help him.


1 piano practice may be easy, but doing it day after day could be hard. I call daily piano practice hardwork (compared to watching TV, playing video games, etc). How many kids can do daily practice on their own without reminding? My son loves playing piano once he is on the bench and he is used to daily practice (part of his routine). But sometimes I still need to remind him that it's practice time.
There's nothing at all wrong with reminding a young student (and I mean simply reminding and not getting into a big fight) that he needs to practice. That has almost nothing to do with this topic.

In fact, once in a while there might be a fight. Kids are kids after all. But serious fights, or frequent fights, means something is wrong and it's necessary to find out what that is.

The "hard" part of piano practice is not the practice itself. The "hard" part is "sit down on the piano bench now, open your book to the proper page, and start". Ask your grandfather if that is hard work. smile

It does take a willingness to keep at it, and a lot of time. But in my book, that does not equal hard work. For me, piano is a hell of a lot easier, and a lot more fun, than Super Mario. wink
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#1595118 - 01/11/11 03:25 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Anyone interested in "new math" curriculum (everryday Math is one of them), check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI
I watched with great interest (I'm also a Maths tutor at the moment). I can see what the new maths is getting at and in some ways it's quite laudable but I doubt the curriculum time is available to do anything other than hobble kids. Times tables are indispensable - all my tutees suffer from lack of fluency because of poor primary teaching in this area. It's like trying to understand music without knowing your scales and arpeggios.
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#1595168 - 01/11/11 06:52 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]
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Originally Posted By: david_a
[quote=C.Y.][quote=david_a]

The "hard" part of piano practice is not the practice itself. The "hard" part is "sit down on the piano bench now, open your book to the proper page, and start". Ask your grandfather if that is hard work. smile

It does take a willingness to keep at it, and a lot of time. But in my book, that does not equal hard work. For me, piano is a hell of a lot easier, and a lot more fun, than Super Mario. wink


David, I clearly remember one of your early posts on this forum, in which you adamantly argued that piano shouldn't be considered "fun" at all wink

I shall therefore take your comments on whether music practice can be considered "hard work" with an appropriately large pinch of salt wink
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#1595274 - 01/11/11 10:53 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
Monica K. Offline

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Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Anyone interested in "new math" curriculum (everryday Math is one of them), check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI


Great video.

fwiw, I *still* have post-traumatic stress from trying to explain the lattice method to my children.

Incidentally, when my daughter's school announced that they were going to switch to Everyday Math years ago, I was concerned enough to raise the issue with the principal, who pointed to glowing anecdotal reports of test scores going up after it was implemented in other districts. I pointed out the weaknesses with anecdotal, nonexperimental data and got nowhere. I even e-mailed the publishers of Everyday Math and asked if they had any controlled experimental trials showing the superiority of the curriculum. They wrote back rather snittily if I could name ANY standard curriculum that had been shown effective in a controlled experiment... which I can't, which shows what a sorry mess the field of ed psych is in. frown

I hear that my daughter's school has abandoned Everyday Math (too late to help us!) because it wasn't working. *sigh*

[steps off soapbox]
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#1595284 - 01/11/11 11:07 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
dumdumdiddle Offline
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The Chinese mother who wrote the article is on the Today Show this morning (Tuesday). If you missed it, perhaps someone's posted it to YouTube.
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#1595299 - 01/11/11 11:28 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
eweiss Offline
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Just watched. Heard this ...

Chinese Mom to Child: "If the next time (playing a piano piece) isn't perfect, I'm going to burn all your stuffed animals."

I guess the ends justify the means. smile
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#1595307 - 01/11/11 11:41 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Rui725 Offline
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Being Asian American myself, Chinese for that matter, I had the exact same upbringing described in the article. Being an adult at 27, I would not have accomplished as many things as I did if I didn't have such a strict upbringing, but on the downside, everything may look nice on paper, but I have to admit, my parents never taught me how to live life, they just only grilled me to seem like I'm good at it.

There will always be some kind complication, especially if the child doesn't grow up to be either a doctor, lawyer, or a virtuoso, despite the straight A's, ivy league's, and music training.

Good thing its not the year 2000, if it was found out I spent my time on here and not, as the author strongly agree: 1)Studying 2)preparing for college interviews 3)perfecting one of Paganini's Caprices for the violin, I think I'd have a whole lot of questions to answer and probably get grounded with no car access for the weekend.

Though, I laugh now I think about it. grin


Edited by Rui725 (01/11/11 11:58 AM)

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#1595311 - 01/11/11 11:57 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Andromaque]
C.Y. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Andromaque

It is perhaps relevant to note that suicide rates among young people exceed 20 per 100,000 (35 per 100,000 in Japanese males), double that of the US. Certainly suicides are not all related to poor parenting but there is much evidence in support of the negative role of "shaming" young people into achievement.


I just read this post
Originally Posted By: Joseph Ruh

Alexander Song answered your suicide statistics question above. I quote

As a group, Asians have one of the lowest rates of suicide in the United States, 6.2 per 100,000.
Non-Hispanic Whites, on the other hand, average 13.5 per 100,000.

Source: NIMH http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-in-the-us-statistics-and-prevention/index.shtml

However, you specified young Asian Americans.

The most recent statistics I found for that were from the CDC (2005-2007), which did demonstrate a higher suicide rate from Asians aged 18-24 than the rest of the Asian population (8.5 for 18-24 vs 5.6 overall), but this is still much lower than the White averages. (12.5 for 18-24 vs. 12.2 overall).

Source: CDC http://205.207.175.93/HDI/TableViewer/tableView.aspx
If the above link does not work, just search for CDC Heath Data Interactive

Finally, during my search for data, I found several articles claiming higher rates of suicide in college age Asian Americans, all of whom either linked back to each other or did not provide the sources for their data, which was frequently narrative. If you choose to believe those articles over this data, be my guest.

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#1595317 - 01/11/11 12:06 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
T'sMom Offline
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We are not Asian, but live in an area with a significant Asian population and many of my kids' friends are Asian. I do try to emulate the Moms somewhat. I know it's a stereotype, but *in general* their kids are bright, well behaved, and a pleasure to interact with. The Moms around here do allow playdates, fortunately!

Here is an excerpt from one Mom's email to me about the article (with her permission):


It's 100% true! In China, it's exactly like this. Every child knew a lot of math, words, skills before they even get into preschool.

Here in US, many chinese parents get inflenced by western parenting style. However, the bottom principles stay the same. For instance, in my home, I'm more towards western parenting style. However, I also can't accept B in my kid's report, and I think if they get B, it's because they didn't work hard enough. I require them practice piano 30mins a day, otherwise I'm wasting my money and time to even send them to the lessons. My husband's parenting style is just like the article mentioned (but he let them have playdate, and camp out), and I also know plenty of other chinese parents are like that. He call them "stupid" if they don't do something right. So we argue quite a lot because of the difference. I don't think it will destroy kid's confidence, but I think the language is too rude, and not a good model for them to learn. We all believe that plenty of practice will eventually build up enough confidence and excellence.

Nowadays, when I go to China, and see how motivated people are towards learning, I'm worried. I'm worried that our kids grow up too relaxed, and will not be competent in the global market. My husband and I discussed about the jobs lost to overseas will never come back. We don't know except for doctors (which can't easily be outsourced), lawyers, what other career our kids can choose in the future.

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#1595329 - 01/11/11 12:28 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Rui725 Offline
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This method works and it doesn't even have to be for that long. If applied correctly and carefully, at the right time of the child's life to instill the value of hard work, it will last a life time.

The author is as one as already said, "provocative". Whether she was really as harsh as she stated, only she and her child would know.

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#1595335 - 01/11/11 12:34 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
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About the math and surrounding issues. I taught at the gr. 2 - 4 level.

First, CY - primary grades are very important because you are forming basic concepts on which everything else rests. It is easy to have kids count blocks, memorize 2+2 = 4, and fill in work sheets - but that misses teaching. If you tutor a gr. 7 child failing algebra, you'll often find that he never truly understood the concepts of adding and multiplication.

