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OT:Why Chinese Mothers are Superior

Today’s WSJ. This blew me away. IMO, she’s dead right, though I’m sure this will be controversial.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html

Wow. This article is more that controversial. It is offensive.

That article presents a simplistic point of view, with far too many generalizations, and it would be difficult for me to disagree with it more.

I am currently a successful “Western parent” of three teenage boys. One a recent graduate (top 10% of his class who has enlisted in the armed service to serve his country) the other two are either first or second in their classes academically.

All have participated in sleepovers (two are on a weekend church trip right now, the other choose to participate in a weeklong “sleepover” where he repaired homes damaged in a natural catastrophe); one threw a no hitter in a high school varsity baseball game as a freshman and is the short stop on his travel AAU team; one has a speaking part in the current school play; all play multiple musical instruments other than violin (and in addition to piano, including the youngest who is teaching himself to play his fourth different wind instrument in preparation for next year’s marching band season); they all watch too much TV, and play more video games than if they had a “Chinese mother.”

The last time I raised my voice at them (other than to cheer for them) was 16 years ago when the oldest was 3 years old and before the youngest was born (the youngest has never heard me yell in anger.) And I believe that was my failing, not theirs.

I have praised both an “A-“ and a “B.” I have reassured a child after a bad recital performance. I am concerned (but not anxious) about their self esteem. I have consistently asked (not demanded) that they do their best.

I have never withheld food, water, bathroom privileges, or threatened to cancel holidays. I have never called my children fat, lazy, cowardly, stupid, or pathetic. And most assuredly I respect my children’s individuality, encourage them to pursue their true passions, support their choices, and provide positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment.

Above all, my home has never been called a “war zone”, except maybe during a remodeling project. :wink:

This particular “Chinese mother’s” negative portrayal of “western parents” is as bigoted as it gets; and, I can’t believe it got printed in the WSJ.

Red light = stop
green light = go

:wink:

Seriously, though…it was an interesting article.

The plural of anecdote is not data.

wonder how they are as basketball coaches?

[quote=“kidcoyote, post:1, topic:1738”]Today’s WSJ. This blew me away. IMO, she’s dead right, though I’m sure this will be controversial.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html[/quote]

So what does your wife think of this article kid? ;D

She doesn’t agree. We were sports oriented. My boys were good athletes, one pretty talented in music, captain of HS ski team and top 10% of his class. The other was the best baseball player in Vermont in '05, winning Gatorade POTY in baseball. Still, wish we were more like this article. Too much sports, IMO, too much time on them. Counting AAU, 50 game schedules, state championships, regionals, etc. Fun, but too much time. I don’t think parents should feel so good about their kids being highly ranked in US schools. Not that it’s bad, but I think the US is 28th in the world in mathematics in 8th grade, and way behind some of the leading countries, which aren’t all Asian. The thing I like about this article is that they believe the kids aren’t fragile, but tough, can take it, and can succeed, through hard work. Look at your kids math books, esp k-6, mostly terrible. Books like Everyday Math, Connected Math, Math Concepts, just horrible, yet pervasive. Some very serious fundamental errors in Connected Math, yet I see schools use it, errors uncorrected. For anyone with 5th/6th graders, or those who remember when they did, check these books vs. what your kids have. Ask your kids to do some of these problems. Not 5% of US 6th graders can do these. Not taught til 8th grade, if then. This is elementary algebra.

This is a sample in the 6th grade workbook. These can be found at singaporemath.com. I don’t see this stuff in US math books, certainly not in 6th grade. BTW, the books are tiny, probably 1/20th the size of US text books. Paperback, they weigh a few ounces, have 1 color other than black, 1 font, so no distractions, just straightforward math in a small package, no 10 lb textbooks. They do more with less.

http://www.singaporemath.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/sp_pmusw6a1.gif

Here are two 1st semester 5th grade pages in the workbook. I bet not 1% of US 5th graders could do these. They’re far, far ahead, at least 1-2 years. And the books are smaller than comic books, like pamphlets, so kids can get through them, and carry them without getting a hernia. Look at how heavy kids’ backpacks are. And all they’re doing is carrying junk books around, that weigh a ton.

http://www.singaporemath.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/sp_pmusw5a2.gif

http://www.singaporemath.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/sp_pmusw5a3.gif

So, if every Chinese child is capable of SO much, regardless of their personal skills and interests, it seems pretty foolish to “prevent” 400 million births over the last 30 years.
The Chinese could have organized a separate country with a greater population than the US, with people under age 30-who also happen to be future Beethovens and Einsteins. ::slight_smile:

