Esme’s Blog: Mommy Wars

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

A friend sent me this article from the WSJ entitled “Why Chinese Mother’s are Superior.” In it, Yale Professor Amy Chua boasts her two daughters have never been allowed to:

• attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play

• watch TV or play computer games

• choose their own extracurricular activities

• get any grade less than an A

• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.

The article goes on with a defense of calling children “garbage” and describes an all-out battle with her 7-year-old who was having trouble mastering a piano piece. The article has prompted thousands of comments online and across the Internet. It should come as no surprise that Chua has something to sell. She is about to come out with a book entitled “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”

I suppose since I have allowed my kids to do all on the forbidden list, (even letting them choose their own extra-curricular activities) I am an inferior mother. Coming from Amy Chua being called “an inferior mother” would be a complement.

More from Esme Murphy
  • Heidi Markus Lindelof

    Well, you and the other mother seem to tie as far as ethnocentrism goes.

  • Stephanie

    There’s a superfluous apostrophe in “Mother’s” and the wrong “complement” is used, but other than that, I’m with you, Esme.

  • StraycatStrut

    Esme….and interesting post from you….. but as for being Mom…. one needs to control and allow children to grow to be responsible adults. This is done from what you think is right for your children. I am sure you are a GREAT Mom….. so keep up the good work.

  • LP Guy

    Maybe the following should be added to the list:

    -pursue interests (musical or otherwise) that might lead to personal enjoyment and exhibiting talent that was previously undisovered

    -fostering personal growth and any sense of independence

    -putting their own motivations/passions before the prestigous honor and reputation of their family name

    You have got to be kidding me Tiger Mom! If I ever run across this book I would use it as a doorstop or drink coaster rather then as insightful reading material. Put that in your ancient heirloom pipe and smoke it!

  • Tony Rozycki

    Just to complement Esme’s conclusion with a compliment, agree that Amy”s “superior” mother doesn’t have very balanced expectations. China is the oldest healthy civilization on the planet thanks in large part to its sophisticated civil service examination tradition (& Confucius), but am sure billions of Chinese kids have failed to get all A’s. Perhaps Amy’s book might more accurately be titled Why Yale Professor Mothers, rather than Chinese Mothers, Think They Are “Superior”. Most Chinese moms appear to have a strong family & work ethic; among Chinese Yale Professors the % is probably even higher.

  • DeBlog: Who’s Better At Parenting: You Or Your Parents? « CBS Minnesota – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Minnesota

    […] Murphy put this question in our minds because of her latest blog entry. A Yale University professor is bragging about being an amazing mother because she never lets her […]

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