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“Tiger Mom” Tactics

Erin Patrice O'Brien for The Wall Street Journal

Amy Chua, self-dubbed “Tiger Mom” based on her Chinese horoscope and highly authoritative parenting, has become the topic of angry small-talk everywhere.

According to a poll on TODAY asking people to vote whether they agree with the Tiger Mom’s strict parenting, 26% voted that her tactics were good for the long run, 22.4% completely disapproves and 51.6% believes that she makes some good points but ultimately goes too far.

Chua forbids her two daughters, Louisa and Sophia, from participating in typical adolescent activities including sleepovers and school plays. Instead, she holds high expectations for them such as forbidding them to get any grades less than an A and requiring them to become masters of the piano and violin. She even once “lovingly” called one of her daughters “garbage” hoping to influence her to do better, and it worked.

In her Wall Street Journal article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” she provides a eyebrow-lifting statistic: In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that “stressing academic success is not good for children” or that “parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.” By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way.

Surprisingly, one of the Tiger cubs disagrees and responds to all of the negative reactions: “No outsider can know what our family is really like. At any rate, I was thinking about this, and I came to the opposite conclusion: I think your strict parenting forced me to be more independent.”

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