Teaching: In teacher training we learn how to teach. You set up a goal such as "the child will be able to multiply two-digit numbers", then you break down that goal into steps of mini-goals. Then you decide how you will teach this - what activities, presentation. Then what tools you will use. A grocery store selling apples at .20/lb is a teaching tool that can lead to a learning activity, to use the lingo. A textbook is a teaching tool, and nothing more. It doesn't teach.

What seems to have happened is that the publishers and maybe your board of education has taken over for teachers. We had something similar here. They have created a lesson plan, teaching approach, and do not allow teachers to teach (but not as bad as that video).

Over here it was red and blue counting blocks. The old curriculum guidelines said "The child will understand negative numbers and be able to use them in + - / x". The new guidelines said "A child will be able to do .... with red and blue counting blocks." and essentially listed a teaching approach rather than teaching goals. Those blocks confuse the heck out of kids, which is why I know about it.

A qualified teacher who knows how to design a lesson will understand about multiplying and memorizing. Blind memorization is not good. The child should understand what multiplying actually is, and if he forgets his facts, be able to figure them out. But he does need to memorize. 30y x 2 = 60y is impossible without both memorized tables and understanding what multiplication actually is. The teacher will set this up, and will also gear his teaching toward different learning styles and the makeup of that classroom.

When our educational reform came, two sets of textbooks were printed - one "traditional" and one with a modern "spiral" view. My children were still homeschooled so I researched. Only two schools in our district chose the traditional one. When I tutored kids with difficulty I'd bring our traditional, and they would say "Why can't we learn this way!" But the idea of how children learn had a stranglehold on the school system.

That video is insane. What it really looks like is an imposed teaching approach frozen into a book. But it is hard to tell from that presentation which deliberately shows everything in a bad light. I was turned off as soon as she called the book "a curriculum".


Edited by keystring (01/11/11 12:37 PM)

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#1595343 - 01/11/11 12:45 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Rui725 Offline
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The Chinese parent's main goal wasn't trying to instill memorization and pure rote learning, but rather:

1. Discipline
2. Hard work
3. Any other synonym for Discipline

Would this lesson be better learned as a teenager who's miles behind his/her peers? Unless the child has an extremely high IQ from birth, what happens to the rest of the bell curve? Most people have to work for what they have, it's just that simple. Never assume anything else. Most that get to top are innately "talented" with the understanding that hardwork is also required. Even Mozart was grilled by his father.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/choosing-self-esteem-over-sex-or-pizza/?hp

Interesting blog/article with references and studies that do not categorize humans into subclasses as sensitive as race. Hardwork, yielding self-esteem boosting complements generally lead to well behaved, high grade students. I disagree with the yale professor by generalizing races, but the core message remains the same, it's just that in today's society, without generating adverse, provocative statements, general society usually don't read and respond as drastically. The fact that this thread exists proves this point.

Child prodigies that go on to become renowned artists in music further prove that the right upbringing mixed with the right gene is needed, just that the darker side of life is usually not mentioned. The recognition and the monetary materials that is reimbursed to the artist is enough to cover the harsher upbringing. Those that were subjugated to the same harsh bringing but never receive the expected validation from society, then, would be a potential problem. This also happens but that is a completely different matter and at this point, then should the member of society need to grasp with the reality of the popular phrase: "You've done you best."

This vicious cycle, as I use a extremely negative word to describe it is because of the current rising standard of living and performance bestowed upon the younger generation, will only become increasingly severe because human beings no longer can "just be" in order to fulfill expectations of those around him/her. To bring things down to the most neanderthal factor, mating, is in many situations dependent on this. Sad, but true. Is this evolution or de-evolution?





Edited by Rui725 (01/11/11 01:31 PM)

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#1595359 - 01/11/11 01:32 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
eweiss Offline
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Let's see here ... Love of learning vs. learn this or else. Which one would I pick for my chld? Easy choice since I wouldn't be interested in producing a 'human doing.'
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#1595360 - 01/11/11 01:33 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Being strict and being abusive are two different things. Being strict and having high expectations are also not limited to Chinese, or Asian, parents. I am very puzzled by the article's labeling of this one mom's abusive parenting style as "Chinese mother" style. If it wants to be provocative, it certainly succeeded. But it doesn't really help to facilitate the understanding between cultures.

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#1595361 - 01/11/11 01:33 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: keystring]
C.Y. Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
When our educational reform came, two sets of textbooks were printed - one "traditional" and one with a modern "spiral" view. My children were still homeschooled so I researched. Only two schools in our district chose the traditional one. When I tutored kids with difficulty I'd bring our traditional, and they would say "Why can't we learn this way!" But the idea of how children learn had a stranglehold on the school system.

That video is insane. What it really looks like is an imposed teaching approach frozen into a book. But it is hard to tell from that presentation which deliberately shows everything in a bad light. I was turned off as soon as she called the book "a curriculum".


I don't know if that video exaggerates a lot (Monica can verfiry that). Actually I was quite happy when my son was in 1st grade. It covers so many topics (even fractions and possibility). Then move on to the 2nd grade, I noticed the same topics go all over again without much depth added (spiral approach). I started to search on Everyday Math and found that video and this article http://nychold.com/em-arith.html. I just couldn't believe what I was reading. Multiple algorithms for the four basic operations for whole number arithmetic only, and one is introduced each year till 5th grade.

I immediately set up an appointment with the schoold math coordinator teacher to confirm if they are doing that (answer is yes). In a test, do they require students to use the new taught algorithm if kids already masters with other method (answer is yes)? Are they going to teach four basic operations for integer (negative number), fraction and decimal (answer is not much)? Are they going to allow calculator (answer is yes)? After the meeting, I already made up my mind that we are going to switch to local school (using traditional math) even though we love everything else in the old school.

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#1595362 - 01/11/11 01:35 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
hv Offline
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My sense is that the whole old fashioned "Chinese Mom" thing is only being lauded by the the author out of nostalgia. Because its dying out. More recent trends among young mothers in China are less traditional:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-01/14/content_9317593.htm

The older parenting model is self-defeating, anyway. I mean what high-achieving professional-bound young lady would aspire to graduating to the role of a full-time slave-driver of her children. Indeed, I find it hard to reconcile the author herself pursuing careers as a legal, educational, and writer professional, while portraying herself as anything but a modern mom. Maybe that's the sequel.

Howard

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#1595417 - 01/11/11 03:08 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Chopinmaniac Offline
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Read Prof. Chua's article and the comments on WSJ. Here are two things I picked up that I found interesting.

1. The "Superior" title may be added by the editor at WSJ to provoke the public and to generate the maximum publicity for the paper. What a success! Imaging how few people would read the article if the title were "This is how I raise my Children" by Amy Chua.

2. Chua is not a Chinese last name for people from mainland China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong. It is more likely a name for the Chinese minority living in Indonesia, Malaysia. They may be distantly linked to Chinese ancestry, but culturally they drifted further apart from the "Chinese". It is preposterous for her to describe her way of child rearing as the Chinese way.

I am not surprised that people got so riled up by the article. What a move by Prof. Chua and WSJ.
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#1595429 - 01/11/11 03:27 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Chopinmaniac]
Smallpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chopinmaniac

2. Chua is not a Chinese last name for people from mainland China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong. It is more likely a name for the Chinese minority living in Indonesia, Malaysia. They may be distantly linked to Chinese ancestry, but culturally they drifted further apart from the "Chinese". It is preposterous for her to describe her way of child rearing as the Chinese way.

For #2, last name "Chua" is not used in Taiwan or China. Taiwanese would have spelled it as “Tsai” and Chinese from China would have spelled it as “Chai” or “Cai”. You are very right about the “Chua” last name for Chinese living in Indonesia and Malaysia and in this case, Amy Chua’s parents are from Philippines.
You are also right about “Overseas Chinese” who live in South East Asia has a very different value in a lot of aspect compare to Chinese in Mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.
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#1595432 - 01/11/11 03:35 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Chopinmaniac]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Chopinmaniac
Read Prof. Chua's article and the comments on WSJ. Here are two things I picked up that I found interesting.

1. The "Superior" title may be added by the editor at WSJ to provoke the public and to generate the maximum publicity for the paper. What a success! Imaging how few people would read the article if the title were "This is how I raise my Children" by Amy Chua.

