Local Parents Weigh In On ‘The Tiger Mother’

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — No play dates. No sleepovers. Straight “A’s” required. Those are some of the parenting rules put forward in a new controversial book called, “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”

An excerpt of the book printed in the Wall Street Journal has gotten thousands of comments online and more than a quarter of a million “like” recommendations on Facebook.

But not everyone likes what the author is calling for.

The article and book have prompted a fierce debate amongst parents. Amy Chua, a Yale professor and mother of two, details how she even called her child “garbage” one day because the child was disrespectful.

Susan Ward was at an indoor park on Monday in Edina with her three kids. She said she agrees with a few of Chua’s points.

“They definitely have to play a musical instrument, whether it’s piano or something. They will have to do that through senior high, like it or not,” Ward said.

Chua argues that traditional Chinese-style of parenting is the reason Chinese and other Asian-Americans are so successful.

A psychologist, who works with gifted children, said there are some parts of Chua’s article that he agrees with. If you have a child who is gifted musically and they practice hours a day, they will no doubt be successful, he said.

But other experts say children’s emotional and social needs cannot be ignored.

“If you’re too permissive, there’s risks there. And if you’re too strict, there are risks there. Which risks are you willing to take, and not take?” psychologist Dr. Tom Plante said.

While Chua’s ideas are too much for many parents, a few say they wish they had at least a little bit more of the Tiger Mother in them.

“In some way, I would like to be like them,” said Alena Youngbird. “In some way, I disagree. It’s hard to find a middle ground these days.”

Chua’s book has debuted at No. 6 on the Amazon best-seller list.

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