01 March 2011

Maybe I Should Be More of a Chinese Mother

Recently I read Battle Hymn of the Chinese Mother by Amy Chua. It is a memoir that reads a bit like a parenting manifesto in spots. Read the WSJ article if you haven't already; it hits most of the high points of the book.

While the style of the book annoyed me a bit, it made me look at my own parenting style. I think that Chua's strictness is extreme, but it couldn't hurt me to push my kids a little harder. Chua's daughters are both talented musicians but they got that way because she pushed them to practice EVERY day, to the exclusion of other activities. M has an affinity for music but she rarely practices. If M practices three hours in a week, that's a good week. Chua had her daughters practicing four to six hours a DAY. I wouldn't go that far, but I could have tried harder and made M practice at least one hour a day. Now that she is 18, it is too late.

I think that ship has sailed for C1 and C2, as well. C2 wants to study art, so she won't be in the band next year. She has shown some artistic talent, especially in photography, and the instrument she is playing (baritone) isn't one that we could afford to buy for her, anyway. C1 doesn't have an alternate plan, however; she is just tired of carrying the saxophone. That isn't a good enough reason to quit, in my opinion, but I don't know what to do. I guess I'll let her quit. Not very Chinese of me, is it?
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