2. Chua is not a Chinese last name for people from mainland China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong. It is more likely a name for the Chinese minority living in Indonesia, Malaysia. They may be distantly linked to Chinese ancestry, but culturally they drifted further apart from the "Chinese". It is preposterous for her to describe her way of child rearing as the Chinese way.

I am not surprised that people got so riled up by the article. What a move by Prof. Chua and WSJ.


Chua is the Hokkien pronunciation. It is not a minority. What she described was very accurate in typical 1st generation Chinese families. As the generation get farther and assimilated to non Chinese culture, the strictness will dissipate. By the third generation, this kind of upbringing will disappear, unless the families are still in a place where the Chinese population is still high, like Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc.

Hope this helps.

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#1595433 - 01/11/11 03:35 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
AZNpiano Offline
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In my experience, the overseas Chinese have held on to traditional Chinese values better than folks from China or Taiwan. Perhaps they are sheltered from the encroachment of "Western" values.

All of my piano students of Chinese ancestry were born in the US. They are second- or third-generation Chinese, so what I'm witnessing is pretty much the "let's all just play the piano for fun" style of parenting.

I'm the one who has to poke and prod to get the kids moving in the right direction. Maybe that's why I'm hired in the first place...
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#1595443 - 01/11/11 03:52 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Stanza Offline
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The "I am the parent and I know what is best for you" works to some extent, such as getting the kid to eat broccoli...But we all have our natural proclivities and parents need to discover these and not force what just isn't there. An interesting quote:

His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but he clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.



The "He".....was Albert Einstein.
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#1595446 - 01/11/11 03:54 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
In my experience, the overseas Chinese have held on to traditional Chinese values better than folks from China or Taiwan. Perhaps they are sheltered from the encroachment of "Western" values.

All of my piano students of Chinese ancestry were born in the US. They are second- or third-generation Chinese, so what I'm witnessing is pretty much the "let's all just play the piano for fun" style of parenting.

I'm the one who has to poke and prod to get the kids moving in the right direction. Maybe that's why I'm hired in the first place...


I agree that overseas Chinese left China prior the communist era hold their value much better than folks from China and Taiwan. They were not affected by communist mentality. Their only ties to their old world are tradition and values that they brought more than 100 years ago.

Sometimes, it is hard to see little kids be treated harshly by the parents, even though the purpose is good, but many times it was too much. A balance is needed.

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#1595462 - 01/11/11 04:25 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Chopinmaniac Offline
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Prof. Chua claims that she would not accept nothing but "#1" from her kids, the results did not quite back up her on that.

Her elder daughter won a second place at a minuscule local competetion, her younger daughter needs weeks of drilling to put her hands together to play The little donkey. They are both lovely girls though.

If the kids have the talent, a little push may help them to the top; for a kid with mediocre talent, her method could ruin him/her for life.


Edited by Chopinmaniac (01/11/11 05:21 PM)
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#1595464 - 01/11/11 04:26 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Stanza]
eweiss Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stanza
The "I am the parent and I know what is best for you" works to some extent, such as getting the kid to eat broccoli...But we all have our natural proclivities and parents need to discover these and not force what just isn't there. An interesting quote:

His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but he clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.

The "He".....was Albert Einstein.

I agree with you here 100%. But many parents aren't concerned with what's best for their child - that is, they're concerned with what they think is best which usually translates to make good money at all costs. I also wonder how much of this 'strict Chinese parenting' has a hidden agenda, i.e. take care of me, the parent.
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#1595468 - 01/11/11 04:36 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: eweiss]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: eweiss
I also wonder how much of this 'strict Chinese parenting' has a hidden agenda, i.e. take care of me, the parent.


Got a problem with that?
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#1595473 - 01/11/11 04:44 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]
eweiss Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: eweiss
I also wonder how much of this 'strict Chinese parenting' has a hidden agenda, i.e. take care of me, the parent.


Got a problem with that?

Not me personally, but I don't believe it's a child's duty to take care of the parents. That is, unless they want to and don't feel obligated due to guilt.
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#1595494 - 01/11/11 05:16 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Chopinmaniac]
AZNpiano Offline
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Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Chopinmaniac
Prof. Chua claims that she would not accept nothing but "#1" from her kids, the results did not quite back up her on that.

That's just a variation of the old trick: Set really high standards and settle for results that are close. For example, if you set the bar at 100%, then you'll get some 94% or 93%, and you'll just live with it. On the other hand, if you set the bar at 70%, you get what you deserve.

In my experience, I've dealt with quite a few parents who don't even have any academic expectations for their own children! The result is predictably horrid.
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#1595497 - 01/11/11 05:19 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]
liszt85 Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Chopinmaniac]I've dealt with quite a few parents who don't even have any academic expectations for their own children! The result is predictably horrid.


I turned out alright. My parents didn't even know what my grades were (only slightly exaggerated, they did have a vague idea, enough to know I wasn't failing or anything).


Edited by liszt85 (01/11/11 05:20 PM)
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#1595503 - 01/11/11 05:21 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
BDB Online   content
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Another comment on the issue:
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#1595530 - 01/11/11 06:06 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
liszt85 Offline
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Next in line:
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Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1595552 - 01/11/11 06:44 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
Andromaque Offline
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I don't know if this poster is addressing the suicide rates I mentioned. Those pertained to rates in the native countries (for China they vary among rural / urban, with or without Hong Kong and Taiwan). I did not specify Asian Americans.

At any rate, as I tried to say, I am not trying to build a case for a cause effect here.. It was a side note.

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#1595568 - 01/11/11 07:13 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: RonaldSteinway]
C.Y. Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I agree that overseas Chinese left China prior the communist era hold their value much better than folks from China and Taiwan. They were not affected by communist mentality. Their only ties to their old world are tradition and values that they brought more than 100 years ago.

Just to clarify, Taiwan has never been ruled by the communist party. In fact, Taiwan and Hong Kong are probably the only places that still use the traditional Chinese characters.

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#1595606 - 01/11/11 08:13 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
Smallpiano Offline
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[/quote]
Just to clarify, Taiwan has never been ruled by the communist party. In fact, Taiwan and Hong Kong are probably the only places that still use the traditional Chinese characters. [/quote]

Yes, agreed with you
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#1595625 - 01/11/11 09:09 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Stanza]
Rui725 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stanza
The "I am the parent and I know what is best for you" works to some extent, such as getting the kid to eat broccoli...But we all have our natural proclivities and parents need to discover these and not force what just isn't there. An interesting quote:

His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but he clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.



The "He".....was Albert Einstein.


Yet another example taken from 99.99999% of the percentile, as are those that went on to win the Nobel Prize.

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#1595669 - 01/11/11 10:38 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
4evrBeginR Offline
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Amy Chua is a professor at Yale Law School. This one fact has more to shape her world/parental views in addition to being Chinese. Not all Chinese people are ultra competitive people, but I bet Yale Law Professors are very competitive regardless of ethnicity.

One of my neighbor is a very accomplished surgeon. My son goes to school with his son, and I always notice his son is a bit stressed in school, being enrolled in every extra thing, and always trying his best to be the 'smartest' kid. By the way, he is not Chinese. He is white. I wonder if his dad wants him to grow up to become a surgeon and is pushing him hard to be very competitive. But he does not seem too happy whenever I see him.

On the other hand, my other neighbor, Chinese guy, is a Chief of Emergency medicine locally at our HMO. He's really easy going with his children and do not force them into anything they don't like. He plays video games almost more than his son, and obviously, video games is allowed at his house big time. His kids attend private school, take piano lessons, but they don't practice much, and their dad doesn't think it's a big deal.

There is not one kind of Chinese people. There is a large diversity even within a single ethnic group. Ms. Chua made gross generalization about Chinese mothers, but it is no different than to generalize and say Yale Law Professors mothers are superior. Here's another generalization - highly competitive overachieving parents have very dysfunctional children. Generalizations are often just wrong or very twisted versions of reality.
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#1595681 - 01/11/11 11:05 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
SpecialKeysCereal Offline
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As a "Chinese daughter" I didn't think the writer of this article was being serious. O.O

I really don't like stereotypes.