And oh yea, I liked this part too:

Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.
Maybe China wouldn't have to cheat in the Olympics if they learned a thing or two from us. (Strange how they weren't "smart" enough to get away with it..) :P

P.S.
If anyone can hook me up with that older daughter let me know…

…I would do anything to be that author’s “Western” son-in-law ;D

Good points, slash, but Mao put in the one birth policy. The cheating? Like the Russians and East Germans did? Tied to state control, promoting their systems of government, don’t you think? What does those have to do with this? This is about parenting, not government control, but just the opposite. I don’t want governments involved. Think about how HS US sports are handled, how competitive, the tryouts, the demands of coaches, the practices, the length of the seasons, add in AAU, etc. This isn’t done in education. IMO, schools are often about making children “feel good.” In math, it’s disgraceful, how it’s been watered down. Like sports, life is competitive. Better to prepare for life like a fighter, or runner, or an olympian does to compete. Some kids are motivated, and find things that grab them, most aren’t, and IMO, parents need to stay on them. Cell phones, texting, video games, etc., isn’t where it’s at. The thing I like about this is that she didn’t give up on her kid, stayed with her, and got her to see she could accomplish anything. This is what a great coach would do, get the most out of their player(s). How is this woman different from Vince Lombardi in demanding excellence? How is he remembered?

Unfortunatley, the biggest difference between the “chinese” vs. the “western” way of raising children has more do do with “parents” vs. “parent”.

I think the author is truly insane. What horrible parenting. There may be a few nuggets of wisdom here, but mostly the author comes across as an extreme bully to her own children.

Don’t shoot the messenger, now. The original article has had 4,000 comments to the WSJ, 100,000 Facebook entries, and is the most emailed article on the WSJ site for about 10 straight days, or since I posted it. Might have just slipped to second place.

Here’s her response.

http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2011/01/13/the-tiger-mother-responds-to-readers/

Apparently the book is a much more nuanced look at the subject the the excerpt would suggest. The WSJ excerpt was designed to be inflammatory (and sell books I guess.) See the link below.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/01/13/apop011311.DTL

NY Times checks in on the controversy: [URL=http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/fashion/16Cultural.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all]Retreat of the Tiger Mother[/URL]

And a western mom gives her reponse. Hint: it’s terrific(and quite funny).

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703333504576080422577800488.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

A great look at the issue in tomorrow’s WSJ. I’m for staying a kid! Isn’t that why we’re here? :wink:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704709304576124612242184274.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

[quote=“kidcoyote, post:17, topic:1738”]A great look at the issue in tomorrow’s WSJ. I’m for staying a kid! Isn’t that why we’re here? :wink:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704709304576124612242184274.html?mod=googlenews_wsj[/quote]

I don’t know about staying a kid forever. Do you consider a college student a kid? I am all for that.

[quote=“kidcoyote, post:17, topic:1738”]A great look at the issue in tomorrow’s WSJ. I’m for staying a kid! Isn’t that why we’re here? :wink:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704709304576124612242184274.html?mod=googlenews_wsj[/quote]

That’s a brilliant view.

As a youth sports coach, I am constantly reminding my kids’ parents to enjoy the very innocence of what their child is doing on the playing fields. Kids and parents alike get so caught up in their early successes, never once taking the time to just sit back in the stands and truly enjoy what they are watching - their kid having a good time playing a game. We certainly can learn great lessons from our kids.

[quote="kidcoyote, post:17, topic:1738"]A great look at the issue in tomorrow's WSJ. I'm for staying a kid! Isn't that why we're here? ;)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704709304576124612242184274.html?mod=googlenews_wsj[/quote]

That’s a brilliant view.

As a youth sports coach, I am constantly reminding my kids’ parents to enjoy the very innocence of what their child is doing on the playing fields. Kids and parents alike get so caught up in their early successes, never once taking the time to just sit back in the stands and truly enjoy what they are watching - their kid having a good time playing a game. We certainly can learn great lessons from our kids.


Great point!!
This reminds me of a youth soccer experience. VERY young age (maybe 6-8 year olds.) I was the coach but I didn’t mind any parent who said they wanted to “help out.” I remember an incident before a game when a mother was lecturing her child about what he should or should not be doing on the field. I knew this youngster was a very inexperienced player and I didn’t believe he had “any idea or any interest” what his mother was talking about. Well, as soon as his mother left; the child turned to me and said "I’m eating grass!"
Priceless…but it showed his interest level.