Book Review: “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua

This book is about the extreme parenting style of Amy Chua in raising her daughter to musical stardom.

– Extreme parenting: the dilemma of “Chinese parenting” (parents’ choices) vs. “Western parenting” (children’s choices) in a western world.
– Some of her practices are extreme: daily music practices during vacation, lead by examples (giving practice instructions, doing the homework of finding the right teacher).
– Never give up on your kids; you know better than your kids and the kids may hate you now but appreciate you better in the future.
– Western culture favors more socialization and fun over technical drills and pushing oneself for success.
– Building a strong foundation for the kids and let go. Discipline builds confidence, which breeds success and so on.
– If you know in your heart your kids are diamonds in the rough, wouldn’t you want to polish it? It’s NOT so easy to let go for Chinese parents.
– Funny. Not as hard charging and abusive as the media portrayed it. It’s much harder to force someone to do something they don’t want to do. If it’s not out of love, you wouldn’t do it. The intentions are always good and out of the heart. But I wouldn’t surprised that there’s something to be gained in glowing over and being proud of your children’s achievement.
– I’m curious how her two daughters, Sophia and Lulu, will turn out. They seem to be thriving. Curious if they will do the same to their own children: 2nd and 3rd generation children get soft.
– Admire Amy Chua’s honesty of self-parody and her drive to instill the discipline in her kids, which Western parenting lacks. Not sure about how much of that can stymie or contribute to the creativity of the children, which the society values more.
– Katrin’s (Amy’s younger sister) undergoing bone marrow transplant (many dosages of chemotherapy) and surviving the Leukemia may have changed her perspective about raising her own daughter for happiness.
– Comparing two dogs to her two daughters, dogs just need a little love and attention and don’t require pushing due to limited potential. But children, that’s a different story.
– Personally, I don’t have a Tiger Mom and my parents were not tiger parents. I’m self driven but how would I turn out if I had a Tiger mom? I guess I’ll never know.

Really enjoyed the book. If you’re interested in how the Chinese parents raise the kids, this book might offer a glimpse of it but use it as a reference as not all Chinese parents are like that. At least not mine.

Here are some good youtube videos on this book:
Amy Chua: Tale of a Tiger Mother (1/12/12)
Today Show
Child of Tiger Mom Speaks Out
Emily Luk: A Tiger Daughter Weighs In