I nagged my parents about learning piano, not the other way around. But my mom said that if I hadn't ask to learn piano, she would have forced me to anyway laugh

I do have memories of pounding keys, ripping sheet music, etc, when my parents made me practise after I hadn't touched the piano in days. But my parents' threat was always: "If you don't practise, I'm going to cancel your piano lessons and sell the piano!!" So I practised. I pretended not to like practising though, even when it was fun. I was just being my stubborn self and wanted to be a difficult child.

I think parents are all different, and so are kids. My parents are strict, but even my mom and dad have very different parenting techniques and ideas...

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#1595694 - 01/11/11 11:33 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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An antidote to all this self-promoting claptrap from Chua ...

On Chinese Mothers and American Kids
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#1595850 - 01/12/11 07:29 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: ll]
CebuKid Offline
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Here are some things Amy Chua would never allow her daughters to do:

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin


Are piano and violin really considered the best instruments for "cognitive development?" What's wrong with the trumpet or guitar?

Thoughts anyone?

PS-I think I'll get this book today (on the Kindle).
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#1595894 - 01/12/11 09:03 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: CebuKid]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: CebuKid
Here are some things Amy Chua would never allow her daughters to do:

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin


Are piano and violin really considered the best instruments for "cognitive development?" What's wrong with the trumpet or guitar?



I wouldn’t take such claims seriously. It’s just one mom’s preference. This mom certainly has some extreme views. I don’t know many Asian parents who would go to such extremes. If anything, I have seen in the past few days quite a few Asian parents responding to her article and vehemently opposing her views. As far as I know some Chinese parents steer their kids to avoid violin, because down the road when the kids audition for good orchestras, violin is usually the most competitive instrument.

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#1595897 - 01/12/11 09:05 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Yeah, try something hard, like the French Horn instead of the silly violin. grin
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#1595927 - 01/12/11 09:53 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
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I am not a Japanese. As she left out my country from the list of potential chinese (style) mom of origin, I don't think anyone practices this sort of child upbringing. Maybe in the old days when Japan was trying to catch up with Western countries in terms of military and economic might. I think this type of parenting will fade in time as general living standard of china improves and they discontinue their one-child policy (mainland china only). They are still very "hungry" and eagar to succeed. Also understand that most of the new chinese immigrants are not their average joe in china. Especially the ones from the mainland, they are selected to come here. I have a friend from the main land china. She practiced the same parenting style on her children. She was a lawyer and her husband physician. They could come here even before china adopted some westernized economic policies. Why? Because the husband was selected to study at a medical U. Parents themselves are high achievers who believe in their superiority of genes and therefore, they do believe in their kids can do better. Chinese average joe won't even try this. Now her daughter is in Harvard. She is very happy but no one really likes to be around her since she brags about her too much. Like, "I can't believe so relaxted americans are! why don't you tell your kids that grades = money. not only an each A contributes to higher future earnings but the country gives you money (scholarship, grant, etc) if you excel. it's really stupid not to take advantage of it. i know my kids are grateful now". this could be a formula for success but i say no thanks knowing very well that my friend attritues recent japanse economic decline to the relaxed standards. I own my life and each moment of my life counts. success is not everything. I am very content with my life.
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#1595929 - 01/12/11 09:54 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
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oops i meant that i am not chinese in the first sentence.
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#1595937 - 01/12/11 10:04 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: CebuKid]
Minniemay Offline
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Originally Posted By: CebuKid
[i]Thoughts anyone?PS-I think I'll get this book today (on the Kindle).


Which is exactly what that article was for, to get you to buy her book. frown
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#1595981 - 01/12/11 10:54 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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OK..I read the whole book last night. The WSJ article is just a provocation to make people want to read or buy the book. The book itself does not claim what WSJ article stated. Once you read the book, you will have different perspective.

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#1595990 - 01/12/11 11:04 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Minniemay]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Originally Posted By: CebuKid
[i]Thoughts anyone?PS-I think I'll get this book today (on the Kindle).


Which is exactly what that article was for, to get you to buy her book. frown


Yeah, but you have to admire the nicely pulled publicity stunt, especially given that those who have read the book say that the book actually doesn't make the claims of the WSJ article. See: throw out a controversy (or in some Asian parents' mind, an insult), then if you want to know what I really think, buy the book!

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#1596005 - 01/12/11 11:27 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: childofparadise2002]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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Originally Posted By: childofparadise2002
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Originally Posted By: CebuKid
[i]Thoughts anyone?PS-I think I'll get this book today (on the Kindle).


Which is exactly what that article was for, to get you to buy her book. frown


Yeah, but you have to admire the nicely pulled publicity stunt, especially given that those who have read the book say that the book actually doesn't make the claims of the WSJ article. See: throw out a controversy (or in some Asian parents' mind, an insult), then if you want to know what I really think, buy the book!


The reason I bought the book is that I would like to know how she will be able to face her students at Yale if she really made claims her superiority way of raising kids like what in the WSJ article. It is just hard to believe a smart woman like her to claim all those politically incorrect assertions. Again, she is very smart in marketing her book.

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#1596019 - 01/12/11 11:57 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
dumdumdiddle Offline
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Watching the interview with her on the 'Today Show', she seemed to back-pedal from some of her more controversial statements made in the article. She said her book was really more 'anecdotal' and not necessarily telling parents that her way of raising kids was better.

But then, as she started to explain some of her concerns with 'American' style parenting (some of which I do agree with her), she got cut off because time had run out for the interview.
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#1596043 - 01/12/11 12:47 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Watching the interview with her on the 'Today Show', she seemed to back-pedal from some of her more controversial statements made in the article. She said her book was really more 'anecdotal' and not necessarily telling parents that her way of raising kids was better.

But then, as she started to explain some of her concerns with 'American' style parenting (some of which I do agree with her), she got cut off because time had run out for the interview.


When you read the book, her tone is totally different.

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#1596130 - 01/12/11 02:57 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Rui725]
Stanza Offline
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Originally Posted By: Rui725
Originally Posted By: Stanza
The "I am the parent and I know what is best for you" works to some extent, such as getting the kid to eat broccoli...But we all have our natural proclivities and parents need to discover these and not force what just isn't there. An interesting quote:

His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but he clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.




The "He".....was Albert Einstein.


Yet another example taken from 99.99999% of the percentile, as are those that went on to win the Nobel Prize.


No, My main point is that had Einstein followed his parents wishes, his contributions to physics might have been lost.
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#1596203 - 01/12/11 04:51 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Stanza]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Stanza
Originally Posted By: Rui725
Originally Posted By: Stanza
The "I am the parent and I know what is best for you" works to some extent, such as getting the kid to eat broccoli...But we all have our natural proclivities and parents need to discover these and not force what just isn't there. An interesting quote:

His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but he clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.




The "He".....was Albert Einstein.


Yet another example taken from 99.99999% of the percentile, as are those that went on to win the Nobel Prize.


No, My main point is that had Einstein followed his parents wishes, his contributions to physics might have been lost.


You have no point here, because Einstein thing is not applicable to most normal human being. You need to use an example that applicable to most normal people.

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#1596213 - 01/12/11 05:02 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
C.Y. Offline
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Do bullies have low self-esteem or high self-esteem? If "American parenting" focus on self-esteem, why there are so many bullies in schools?

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#1596335 - 01/12/11 08:48 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: RonaldSteinway]
liszt85 Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Stanza
Originally Posted By: Rui725
Originally Posted By: Stanza
The "I am the parent and I know what is best for you" works to some extent, such as getting the kid to eat broccoli...But we all have our natural proclivities and parents need to discover these and not force what just isn't there. An interesting quote:

His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but he clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.




The "He".....was Albert Einstein.


Yet another example taken from 99.99999% of the percentile, as are those that went on to win the Nobel Prize.


No, My main point is that had Einstein followed his parents wishes, his contributions to physics might have been lost.


You have no point here, because Einstein thing is not applicable to most normal human being. You need to use an example that applicable to most normal people.


