Amy Chua’s, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, is about Chua’s first hand experiences with parenting the Chinese way. The traditional Chinese way of parenting includes but is not limited to, a strong presence of the parents in early childhood learning and development, expectations for only the best from one’s child, and a strict schedule that allows no time for play dates or sleepovers (Chua 3). Throughout the pages of Chua’s memoir, the daily struggles and triumphs of Chinese parenting are shown in a way that shines a new light on the subject. On the surface Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother seems to be about the advantages and successes of the Chinese parenting compared to the typical Western parenting, but upon a closer look, this is proven false. The author is faced with difficulties that make it impossible to raise one of her children in the traditional Chinese fashion resulting in the creation of a new genre of parenting that is interwoven into the text as a central message.
Chua believes that it is not a fortuitous occurrence that children with Chinese mothers achieve more academically in life than children with Western mothers. Chua illustrates this position when she states, “Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately ten times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams” (Chua 5). This suggests that the more time the mother devotes to her child’s studies the better the education and future study habits of the child. Chua emphasizes that children need to be forced to do things that are beneficial for them regardless of the child’s wishes. For example, Chua depicts this position when she states, “To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it crucial to override their preferences… things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up” (Chua 29). Although the saying, “Practice makes Perfect” is commonly used, Chinese mothers use it as the drive and motivation to get their children through the painful hours of practice and repetition. The ideas pushed by Chinese mothers are ideally what all parents strive for it is irrational to have such unrealistic standards for a child.
While some children are able to maintain these standards some snap under the pressure. Despite Chua’s eldest daughter’s complete compliance with Chinese parenting, Chua’s second daughter, Lulu, was quite the contrary.
After months of grueling preparation and the usual fights, threats, and yelling and screaming at...