A World Without Drummers
When my mom sent me this article a few weeks ago, I didn't want to publish it because it made me angry. It's a chapter from the book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother", by Amy Chua, a Yale Law Professor. This chapter is called "Why Chinese Mother's are Superior." It goes on to explain that Chinese mothers hold he secret to raising successful children. Success, in this article, is defined as excelling in math, science, and music (defined narrowly as that which is played on the piano or the violin only.) [I will point out, as she does in her chapter, that she uses "Chinese mother" as an archetype, that includes many mothers who are not Chinese. She also acknowledges that many Chinese mothers use very western parenting practices, and are not what she is referring to here.] She essentially says the secret is this: prevent your children from having a social life, make all their decisions about how to spend their time for them, and enforce these rules mercilessly. Here is the list she offers as the things she did not EVER allow her two daughters to do:
• attend a sleepover
• have a playdate
• be in a school play
• complain about not being in a school play
• watch TV or play computer games
• choose their own extracurricular activities
• get any grade less than an A
• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
• play any instrument other than the piano or violin
• not play the piano or violin.
About halfway through the article, I put it down and fumed around the house for a while. It was hard to believe that anyone would actually advocate a method of parenting that pushed kids to be as one-dimensional as possible. I probably wouldn't have written about it, except that I've heard this article being mentioned in other settings, and I realized that if single men are reading this article about parenting, then everyone must be.
I read on, and she did manage to make a few points that ring true for me. She explained that pushing your children can send the the message "I believe in you." And she offers the criticism that sometimes when western parents let their children give up on a hobby they don't like, or stop when things get hard, perhaps they are sending the subtle message "Maybe you can't do it." I agree with this idea. Sometimes parents can be so afraid that they might be living vicariously through their children (which is now seen as a particularly evil thing to do) that they become complete pushovers when their kids are indecisive about what they want to participate in. Sometimes kids need their parents to be strict. But, there it ends for me.
I think Amy Chua, at least in this chapter, takes the idea to the extreme. When to be strict and when to be lenient is a difficult balance, which is probably different for every child and parent. Sure, a parent adhering this parenting strategy would probably send their children the message that they believe in them. But they would also send these other messages "You can't succeed and have a social life at the same time", "Only the violin and the piano are worthwhile endeavors", "People who do theater, or play the drums, do so because they weren't good enough to play the piano or the violin", "if someone lets you give up on something, that means they either don't love you, or just don't believe in you."
I think that learning to balance a social life and a work life is a valuable lesson that all children should learn, as tough as it is. It may be hard to attend "playdates" and still get all A's, but I assure you, it can be done. Perhaps kids should be encouraged to find a balance between social and academic success. I would like to live in a world where some kids choose to be drummers, and are encouraged to do so by their parents. A world in which we all had "chinese" mothers, would be a boring one indeed. No artists, no drummers, no playdates.
Friday, 22 March 2013 23:43
posted by Amorwayreotte
buy generic priligy - buy generic priligy , http://priligyonlinemeds.com/#jequk generic dapoxetine
Friday, 22 March 2013 17:53
posted by KerferyCome
lasix 40 mg - furosemide online , http://buylasixonlinenow.com/#xmqyc lasix without prescription
Thursday, 14 March 2013 05:45
posted by lilmCallFlozy
buy generic propecia - order propecia , http://propeciaboutiqueone.com/#isbcw buy propecia online
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 18:42
posted by wheelpefobe
buy cheap retin a - retin a without prescription , http://buyonlineretinanow.com/#hxtdg buy generic retin a
Saturday, 09 March 2013 05:22
posted by Clonvisleneix
viagra 150 mg - cheap viagra , http://viagraboutiqueone.com/#lrjyz cheap viagra online
Friday, 04 February 2011 10:06
posted by elizabeth laufer
My kid is a drummer. Started off as a violinist and fell in love with drums. It wasn't that he couldn't play the violin..in fact, he was a great player and it broke his teacher's heart when he switched. I said nothing, but happily filled our house with drums. As long as he loves music, I don't care what he plays. He just came off finals with "Now I get to relax and play Beethoven in youth orchestra this weekend!" That's music to this mom's ear. There are too many violinists pushed into eighteen years of study who abandon it when they are no longer forced to practice too many hours a day against their wills.
Regarding your comments: amen, sister!
Leave a comment
I love hearing from you! Leave me a note....
YOU ARE VIEWING
Dr. Dad = My darling husband. The Great Tubaloo, or the GT = what we like to call our son (rhymes with "tube of glue".) Note, it's a title, not a name. as in "The Great and Almighty Tubaloo who has traveled from from over the mountain to impart his wisdom!"
Your Latest Comments...
- order proscar cheap online - 5 mg buy proscar online , http://proscarprime.com/#ewycy order proscar generic online Written by erammaFum Disclosure By Terrance, the Truth in Advertising Turtle
- Bouton et enregistrer la lourds baveux il faut sûre de mon côté inspiré par schubert. Par exemple je le client donne un couchait et je me une télé réalité une… Written by JonnanowSiz Goofball
- / jahr 6,14 prozent 鈥 147.000 / jahr 15,28 prozent.die 28.000 $ einkommen berechnung.. schliet mit niedrigem einkommen child tax credit. die anderen berechnungen nur die standard-abzüge. keine steuerermigung ansprüche… Written by oyrwwaqa6854 Goofball
- order clopidogrel generic without prescription - buy plavix store , http://plavixprime.com/#nsrbt purchase plavix 75 mg Written by Gofabadia First Place: Baby Finger Painting
- proscar online without prescription - proscar buy canada , http://proscarprime.com/#rhlnu buy generic proscar online Written by erammaFum Some Days Are Full Of Poop