I'm going to share some more thoughts on The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua since now I have actually read the book. Amy Chua actually allows herself to be quite vulnerable and shares even the ugliest sides of herself. She admits the flaws in her philosophy, although, still holds on to the basic pillars of her beliefs in Chinese mothering.
My overall reaction is sadness. Watching Ms. Chua hold on to an argument with her daughter at all costs, including the cost of her relationship and self-respect. To me, it simply shows stubbornness, not a cultural lesson at all. The other impression I walked away with was that Ms. Chua experiences profound anxiety and uses her compulsivity and control of others to alleviate her own discomfort. This, too, was a great cause of sadness for me.
I appreciate Ms. Chua's honesty and even believe that perhaps Western parents should expect more of our kids than we do, but I do not condone her methods on any level.
This subject has been belabored in the media in recent weeks, so I will be quiet about it now. I just thought that my previous blog post was unfair because I hadn't read the book. I rest my case!
Wishing you balance,
Bette Alkazian, LMFT