Amy chua who was born in the Year of the Tiger according to her cultural tradition in China, is the author of the book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”. Chua is also a Professor of Law at Yale Law School and written books on culture, globalization, power and empire. Her book on parenting, intra-cultural dynamics and raising children the “Chinese mother” way is thought provoking and can be controversial for some. Chua writes:
A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do: attend a sleepover, have a playdate, be in a school play, complain about not being in a school play, watch TV or play computer games, choose their own extracurricular activities, get any grade less than an A, play any instrument other than the piano or violin
I can relate to Chua’s thought pattern since my childhood was marked by the high esteem of being good mannered, the familiarity with being disciplined as a high virtue and the strong value of education as one of the major undertakings necessary for the growth and livelihood a person. I would soon learn many other ideas about life from my driven parents, sibling and village. When reading Chua’s book, I found the anthropomorphic elements of Chua’s book reminiscent of certain aspects of Ugandan culture. For example, the fact that Chua was “born in the Year of the Tiger” and her daughter Sophia “born in the Year of the Monkey, and Monkey people are curious, intellectual, and generally can accomplish any given task”; parallels with various clans in Uganda and their identification “animal clans”. While reflecting on the cultural similarities between china and Uganda, I also recalled the former US candidate for Vice President Sarah Palin’s promotion of “mama grizzly” but I quickly established from reading on that Chua and Palin’s cultural back drops on motherhood where worlds apart and that if they met, they would most likely clash than experience a ‘mother crush’ in the informal sense.
What also struck me was that in Chua’s culture where “the Tiger is the living symbol of strength and power generally inspires fear and respect” intrinsically values a strength perspective. She notes “I don’t want to boast or anything, but Tiger people are noble, fearless, powerful, authoritative, and magnetic.” For Palin, being a “mama grizzly” was another way to way to rally the votes of mothers to propel her to another level of political power. There is something about power, toughness and the search for success, even in parenting. I was also reading about another prominent person who is also an American presidential candidate for 2016. Dr. Ben Carson. He too shares about the role his mother’s tough love played in his superstar success as a doctor, who also became the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at age 33, and became famous for his ground-breaking work separating conjoined twins. Carson writes, “I don’t recall the first time my mother asked me, “Do you have a brain?” I heard it voiced or inferred so many times growing up that it’s impossible to remember all the occasions, let alone arrange them chronologically”
Chua refers to moments of tough love in her parenting style and now her children are well on their way to being straight ‘A’ students, successful pianists and violinists. Which one of these examples is worthy emulating? Is it, “The Tiger mother” who is also an Ivy League law professor? Palin a former governor and contender for the US vice presidency? Or Dr. Carson’s mother, who motivated her children with the stanzas of “But boys, you are both smart. You need to use the brains God gave you and learn to think beyond the can!”
 Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2011) 1
 Ibid., 3.
, Ben, Carson, Lewis Gregg, and Shaw Deborah. You Have a Brain (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015), 11.
 Ibid., 13.