Stanza could argue: "if only more people disobeyed their parents and followed their own dreams, we would have more Einsteins in our society and then, these Einsteins wouldn't be such a rare breed anymore". You wouldn't be able to disprove this hypothesis, nor would Stanza be able to prove it (that this approach would produce more Einsteins), neither person really has a point.
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#1596346 - 01/12/11 09:13 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: liszt85]
Rui725 Offline
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Registered: 11/19/09
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Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Stanza
Originally Posted By: Rui725
Originally Posted By: Stanza
The "I am the parent and I know what is best for you" works to some extent, such as getting the kid to eat broccoli...But we all have our natural proclivities and parents need to discover these and not force what just isn't there. An interesting quote:

His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but he clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.




The "He".....was Albert Einstein.


Yet another example taken from 99.99999% of the percentile, as are those that went on to win the Nobel Prize.


No, My main point is that had Einstein followed his parents wishes, his contributions to physics might have been lost.


You have no point here, because Einstein thing is not applicable to most normal human being. You need to use an example that applicable to most normal people.


Stanza could argue: "if only more people disobeyed their parents and followed their own dreams, we would have more Einsteins in our society and then, these Einsteins wouldn't be such a rare breed anymore". You wouldn't be able to disprove this hypothesis, nor would Stanza be able to prove it (that this approach would produce more Einsteins), neither person really has a point.


The probability of having an consistent IQ on the magnitude of "genius" is enough to prove my point. Unless there are people out there disillusioned enough to really believe they are smart as they say they are, then the percentage of the population that is both exposed to the right nature and nurture is slim. The question is not "if", but "when" to disobey your parents. Critical disciplinary lessons and morale should be instilled at a young age such that the child reaches his/her teens, irregardless of what decision in life he/she makes, will do no harm to society at worst.

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#1596353 - 01/12/11 09:19 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
eweiss Offline
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The point Stanza was trying to make (I think) is that love of learning vs. the do it my way or else philosophy is what made the difference in Einstein's case.

He loved physics and that love (and an amazing imagination) allowed him to go far. Very, very far.

What you don't hear too much from many Asian parents (I think) is the 'I support you if you follow your dreams.' What you do hear (the stereotype) is, 'pursue a career that will make good money and make me proud.'

Two highly divergent viewpoints and roads that lead to very different destinations. smile
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#1596360 - 01/12/11 09:39 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]
Monica K. Offline

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Registered: 08/10/05
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Do bullies have low self-esteem or high self-esteem? If "American parenting" focus on self-esteem, why there are so many bullies in schools?


Contrary to popular belief, aggressive tendencies overall are associated with higher levels of self-esteem (see recent reviews by Roy Baumeister).

Edit: After receiving a PM asking for more details about that finding, I thought I'd add a link to one of the review articles I was talking about, entitled "Does Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or Healthier Lifestyles?". (Short answer: No. laugh )

http://www.csom.umn.edu/Assets/71496.pdf


Edited by Monica K. (01/12/11 10:32 PM)
Edit Reason: added link to review article on self-esteem
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#1596399 - 01/12/11 11:00 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Monica K.]
liszt85 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Monica K.

Contrary to popular belief, aggressive tendencies overall are associated with higher levels of self-esteem (see recent reviews by Roy Baumeister).


I would look up those reviews if only my graduate program's workload let me. However, being a graduate student in Psychology, I'm wary of such findings that claim "correlations" or "associations". There's always some other variable that people haven't controlled for. There's always a statistical issue at hand, whose philosophical implications if thought through, might show that such analyses are not conclusive in the least. Then of course the issue of individual differences. Most people average data over subjects hoping that all that they haven't controlled for would get "averaged out" as noise (which is obviously false because those uncontrolled variables are not random variables). So I have my reservations about this type of finding, that pervades all(most) of the social psych literature right now.
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#1596704 - 01/13/11 12:36 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: eweiss]
Stanza Offline
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Originally Posted By: eweiss
The point Stanza was trying to make (I think) is that love of learning vs. the do it my way or else philosophy is what made the difference in Einstein's case.

He loved physics and that love (and an amazing imagination) allowed him to go far. Very, very far.

What you don't hear too much from many Asian parents (I think) is the 'I support you if you follow your dreams.' What you do hear (the stereotype) is, 'pursue a career that will make good money and make me proud.'

Two highly divergent viewpoints and roads that lead to very different destinations. smile


Thank you, eweiss
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#1596779 - 01/13/11 02:44 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Akira Offline
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Surprising views, coming from an American-born Chinese and also married to a (non-Chinese) American.

I would have imagined her views, in the extreme, would lie somewhere between immigrant Asian and Western (stereotypical) parenting.

It's as if, she is an immigrant herself. She's not.


Edited by Akira (01/13/11 02:45 PM)

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#1597062 - 01/13/11 11:40 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Candywoman]
Mary Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/13/11
Posts: 58
Loc: United States
"...In another room, another mother of a seven year old was paying for an extra lesson on how to join rh and lh for the Little Donkey, and having a lot more fun..."

This is a great comment. Forty-five minutes with a good teacher would have been more fun, and taken the extra stress out of that mother/daughter relationship.
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#1597066 - 01/13/11 11:53 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Mary Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/13/11
Posts: 58
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I'd like to know from our Asian teachers and students.... is this how you learned piano? Is this what you experienced as a child (no play dates, no dating, etc...)?



While judging a piano competition for young children, a tiny Asian boy came up to tell me that this music was really hard and piano lessons were difficult because his teacher wasn't American.

The comment was very cute and a little scary at the same time. I had wondered how he had come about this idea of "non-American" teacher, and how his family may have been a little flushed if they had heard him say that to the blonde-haired, blue-eyed judge.

As a piano teacher who has students constantly playing in festivals and competitions in the area, I will say that when my students make it to the Winner Recitals, they do tend to be the 'token white student,' but they all seem to be having fun, no matter what their race.
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#1597211 - 01/14/11 08:33 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: liszt85]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: Monica K.

Contrary to popular belief, aggressive tendencies overall are associated with higher levels of self-esteem (see recent reviews by Roy Baumeister).


I would look up those reviews if only my graduate program's workload let me. However, being a graduate student in Psychology, I'm wary of such findings that claim "correlations" or "associations". There's always some other variable that people haven't controlled for. There's always a statistical issue at hand, whose philosophical implications if thought through, might show that such analyses are not conclusive in the least. Then of course the issue of individual differences. Most people average data over subjects hoping that all that they haven't controlled for would get "averaged out" as noise (which is obviously false because those uncontrolled variables are not random variables). So I have my reservations about this type of finding, that pervades all(most) of the social psych literature right now.


Since you are in the Psychology field, you should do some study and then write a paper on this Chinese way of learning piano phenomena. We know that there have been so many successful results from utilizing this force method of learning piano.

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#1597217 - 01/14/11 09:01 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Mary Williams]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
Originally Posted By: Mary Williams


As a piano teacher who has students constantly playing in festivals and competitions in the area, I will say that when my students make it to the Winner Recitals, they do tend to be the 'token white student,' but they all seem to be having fun, no matter what their race.


But the other, non-white, kids who got to the winners recitals might also be having fun! High expectations don't necessarily exclude fun. It depends on whether the high expectations are in line with the child's own motivation and abilities. The little boy's comment is cute but the difference between teachers of different nationalities or ethnicities might not be that huge if we control for other factors such as the background of the teachers and the background of the students.

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#1597219 - 01/14/11 09:04 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: RonaldSteinway]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Posts: 542
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Since you are in the Psychology field, you should do some study and then write a paper on this Chinese way of learning piano phenomena. We know that there have been so many successful results from utilizing this force method of learning piano.


On the other hand, what I heard is that there is a huge uproar within the Chinese-American community in the past week in response to the WSJ article, many of these are first-generation immigrants. Many think that what the article portrays is extreme parenting, and most Chinese moms are not this extreme. I've heard that even mainland China parents are discussing this article, and many of them also think this is Chinese parenting's extreme case.

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#1597222 - 01/14/11 09:07 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Akira]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Akira
Surprising views, coming from an American-born Chinese and also married to a (non-Chinese) American.

I would have imagined her views, in the extreme, would lie somewhere between immigrant Asian and Western (stereotypical) parenting.

It's as if, she is an immigrant herself. She's not.


