Thursday, January 5, 2012

Amy Chua (AKA "TIger Mom") Backs Off

Around this time last year, Yale Law Professor, Amy Chua, created quite a stir with her Wall Street Journal essay on her "Tiger Mom" parenting philosophy, which was a cocktail of Confucianism,  1st generation immigrant drive to succeed, OCD, Ivy League over-achieving and just a good old-fashioned desire to exaggerate and generate a little publicity. Stuff like, no play dates, no TV or video games, requirements to get all "A's" and so on. I recall her essay as being so over the top, I thought it was a parody, and I remain convinced there was definitely some tongue and cheek at work. Well, now it seems Tiger Mom is mellowing out somewhat, at least that is the message conveyed in this most recent interview.

I do think there is need for serious discussion on this topic since there are some important grains of wisdom in Chua's approach (primarily the message that hard work and focus at an early age breeds self-confidence, discipline and judgment that can lead to earlier independence and success at a much earlier age). It is a shame that there is so much other "over the top" stuff with some of her statements, that it detracts from the core, fundamental message of hard work, focus, discipline and achievement.


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