Monday, April 25, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

I'm in the middle UPDATE!!
I just finished reading a very fascinating book by Amy Chua, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother". Have you read this? WOW. It's so interesting. She is a crazy, extreme harsh parent, but I give her a lot of credit for things she and her girls have accomplished. I think Scott and I are more strict than not, but now my point of view is changing. For example, I have the boys practice their musical instruments for about 30 minutes each day. Usually 6 days a week. She had her girls practice 3 plus hours a day! Mine may not be long enough of a practice but hers is excessive. (Her girls were 6 and 8 years old!) So here are some questions I've been pondering today and want to ask what you think.
If I allow my boys to watch (limited) TV, have (selected) sleepovers and have 2 or so play dates a week am I being a nice, kind mom or giving them too much freedom? If one of my kids comes home and missed 1 or 2 on a spelling test should I praise him or punish him? (I've never gotten mad at one of the boys for getting A's or B's)

I feel like each of my kids (and others for that matter) should experience different classes, sports, areas of life. If I sign one of the boys up for soccer or an art class I don't expect them to become a huge soccer star like David Beckham or a world renowned artist like Van Gogh. I just want them to experience a little of everything. Am I wrong?

At the same time I wish I knew what each of my kids' God given gifts and talents are (I'm starting to figure some of them out but they also seem to change a little as time goes on.) If I knew Jackson was going to be a golf star I'd do everything I could (and become a "Chinese Mother") to help him achieve everything golf has to offer. I'd love to know what their "gift" is. I pray every night that I am inspired to know. If an average male practiced basketball as long as (a younger) Michael Jordan did, Michael Jordan would still be better than that other male. Why? Because ONE of Michael's "gifts" was/is basketball. I don't care what my kids "gifts" are, sports, academics, musical talents...I just wish I knew. But, maybe then I'd become a "Chinese Mother". Would that be wrong?

The book pretty much kept me spellbound. It was so intriguing. One part that still makes me cringe a little is how (most of the time) she treated her girls. They were screamed at for not doing extra credit at school, and shamed for wanting to do anything different from what was demanded. Children need to be pushed. I just think she pushed a little [a LOT] over-the-top.
I did learn a few things that I will share with you about this book.

1. I want to be more involved in my kids lives. I want to do more in order to help them succeed and be the best they can be.

2. Be more consistent with my boys. If I tell them there will be a punishment  I need to enforce it (Which I am usually good at)

3. I want to expect more from my children. Often,children will surprise us with what they're capable of.

Side note...I read this while on vacation with my family in Yellowstone and every once in a while would tell a story of what I just read or I would read a passage from the book. My Boys were mortified and when I looked at them and you could see the terror in their faces.  They kept asking (begging) me not to parent like that! :)

1 Comment:

Summer Spillane Jordan said...

not sure i could stomach a book like that. we talk about it a lot in our house...we discipline but we rarely have to punish. usually when they know they're disappointing us, they feel bad and try to do better. the kids were teasing the other day that they should be grounded...and we all had a good laugh because we've never really needed to ground them. i guess i'm more of the love them to death that's not to say i don't get frustrated with them, but i guess then i figure i need to teach them and i find ways to teach them better than i "hadn't"...good things to take in though...i liked reading it via you :) thanks for saving me the cringing!