I know a number of first-generation Asian parents. I know no one who doesn't allow TV, video game, play dates and such. Almost all of their kids do sports. But it is also true that almost all of these kids learn piano and do extra math workbooks. First-generation immigrants come in all types, and there isn't a "first-generation parenting" style that everyone uses.

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#1597242 - 01/14/11 09:55 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Argerich5405 Offline
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I just need to say that I disagree wholeheartedly with Mrs. Chua. Demanding nothing but perfection from kids will lead to unhappinness. They may have perfect report cards and stunning piano recitals, but we are a country full of high-achieving people who are also depressed and suicidal, a record number of whom take prescription medication for anxiety and depression. I am one of those individuals - driven by the need to be perfect and fear of failure is my biggest enemy - all instilled into me by my parents. I had to had perfect grades, never slept over at friend's houses (didn't have friends), never did extracurricular activities (no music either) that wasn't schoolwork related. These are the types of adults Mrs. Chua will raise if she continues to pressure her kids for perfection. I am successful by all account, but I don't feel it! Happiness does NOT follow success as Mrs. Chua proposes.

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#1597259 - 01/14/11 10:30 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
keystring Online   content
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I just read a response by Ms. Chua, which rectifies a misperception. The end of the long paragraph which probably shouldn't be quoted alone:
Quote:
...But I also know of people raised with “tough love” who are not happy and who resent their parents. There is no easy formula for parenting, no right approach (I don’t believe, by the way, that Chinese parenting is superior—a splashy headline, but I didn’t choose it). The best rule of thumb I can think of is that love, compassion and knowing your child have to come first, whatever culture you’re from. It doesn’t come through in the excerpt, but my actual book is not a how-to guide; it’s a memoir, the story of our family’s journey in two cultures, and my own eventual transformation as a mother. Much of the book is about my decision to retreat from the strict “Chinese” approach, after my younger daughter rebelled at 13...

Amy Chua, response

It seems that her purpose was to get parents to think about what they are doing, and discuss the issue, which she certainly has managed to do!
link - Amy Chua responds.....



Edited by keystring (01/14/11 10:35 AM)

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#1597290 - 01/14/11 11:25 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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What an excellent way to sell books!

Begin aggressively, which catches lots of attention as it causes so many people to catch their breath. Her WSJ piece is still near the top of the list for being viewed, emailed, and linked.

The furor created by your aggressive in-your-face approach generates thousands of comments, many of which are quite hostile. This allows the newspaper to offer you a second page to explain more fully.

In your explanation you backpedal artfully and move confidently back toward the sensible center. This allows you to sweep in people who are intrigued by your approach and your thoughts, but who were somewhat put off by the initial harsh edge.

It's brilliant marketing.
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#1597314 - 01/14/11 12:03 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]
eweiss Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
It's brilliant marketing.

Ya. Nothing sells like controversy. I wish I had her publicist when marketing my own book. smile
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#1597330 - 01/14/11 12:20 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
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#1597355 - 01/14/11 01:01 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
miaeih Offline
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To the posts that claim this type of parenting does not occur, or are extremely rare, it is because of this type of attitude that more people do not speak out. It occurs often enough that there are psychologists who specialize in this immigrant Asian-American issue.

This is one of the best threads I've seen in response to the WSJ article which includes people have enough courage to share their own experiences: http://www.quora.com/Parenting/Is-Amy-Ch...Street-Journal

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#1597365 - 01/14/11 01:10 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: RonaldSteinway]
liszt85 Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: Monica K.

Contrary to popular belief, aggressive tendencies overall are associated with higher levels of self-esteem (see recent reviews by Roy Baumeister).


I would look up those reviews if only my graduate program's workload let me. However, being a graduate student in Psychology, I'm wary of such findings that claim "correlations" or "associations". There's always some other variable that people haven't controlled for. There's always a statistical issue at hand, whose philosophical implications if thought through, might show that such analyses are not conclusive in the least. Then of course the issue of individual differences. Most people average data over subjects hoping that all that they haven't controlled for would get "averaged out" as noise (which is obviously false because those uncontrolled variables are not random variables). So I have my reservations about this type of finding, that pervades all(most) of the social psych literature right now.


Since you are in the Psychology field, you should do some study and then write a paper on this Chinese way of learning piano phenomena. We know that there have been so many successful results from utilizing this force method of learning piano.


Didn't you call me a crazy and dumb psychologist via PM? (your exact words). So why this request now unless you're preparing for yet another flame war?
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#1597396 - 01/14/11 01:56 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Soozen Offline
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Maybe an overly provocative article to sell books as people say, but I found it interesting as Chinese (and Korean and some other nationalities) parenting is clearly different, but I don't know enough parents of these nationalities to know quite how. I don't feel sorry for the author's children - it sounds like they may have the best of both worlds.

The one place where I think her method of parenting goes wrong is never allowing the kid to fail or make their own mistakes. I think this can have dire consequences for the kids when they are grown.

I didn't read too many of the replies, but I wanted to reply to one of the earliest replies asking "What would she do if she had a disabled kid?" I was just reading an article about autistic kids in China. I guess there are special schools for autistic children, but the schools are for teaching the parents as well as the children, so the parents attend with the children. This is very hard on the family, because the schools are in the city, and it's difficult to afford to live in the city on one income, but of course one parent is always with the child, not bringing in an income. I think Chinese parents are greatly under-appreciated in the west! We just see, "Oh, the parents want the kids to excel so it reflects well on the parents" and not, "These parents will do just about anything to help their children succeed".


Edited by Soozen (01/14/11 02:12 PM)

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#1597433 - 01/14/11 02:52 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
What an excellent way to sell books!

Begin aggressively, which catches lots of attention as it causes so many people to catch their breath. Her WSJ piece is still near the top of the list for being viewed, emailed, and linked.

The furor created by your aggressive in-your-face approach generates thousands of comments, many of which are quite hostile. This allows the newspaper to offer you a second page to explain more fully.

In your explanation you backpedal artfully and move confidently back toward the sensible center. This allows you to sweep in people who are intrigued by your approach and your thoughts, but who were somewhat put off by the initial harsh edge.

It's brilliant marketing.


I agree this is a brilliant marketing tactic. I read the whole book, the book does not have the kind of flame as what depicted in the WSJ article.
But from here, we can tell that she does everything to perfection, even the way she markets her book.

Who knew Amy Chua a week ago? Nobody....But now, everybody knows about her...


Edited by RonaldSteinway (01/14/11 02:54 PM)

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#1597457 - 01/14/11 03:28 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Yeah, I should have thought of this in marketing my own book ... smile
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#1597528 - 01/14/11 05:51 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]
bitWrangler Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Yeah, I should have thought of this in marketing my own book ... smile


"Why PhD Blue Devil Fathers are Superiour to Homo Erectus Fathers"?

An excerpt:

"While the PhD Blue Devil Father will accept nothing less than their son's being picked First Team All American in basketball, even while majoring in Piano Performance, the Homo Erectus father is satisfied watching junior smash fruits and vegetables with various bones from their latest kill. This dichotomy of parenting techniques will inevitably lead to son of the former being drafted in the first round by the NY Knicks while the son of the latter settles for the life of a hunter gatherer".

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#1597556 - 01/14/11 06:47 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: miaeih]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: miaeih
To the posts that claim this type of parenting does not occur, or are extremely rare, it is because of this type of attitude that more people do not speak out. It occurs often enough that there are psychologists who specialize in this immigrant Asian-American issue.

This is one of the best threads I've seen in response to the WSJ article which includes people have enough courage to share their own experiences: http://www.quora.com/Parenting/Is-Amy-Ch...Street-Journal


If you admit it, ----see, you admitted it! And if you don’t, that’s because you are too ashamed to. Great.

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#1597598 - 01/14/11 08:01 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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The latest offspring of Chua's article .....

In Defense of the Guilty, Ambivalent, Preoccupied, Western Mom
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#1597602 - 01/14/11 08:04 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Quote:
"Why PhD Blue Devil Fathers are Superiour to Homo Erectus Fathers"?


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#1597675 - 01/14/11 09:55 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
alexb Offline
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#1597914 - 01/15/11 09:25 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.

