Amy Chua Hanna Rosin Parenting Styles

1079 words - 4 pages

Amy Chua and Hannah Rosin: a comparison and contrast of parenting stylesIn recent years, Yale professor Amy Chua has drawn a great deal of attention due to her focus on a parenting style that is foreign - both figuratively and literally - to most Western parents. This style centers around a Chinese model that Chua espouses, and that has become famous, or infamous, for the stern and rigorous practices that Chua enforced with her own two daughters. Chua has received a large amount of criticism; one of her critics is Hannah Rosin, a prominent writer and editor. In response to Chua, Rosin outlines an alternative method of parenting. It can be argued that while both Chua and Rosin are involved and devoted mothers, they have distinctly contrasting views on how to raise children. There are three areas in which this contrast can be most clearly seen: attitudes to success, attitudes to self-esteem, and attitudes to happiness.Amy Chua's model of parenting has success at its core. Chua sums up the Chinese approach to activities in this way: "What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it" (Chua, 2011). With this as a mantra, Chua promotes an extremely rigorous approach to such activities as learning a musical instrument; she believes that two or three hours of practicing an instrument daily is appropriate for young children. Furthermore, Chua believes that parents should not give their children any choice over which musical instruments to learn; the violin and piano are the only acceptable choices, regardless of the child's natural talent or predilection. This approach is also evident in academics. Chua says, "…the vast majority of Chinese mothers…believe their children can be 'the best' students, that 'academic achievement reflects successful parenting', and that if children did not excel at school there was 'a problem' and parents 'were not doing their job'" (Chua, 2011).Hannah Rosin takes a distinctly different approach to success, one that is arguably more reflective of Western attitudes in general. Rosin says, "Ms. Chua has the diagnosis of American childhood exactly backward. What privileged American children need is not more skills and rules and math drills. They need to lighten up and roam free, to express themselves in ways not dictated by their uptight, over-invested parents" (Rosin, 2011). In Rosin's view, Chua's version of success is ultimately very limiting. Rosin doesn't argue that success is a negative thing in and of itself; however, her looser, freer approach suggests that it can be achieved differently.Another area where Rosin and Chua differ from each other is in their approach to self-esteem and the way in which parents should treat their children. Chua openly admits that it is common for Chinese parents to make comments to their children that Western parents find reprehensible, such as "Hey fatty, lose some weight", or referring to a child as "garbage" (Chua, 2011). However, Chua defends...

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