What is a Chinese Mother?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Author, mother, and law professor Amy Chua is creating a firestorm with an essay published in this past weekend’s Wall Street Journal titled, "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” The essay, which was given its title by the Journal, included excerpts from her new book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” Both showcases Chua's strict parenting style — from forcing her daughters to practice the piano well into the night without bathroom breaks, to forbidding them to attend sleepovers.

We’ve invited Amy on the show today — not to discuss whether her parenting methods are good or bad or right or wrong - but to talk about whether or not her methods are really Chinese. And if they're not Chinese, what they are instead.


Amy Chua

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [5]

People act like this method is so harsh and unusual. In reality, it was the style used right here in America at one time. I know because I was raised by parents who stressed discipline and achievement.

Jan. 17 2011 10:15 AM
good chinese mother from NYC

Dear Ms. Chua,

Like you, I am a Chinese mother, born in Manila from Chinese parents like yours, and raised like you. Unlike you, however, I vowed to be a different Chinese mother. I encouraged my daughter to enjoy all the activities you prohibited. She missed school to watch the Oscars. I had hoped she would play the drums, but she wanted to play The Carpenters on the piano.

And still, she scored 2340 on the SAT, 60 points off perfect, and got accepted by Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

It will be interesting to see if your methods can produce the same results.

I did not push. I encouraged. And I loved unconditionally.


Jan. 14 2011 12:14 PM
Theresa from Brooklyn

How many times do I have to hear from Amy Chua? She is all over the internet, and has been on NPR about twenty times in the past two days.

Jan. 14 2011 09:52 AM

Better to have a strict loving parent than a clueless loving parent. Far too many kids these days are clueless, helpless, distracted and undisciplined, entering aduldthood in a virtual parasitic state - unable to take care of themselves - let alone someone else.

Amy has my vote.

Jan. 14 2011 09:36 AM
Tom Wilson from Florida

Not too many years ago we were being told 'it takes a village'.

Jan. 14 2011 09:07 AM

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