Your thoughts?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...hp_mostpop_read


I read that article last Saturday evening, a week ago. It's taken me this long to settle down about it.

I felt angry.
I felt sad.
I felt insecure.

I teach mostly Chinese students and I love my families. So this was particularly offensive since I knew it would drum up jealousy and anger and envy of the Chinese and their perceived success and perceived flaws.

So that explains the anger and sadness.

But I also had to think about my own values. The article brought questions to mind:

1. What matters in the big picture? After all, we all get put six feet under in time. So what makes life worthwhile during the short time we've got?

2. Have I set my standards high enough?

I decided I'd slacked off too much regarding piano for my son. I talked to my son and had one brief battle. His piano practice requirement has now been restored to 30 minutes of daily practice. And he's not fighting me over it. Each day this week he has practiced 30 minutes. (Not an aggressive approach, but suitable for him and his level of interest.)

Yes, I allow way too much XBox Live time. Yet he is an only child and can talk (using his headset) to friends and a cousin...socializing and having online battles where they are on the same team working together. Not saying it's a good thing...but has some positives.

I've thought A's and a few B's were good enough. So I felt insecure over not requiring A's. And with exquisite timing my son's report card came home and for once during his middle school years there he was with straight A's. laugh

I have a new 3rd grade student (had 2 lessons) and as she waited for her lesson to begin I saw she was reading book 4 of the Potter series. I commented and mother explained she is competing to have the most AR points at her school. That there is one child ahead of her. And if she wins she will be allowed to have a cat.

I would never have thought to try to get the most points. Why would you do that? What is the point? Now if a child said "I want to win" and goes for it, I can understand going along with that. But here was again evidence that people have different values from me. Not saying good or bad. Different.

This same 3rd grader came to her 2nd lesson and admitted she had not practiced and said "But my sister didn't practice either" (five year old sister). What I'm hoping to do is to turn some of the competitive spirit regarding reading toward practicing piano. We'll see. Her first lesson she kind of had an "Oh, brother, this is baby stuff" attitude (unspoken of course). She seemed to have the attitude of an older child and not an 8 year old. After that I checked her birthday and sure enough she IS older (she's 10 but small for her age...not sure why only in 3rd grade unless there were language issues when they moved here).

We covered a lot more ground 2nd lesson and at a faster pace. I'm excited to see what will develop. And see if an interest in piano takes hold for her.


OK. I've covered a lot of ground. I've resisted posting since I didn't want to give this author attention. But here I am posting anyway.
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#1597937 - 01/15/11 10:14 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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I find all this "Chinese" mother stuff rather amusing. Having high standards isn't Chinese. Loving your children isn't Chinese either. All I can determine from this hyperbolic essay is that the "Chinese-ness" is just the almost pathological extremes to which she takes things. Since I don't think those characteristics actually ARE Chinese, I find the essay essentially a good example of effective huxterism.

Evidence? Her book is currently ranked #5 at Amazon. Well done, Amy.

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#1597989 - 01/15/11 12:01 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: childofparadise2002]
Mary Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/13/11
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[/quote]
But the other, non-white, kids who got to the winners recitals might also be having fun! [/quote]


Yes. That's exactly what I meant. They all seem to be having fun and and there is a lot of pride in their performances!
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#1598053 - 01/15/11 01:59 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Mary Williams]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mary Williams


But the other, non-white, kids who got to the winners recitals might also be having fun! [/quote]


Yes. That's exactly what I meant. They all seem to be having fun and and there is a lot of pride in their performances! [/quote]

Yes, sorry that I misunderstood you.

That’s a point that many Asian parents and kids worry about, though. Because of the already strong stereotype, it is quite easy to attribute Asian kids’ performance to parental pressure and see them as little learning machines who don’t have fun. Even though this is true for some Asian kids (and non-Asian kids), many kids excel at certain areas because they are internally driven and are willing to put in the effort, and they really are having fun. Some Asian parents actually think that Chua’s article will have a long-lasting damaging effect on Asian kids. It’s easy to reinforce a stereotype, but extremely difficult to get rid of one.

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#1598067 - 01/15/11 02:23 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Quote:
It’s easy to reinforce a stereotype, but extremely difficult to get rid of one.


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#1598096 - 01/15/11 03:07 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I have a new 3rd grade student (had 2 lessons) and as she waited for her lesson to begin I saw she was reading book 4 of the Potter series. I commented and mother explained she is competing to have the most AR points at her school. That there is one child ahead of her. And if she wins she will be allowed to have a cat.

I would never have thought to try to get the most points. Why would you do that? What is the point?

Actually, the point is to get kids to read books. The whole AR program has been somewhat successful in many school districts by encouraging students to read books and quantifying how "much" they've read. If reading books becomes a competition, I'll just live with it.


Edited by AZNpiano (01/15/11 03:08 PM)
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#1598120 - 01/15/11 04:16 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Soozen]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
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Originally Posted By: Soozen
Maybe an overly provocative article to sell books as people say, but I found it interesting as Chinese (and Korean and some other nationalities) parenting is clearly different, but I don't know enough parents of these nationalities to know quite how. I don't feel sorry for the author's children - it sounds like they may have the best of both worlds.

The one place where I think her method of parenting goes wrong is never allowing the kid to fail or make their own mistakes. I think this can have dire consequences for the kids when they are grown.

I didn't read too many of the replies, but I wanted to reply to one of the earliest replies asking "What would she do if she had a disabled kid?" I was just reading an article about autistic kids in China. I guess there are special schools for autistic children, but the schools are for teaching the parents as well as the children, so the parents attend with the children. This is very hard on the family, because the schools are in the city, and it's difficult to afford to live in the city on one income, but of course one parent is always with the child, not bringing in an income. I think Chinese parents are greatly under-appreciated in the west! We just see, "Oh, the parents want the kids to excel so it reflects well on the parents" and not, "These parents will do just about anything to help their children succeed".

I wasn't thinking so much about "chinese mothers" in general or severely disabled children when I made that remark as I was the reaction by the author personally when her daughter wasn't living up to her expectations of excellence with the little donkey song. I wondered if she would react the same to her daughter for not memorizing her spelling list to Mom's satisfaction? And if so, what if it turned out she had a learning disability like dyslexia that hadn't been diagnosed yet? How many trips would Mom have made to the salvation army before she questioned the possibility that maybe her daughter wasn't lazy?
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#1598196 - 01/15/11 06:27 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
malkin Offline
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Bleh.
I'm tired of this mom.

My book could be called: If I'm not the worst mom that ever was, I may be the most boring, but I'd never make it into the Amazon top 100.
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#1598266 - 01/15/11 08:28 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I have a new 3rd grade student (had 2 lessons) and as she waited for her lesson to begin I saw she was reading book 4 of the Potter series. I commented and mother explained she is competing to have the most AR points at her school. That there is one child ahead of her. And if she wins she will be allowed to have a cat.

I would never have thought to try to get the most points. Why would you do that? What is the point?

Actually, the point is to get kids to read books. The whole AR program has been somewhat successful in many school districts by encouraging students to read books and quantifying how "much" they've read. If reading books becomes a competition, I'll just live with it.


Yeah. It's no big deal if someone works really hard to win a contest. It's all good. I'm sorry if I inadvertently contributed to the stereotype that the author promotes.
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And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
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#1598501 - 01/16/11 09:09 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Actually, don't get me started on the AR program.

[OT warning on]

The AR program (accelerated reader) is badly named. It is NOT designed as an "accelerated" program for gifted and/or avid readers. Its expressed purpose is to encourage marginal or struggling students to develop a reading habit. Parents of advanced students often confuse it for a truly "accelerated" program. This also goes for hyper-competitive parents who want their children to shine above their peers.

[OT warning off]
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#1598549 - 01/16/11 11:31 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]
Monica K. Offline

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Registered: 08/10/05
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad

Evidence? Her book is currently ranked #5 at Amazon. Well done, Amy.



Here I sheepishly admit that I was intrigued enough by the WSJ article and subsequent uproar that I helped propel it to that #5 ranking by ordering it. whome

Though I will also confess to feeling some unattractive envy after reading that she received an advance in the "high six figures" !!!! for the book, which she reportedly wrote in a mere 8 weeks.

