Why Chinese Mothers are Crazy
The WSJ spin aside, there is some truth to Amy Chua’s account of Chinese parenting. George Ding, a “survivor” of Chinese parents and a teacher in Beijing, lives to tell the tale.
The grand fallacy of Amy Chua’s article is that she believes parents are no more than assembly line workers presiding over interchangeable lives. Attach an arm here, a second language there. She believes that there is one superior way to raise children that is independent of the children themselves; that there is one magical Chinese recipe for success. And all this based solely on a collection of misanthropic anecdotes. Amy Chua is not original. Her ideas are a distillation of generations upon generations of feudal Chinese thinking. I am not a parent and do not long to be one. But it is obvious even to me that the choice is not between Chinese and Western parenting – it is between respecting your children as human beings and treating them as living dolls. One of the few sane thoughts in the piece is this: “All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.” I agree. Western parents have one idea, Chinese parents another, but Amy Chua has no idea.
This post was originally published on The Hypermodern in January 2011.