Charlie Sheen, radiation and civil strife may be dominating the headlines in the US, but the now (in)famous “Tiger Mom” keeps popping up in the news like a nagging cough – a culmination, if you will, of Western anxiety over an ascendant China. At the time of writing, Chua and her husband were scheduled to give a talk the same day at the New York Public Library about parenting.
And as we reported earlier, former BeijingKids columnist Alan Paul has also been making waves lately with his book Big in China, a movie deal in the works and now a new post on the Wall Street Journal blogs aptly titled “Tiger Mom … Meet Panda Dad” in which he explains his “aversion to Tiger Parenting:”
“Living in a Beijing housing compound, I watched Western and African kids running through the streets in roving packs of fun-seekers while their Chinese friends looked dolefully out the window in the midst of long hours spent practicing violin, piano or character-writing. When they were done, they unwound by picking up video game consoles. It looked like a sad, lonesome way to grow up and nothing I would ever prescribe to my children. And of course it’s not the only style of Chinese parenting. I saw plenty of kids smashing these same stereotypes.”
Read the rest of the post here.
Also riding on the wave of Tiger Mom-mania is young adult novelist Cara Chow’s upcoming book, Bitter Melon, written from the perspective of a “Tiger Cub:”
“Though I have a very positive relationship with my mother today, we struggled a lot when I was a teen. My mother wanted me to be the best, and her way of motivating me was by being very hard on me. Unfortunately, I was a very sensitive kid, so I took my mother’s words and actions personally. This not only strained our relationship for many years, but it also affected my confidence and self-image well into my twenties. As I got older, I realized that many of my friends and acquaintances also had issues with their parents and with success and failure. I also realized that those who didn’t have these problems could not understand the angst that drove those who did. I wrote Bitter Melonfor both groups of people, to give a voice to the former while educating the latter, in a way that was entertaining and compelling.”