*sigh*
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#1598598 - 01/16/11 12:34 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
keystring Online   content
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The author had an effective publicist, or whatever the title is within the mechanism of publishing companies, who knew what to do to get sales. It was the cynical exploitation of the baser side of human nature: jealousy, anger, outrage, stereotyping etc. It may also have cost the author, because she is now seen by many as having views that she doesn't actually have. In fact, they are the opposite of what she intended when she wrote the book. I'm not sure that I would want to pay that price for the sake of sales.

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#1598715 - 01/16/11 03:25 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: keystring]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
The author had an effective publicist, or whatever the title is within the mechanism of publishing companies, who knew what to do to get sales.


I'm finding the title disturbing, as it keeps rumbling on in discussion here.

Think which of these titles would be acceptable:

Why Chinese Mothers are Inferior to Western Mothers
Why Western Mothers are Superior to Chinese Mothers
Why White Mothers are Superior to Black Mothers

???

Uugh - makes me shudder.
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#1598740 - 01/16/11 04:00 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Quote:
Think which of these titles would be acceptable:

Why Chinese Mothers are Inferior to Western Mothers
Why Western Mothers are Superior to Chinese Mothers
Why White Mothers are Superior to Black Mothers

???

Uugh - makes me shudder.


Yeah, I understand your angst, but I guess the title doesn't bother me that much. The content, on the other hand ....

The language of the title is just shorthand for differences in cultural approach to a specific task (parenting), which is why I don't think the black/white analogy is all that apt.
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#1598754 - 01/16/11 04:33 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
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PRESENTING:

Battle of the Maternal Stereotypes!
Chinese Mother vs Jewish Mother!
Wontons vs latkes at twenty paces!

(Winner to receive choice of new Bosendorfer or HongKong)

wink
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#1600198 - 01/18/11 04:41 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
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OK, thread resurrection:

IMO, a brilliant rejoinder to Chua. She's actually a wimp who shields her children from the truly difficult cognitive learning experiences!

Amy Chua is a Wimp
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#1600728 - 01/19/11 11:29 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Argerich5405 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/09
Posts: 172
Guys, I actually (sadly) read the book. The title of the journal article was quite misleading in that, the book doesn't read that way. It was an interesting view into a psychotic mother's need to control everything her children did/could do. In a way, Mrs. Chua spent the entire book glorifying the accomplishments of her children (winning 1st place at so and so competition) with the occasional not winning being the twists in the book.

Mrs. Chua's children already had quite a natural gift for music, it is unrealistic that every child would turn out the way her children did. I also couldn't help but feel disgusted (ENVIOUS) by the lengths Mrs. Chua took to win competitions/recitals (paying thousands of dollars to bring a music teacher along to an audition). I mean, SERIOUSLY? This is a very privileged family's story. They are very well-off financially to do the things they did with their children and had connections to powerful individuals who helped provide opportunities for the daughters to succeed in music. In short, there were many many advantages that these children had in order to succeed in music (not just talent) -- which Mrs. Chua completely ignores to acknowledge in the book.

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#1600809 - 01/19/11 12:59 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Chua seems to be backpeddling a bit - Tough Love Chinese Style
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#1600828 - 01/19/11 01:16 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 358
Loc: Western NC (US)
i have a Chinese friend, in her 40s, I wondered why she hated flowers, and once she got really angry when i commented on a blossoming dogwood tree... Any remark like "oh look at that ... bloodroot, or tulip, or forsythia"... would cause a sort of spitting sound of disdain. I later found out her father decided she should become an artist, and she spent many many hours as a teenager learning to paint flowers! She didn't even care to talk about it. So... when the Chinese approach works, it works-- and when it doesn't, it REALLY doesn't! (One day, out hiking, my friend said quietly, as if to herself, "Oh, pretty" when we passed a stand of trillium, and I didnt say anything, just felt it was good for her own soul to say that)

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#1600956 - 01/19/11 04:30 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
I wouldn't say Chinese parenting skills are better than Western parents'. I'd say that in general, Asian culture places emphasis on values that are different from Westerners. That said, I dont think it is fair to generalize Chinese in such a way.

Although my parents were strict, I was not force to get straight A or practise the piano. I had to beg for piano lessons. When I practised too much my mum would ask me to shut up. Several times she would attempt to end my piano lessons, saying that I'm good enough and no longer need lessons. I can hardly remember my mum asking me to practise music or do my homework, or requesting straight A. I only remember getting caned for getting a D!

Although I didn't turn out to be one of the top students, I managed ok as an "above average students" from primary school through to university, now ended up as a chartered accountant as my profession. I still love music, practicing violin almost everyday for the past 7 years, and now the piano. Would I achieve more if I had those "Chinese tough love"? Maybe, but I'd say I'd be a lot more unhappy and stressing myself out for not living in a big mansion, driving expensive cars and not having anything for my patents to brag about. I'm glad I didn't get the tough love! The thing I got from my parents is to be self-sufficient and strive to be a good person.

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#1601632 - 01/20/11 05:34 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Because I have common sense (something Ms Chua seems to lack) I have 2 questions:

1 - what happens when you have several "Tiger Mothers" in a class? There can only be one "First Place." Demanding your child be first in every activity does not work very well if everyone is doing it.

2 - This woman is a freakin' Yale Law Professor, something one would ASSUME is a more-than-full-time job. How on earth did she have time to spend what sounds like 20 hours a day doing things like supervise 3 hours of piano/violin practice, or 2000 math problems a night (as an aside...how is that even possible??? At one problem per minute wouldn't it take 33 1/2 hours to do 2000 problems???).

One of a zillion articles 'about' her article pointed out that her claims a questionable. Chua claims her 3 year old was 'reading Satre'...it turns out the kid just recognized the words "No Exit."

Sounds sketchy to me...
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#1601648 - 01/20/11 06:01 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Mr. Peabody Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 120
Loc: Philly suburbs, Pennsylvania
One of my sons actually taught himself to read his first book when he just turned 4. Of course it was an even more difficult book than Satre...it was "Thomas the Tank Engine." My wife and I were incredibly surprised. Yes, we checked to be sure it wasn't just memorizing what was on the page. I wrote some of the words on a piece of paper and it became clear that he figured out some basic phonics on his own. I believe that he didn't want to wait for us to read this book to him so he just tried to figure it out on his own.

Mr. Peabody
Oh...and by the way, I happen to be...(OMINOUS MUSIC)...CHINESE! (Call social services right away!)


Edited by Mr. Peabody (01/20/11 06:12 PM)

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#1601657 - 01/20/11 06:11 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Oh I have no doubt that preschool kids can learn to read. I'll never forget the day my little brother, who was about 4, had been messing with my Partridge Family albums (yes, this dates me, I know). He told me he put them all back in their cardboard sleeves. Since the records all looked identical I thought he'd just stuck them in random covers, and was irritated. When I looked I saw that they were all in the right covers! I asked him how he did it and he said, matter-of-factly..."I read them"(!) Mom and I were both astounded, no one had ever worked with him much or tried to teach him. He just picked it up!

However, this is a far, far, cry from "reading Sartre"...(as was what Ms Chua's daughter apparently did). She seems to embellish the truth quite a bit. Makes me want to suggest someone digs thru her academic publications and do some fact checking wink
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1601663 - 01/20/11 06:19 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Mr. Peabody Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 120
Loc: Philly suburbs, Pennsylvania
Honestly, Sartre is such a Debbie Downer. Much, much better to read "Thomas the Tank Engine."

Mr. Peabody
Note to self: must berate my sons from 9:00 to 9:15PM tonight...just because.

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#1601679 - 01/20/11 06:54 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10354
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
Note to self: must berate my sons from 9:00 to 9:15PM tonight...just because.


grin
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https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1602015 - 01/21/11 06:17 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Mr. Peabody]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: Mr. Peabody
Honestly, Sartre is such a Debbie Downer. Much, much better to read "Thomas the Tank Engine."



And I managed The Cat in the Hat at about that age in the wilds of Appalachia. No Tiger Mothers involved. (But there was probably a Mama Possum or two around.)
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Slow down and do it right.

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