Thank You Amy Chua

12 Jan

Amy Chua’s essay in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) about Chinese parenting has struck a collective nerve with a jolt not unlike the one you experience when the dentist probes your sensitive teeth during an examination.  To date that article has generated over 3,500 comments on WSJ’s website.  Will it reach 5,000 comments before this dies down?  Bookies are standing by waiting to take your bets.

Seriously, in the interest of full disclosure, I have Ms. Chua to thank for the record number of visits to my blog.  Thank you all for reading my two cents’ worth and for your many comments.

For better or for worse, her article has already affected the way I parent:

I allow my daughter to watch TV and DVDs as long as she finishes her schoolwork and studying.  I also allow her to play her iPod music when she’s doing homework (I do have misgivings about this one but that’s another story).  So today being a snow day in our area, we all woke up to a more leisurely pace.  I just treasure snow days for giving us a break from our busy lives.

My daughter puts on a Taiwanese DVD to watch while she eats breakfast.  It’s a typical soap opera: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy gets cancer and amnesia (what are the chances?), girl marries someone else, boy is cured of cancer and amnesia, blah, blah, blah.  In real life, amnesia does not happen that often but apparently a high percentage of it occurs in Taiwan.

I ask her about her plans for the day and she tells me about the homework she has.  Thanks to Internet connectivity, her teachers can assign additional homework on snow days and they have.  She then turns her attention back to the Taiwanese soap opera and continues to watch it even though she has finished breakfast.  I hesitate and frown, feeling like I should tell her to stop watching and get going.  Then I realize exactly what is going on: Amy Chua is making me question my parenting decisions.

Perhaps guessing what was on my mind, my daughter says to me, “You know, it’s just as important to relax too.”

Thank you Ms. Chua.



One Response to “Thank You Amy Chua”

  1. Maryann January 13, 2011 at 1:56 AM #

    It sounds as though you have a very bright, conscientious and wise daughter with a mom who wants only the best for her. Bravo to both of you! For what it’s worth, my perfectionist daughter graduated magna cum laude from a college that required blood, sweat and tears from her. During high school and throughout college, she listened to music while studying. I thought it rather odd, but she insisted it helped her to relax while working, and actually enhanced her ability to retain information. Since the “A”s kept coming, I figured she was on to something. Often, our children figure out what works best for them in spite of our best efforts to direct them. It’s a balancing act for them and for us.

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