May 21, 15
While reading about the Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother I really related back to the style of leadership that my father had. I lost my mother when I was in the sixth grade so I did not get to know her real well. But what I did learn is how fiery should would get. My father was authoritative and Amy Chua comes off like an authoritative mother. How she dealt with her two daughters was a little rough to me but my father has got rough with me too in things he would say when he was angry. I can’t say much about how other people raise their children because I know I have had my struggles with just one child. So I cant really get on her how she raised her daughters. But the real underlying thing about her is how far do you push your children without it being abusive? As a parent we want the best for are children but I have learned from my daughter that she has her own mind. I try to set high goals and standards so that I can say, “see I did it you can too.” But that does not work all the time. My father pushed me a lot but I don’t think it was abusive. And abusive language if it is used in an angry way is not helpful to me. So I had mixed feelings about her method even though I understand it.
Another thing that caught my attention is her not wanting her daughters to be victims of affirmative action. I understand the principle behind it and being competitive has its place. But when you don’t start like other people they do have an advantage in most things. I have played college football and track over my years so I have a high level of competiveness. I remember wanting to be an architect wile attending Santa Monica College. And the only way I could possibly get in the program was through affirmative action. I wish I was as familiar with architecture from the high school I went to but I went to an inner city school where too many trades are taught. I ended up going to Texas Southern University on a football scholarship. The point I want to make is that it’s not always how your parents raise you. When you get on the playing field if the odds are stacked high against you its really hard to compete. I don’t believe in making excuses or anything like that but some arenas are not fair.
I believe like Chua that we should strive very hard to see our children’s success but we have different cultures in the West even though she a Chinese from the United States. Chinese parents really work hard for their children’s success and I applaud them. But there are other issues that are important that are not written in books and in my culture it can get real crazy. I mean some parents be just trying to make ends meet and they cant put that type of time into their children. Also the exposure to things in the United States to me makes a difference. I was just having a conversation with my daughter the other day about moving my grandsons closer to me. I know what it is like growing up in Los Angeles and I really don’t want them to have to experience some of the things I did.
Being authoritative has its pros and cons. I just think that it should be done out of love and with respect. There are a lot of authoritative tiger moms in this country but that does not mean their children will turn out good. Trust me I know a lot of them that did not.