For all the sensation over Tiger Mom's strict parenting, the one question on my mind was: do they eat dinner together?
I think the answer has to be YES. Otherwise, it would not work. The genuine love and respect her daughters show their mom, even after the berating and arguments, demonstrate that they have a foundation as a family. The day-to-day touchstone of sharing a meal together is the bottom line "love" that makes the rest of the crazy strict rules work. For more liberal parents, the family meal is the structure and time to talk that allows you to discuss rules and expectations in a non-threatening way. Research shows that the middle way of "authoritative" parenting is actually best. This parenting style means that you have rules and expectations, but are also open to discussion and dialogue with your child. Rather than always taking the upper hand, authoritative parents are respectful to the child and are flexible as the need should arise. For any family, eating dinner together gives you a chance to enjoy each other and learn about one another apart from work or school demands and expectations.
I am not a Tiger Mom, although my husband says I do a good impersonation of a Jewish mom. To run with the stereotype, I'd say that "Jewish moms" just have high expectations and there is guilt and disappointment should you not meet them. Plus, as a "Jewish" mom, I always make sure there's a lot of food on the table!
Great round-up and post on Amy Chua's book on Thrive by Five by Paul Nyhan, 1.20.11
- “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” WSJ. 1/8/11.
- “The Tiger Mother Responds to Readers,” WSJ. 1/13/11.
- “Retreat of the ‘Tiger Mother,” NYT, 1/14/11.
- “Amy Chua Is a Wimp,” column by David Brooks, NYT, 1/19/11.
- “The Tiger Mother Speaks,” Motherlode, NYT. 1/14/11.
very cute, but also well put!ReplyDelete