Talking About Tiger Moms

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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.

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.
Simon Hsueh, TAIPEI

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.
Ian Leung, SYDNEY

Finland has consistently been a top performer in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests. Last year we were listed third in the overall PISA ranking, right after Shanghai and South Korea. And we do not need tiger moms for this. Dedicated, university-educated teachers and uniform school quality go a long way.
Lasse Holmstrom, VANTAA, FINLAND

The notion that it's a tough world out there, which is Chua's main justification for her harsh way of raising her kids, is self-fulfilling: it's people like her who make this world so tough. As an Asian American, I saw both worlds. The tiger moms' way is not education; it's manufacturing.

I have no quarrel with how Chua raised her daughters. As a mother of two beautiful girls, I agree completely with the idea of assuming children's "strength, not fragility." The name calling is excessive, but the outcome is prosperous!
Sofia Rodriguez, GAINESVILLE, VA., 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.
Constance Lever-Tracy, ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA