Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

20 Jan

This book has been getting a lot of people talking, some love it, some are disgusted, some just don’t understand. I read the book. In 3 days! So it obviously was a good read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think its brilliant, it’s not a parenting book, a how to raise your kid’s guide, She’s not telling Mothers what’s right and wrong, She is just telling her story as a Mother and how she raised her 2 daughters. Yes, She may be a bit over the top, but to whom? American Mothers? Jewish Mothers?  Maybe in her country this is the norm and it just comes with the lifestyle of parenting. She was raised in this manner, so to her it’s normal. Who are we to judge? Yes, She wrote a book, but it’s a peek inside someone else world. I think She’s amazing. I would not personally practice child raising as she does, but there are things to learn from her.

People who are taking this book the wrong way (particularly those who read the excerpt in the newspapers and not the book itself) are missing the big picture. The book is a memoir, and Chua tells her story no-holds-barred. Her mother is a central figure and her discipline (right or wrong) has shaped who Chua has become. Like all of us, Chua has had to find the good in her parents, particularly the good in their intentions (even when they aren’t easy to find). Those who are treating this as a parenting manual advocating parents raise their children the way Chua was raised either haven’t read the book or have completely missed the point.

You get to go along with Chua as she raises her two daughters. They had incredibly strict rules to follow: no play dates, no sleepovers, and two hours a day of instrument practice. You see that her parenting isn’t perfect in their achievements: the oldest played in Carnegie Hall at the age of 14 and the youngest…well I don’t want to give away one of the best parts of the story but lets just say they had different paths. You live her struggle with a parenting style that’s seen as extreme in America. But I think with a right balance can be a success! A touch of Chinese Mother and a touch of if you would American Mother you can have harmony.

I related deeply to the struggles of raising children. I am still a newbie and only have a toddler, but I do look at the years ahead of me, and in a way getting prepared to take on this challenge. I also look back at my childhood and how I was raised, how I will incorporate my Mother’s upbringing with a developing style of my own. The book is hilarious and shocking in places. The kind of book you can’t put down. The transformation Chua moves through is powerful. Her writing still is brisk and lively and you’re sure to empathize with her struggles and her dreams. The book is striking a chord with so many because it hits hard at the questions we all must answer for ourselves in life: love, achievement, self-esteem, ambition, pride… She doesn’t ultimately answer the question for anyone, she just tells her story in a way that’s so real and so powerful that you’ll never forget it.

I highly recommend this book, and I was definitely moved! Not just as a Mother but it also makes you take a step back and look at your own life.

Good Luck and Get READING!

 

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