Talking About Tiger Moms
Re "The Roar of the Tiger Mom" [Jan. 31]: As a young Chinese American who has been on the receiving end of this sort of discipline, I can say that the ways of the tiger mom are effective and laudable to an extent. What worries me is the lack of creativity Asians instill in their children. Without creativity, we can only follow paths that someone else has made instead of making our own paths.
Fremont, Calif., U.S.
It is disturbing to see Amy Chua's story being hailed as a successful example of Chinese-style parenting. Yes, it is true that we do believe in the value of discipline, practice and working hard and we do employ appropriate punishments in teaching our children but it is totally unnecessary and potentially dangerous to push kids to the extreme. What Chua did to her girls should not be encouraged.
While it may be tempting to fault some of Chua's methods, it is abundantly clear that she's a parent who is actively engaged in the education of her children. If only it were so of many more parents in this country. We might find our children's achievement levels in math, reading and science improving dramatically.
Dana M. Craig,
Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
Chua's frequent reference to her parenting methods as "the Chinese way" is grossly misleading and unnecessary. She simply cannot label herself as well as a handful of similarly extremist parents as representatives of Chinese society and culture. Ethnicity should play no role in these inflammatory claims. She should realize that her inaccurate sketches could contribute to a spate of cultural misunderstandings. As an Asian, I could do without the hassle.
As a teacher in a public high school, I welcome tiger moms with open arms. If more parents reared focused, disciplined kids at home, maybe I'd get credit for their successes instead of being blamed for their failures.
Huntington Beach, Calif., U.S.
Chua may falsely believe that she is motivated by the well-being of her children, but through her unrelenting oppression, she is inflicting upon them a cycle of abuse that will be passed on. Sadly, her children will probably lack the compassion to comprehend their own actions as parents, in much the same way Chua is justifying her parents' heartless ways. Tigers extinguish kids' flames of innovation, courage and self-expression the traits Chua ironically is seeking to instill in her children.
Agua Dulce, Calif., U.S.
Perhaps it is sometimes good to have a tiger mom in a class or a school. However, if there are many, the competition and ill feeling can get ramped up to pathological levels. There cannot be more than one child who comes first.