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Tag Archives: Amy Chua

Are the good-old Politically Correct Parent Wars heating up?

When Amy Chua came out with her memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother in 2011, thanks to The Wall Street Journal’s headline Why Chinese Mothers Are Superiora headline that Chua didn’t write—a firestorm of criticism was unleashed. Chua even received death threats and because I defended her parenting methods in the Amazon forum for her memoir, my own published work was attacked for the first time in more than three years by a small rash of 1-star reviews.

Get ready for the next Parenting Wars, because Chua has another book coming out this February called The Triple Package, and it’s already been attacked by critics who hate her parenting methods. In this nonfiction book, Amy Chua is not alone. Her husband Jed Rubenfeld is the co-author; Rubenfeld is an author in his own right with several novels under his belt—his The Interpretation of Murder, an international bestseller that’s sold more than one-million copies worldwide has enough 1 and 2-star reviews of his book on Amazon to lower its average to 3.7 out of 5 stars. Is it possible that his wife’s politically-correct critics punished him for just being her husband? If so, these are despicable people; they are bullies—proof that there are many Americans who hate anything that goes against what they believe regardless of the facts, and the message is strong: “If you prove what I think is wrong, I’ll gang up on you and see that you pay for it!”

Information for The Triple Package on Amazon says, “Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of America’s most successful groups believe (even if they don’t say so aloud) that they’re exceptional, chosen, and superior in some way. Americans are taught that self-esteem—feeling good about yourself—is the key to a successful life. But in all of America’s most successful groups, people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves. America today spreads a message of immediate gratification, living for the moment. But all of America’s most successful groups cultivate heightened discipline and impulse control.”

If you watch the following embedded video (with more than 90,000 views), you will hear The (two) Young Turks crucify Chua and Rubenfeld as racists and elitists. But how can this be true when the authors are only pointing out cultural traits that offer advantages that may lead to success later in life—cultural traits found among Nigerians who are black; Chinese and Indians who are Asian; Iranians who are Middle Eastern and Muslims; Lebanese-Americans; Mormons—a minority among religions—who are not Christians; Cubans who are Latino, and Jews who may be found all over the world representing people of all races and ethnic groups. For instance, there are Chinese Jews, Egyptian Jews, Moroccan Jews, Indian Jews; etc.  It’s even estimated that there are more than 200,000 African-American Jews.

In fact, a piece on The Triple Package that appeared at the NationalPost.org concluded: “sociologists and anthropologists said that despite its merits, the discussion of cultural difference inevitably becomes a minefield of assumptions, stereotypes and political correctness, especially when considered in the Western context.”

Are the critics who hate Chua and Rubenfeld’s message denialists who refuse to accept facts that prove we’re not all born—and raised—equally, and does that make the critics a different type of elitist—one who is more dangerous?

I’m convinced that what the Young Turks say in the first video reveals more about how political correctness guides the average American’s thinking, because I was attacked on Diane Ravitch’s Blog by another commenter when I dared to point out that every racial group has a different average IQ. Such talk was called racist—even though studies show this fact is true.

In addition, my wife and I watched a documentary called First Position. It was excellent and even though it wasn’t about parenting and the focus was on youth ballet, the underlying theme had everything to do with parenting.

One blurb on Amazon said: “Every year, thousands of aspiring dancers enter one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix, where lifelong dreams are at stake. In the final round, with hundreds competing for only a handful of elite scholarships and contracts, practice and discipline are paramount, and nothing short of perfection is expected.”

In the film, we see parents supporting, encouraging; even pressuring [I’m sure that Chua’s critics will claim this is another example of bullying] their kids not to give up. Does that make those parents wrong too? I don’t think so.

There is no instant gratification in youth ballet. To stand a chance at success means spending long hours practicing ballet moves even when in severe crippling pain—and only a few can succeed and reach the top while many fail and every child is aware of the odds. There are no false assumptions. These kids live in a world that is not pumped up with hollow promises that their dreams will come true just because they dream it.

Chua and Rubenfeld’s Triple Package and the film First Position make a strong case against the self-esteem driven, politically-correct method for parenting in the United States.

The truth is that we are not all born equal, and there are no guaranteesnone—that what a child dreams will come true.

But the law and other people should treat us as equals; no one should be denied the opportunity to at least attempt to achieve their goals and dreams. Like a lottery, we should at least be allowed to buy a ticket.

That means some of us will have to work harder at the chance to succeed at what we want out of life, and it helps to have tough parents pushing, encouraging—maybe even using a few bully tactics through tough love—to push a child/teen to go that extra mile. Dreaming is not enough.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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What parenting method works best?

  1. The self-esteem boosting, follow your dreams and be happy all the time parenting method that many white parents in America practice.
  2. The practice known as tiger parenting as seen in Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and/or Anchee Min’s The Cooked Seed—both memoirs.

Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor of Yahoo! Shine reported on May 9 about “a recently released decade-long study of 444 Chinese-American families shows that the effect tiger parents have on their kids is almost exactly the opposite,” and that a controlling Chinese-style parent does not drive his or her child to success.

The conclusion was that “Tiger parenting doesn’t produce superior outcomes in kids.”

I disagree, and here’s why:

Studying 444 Chinese-American families does not provide enough information.

Instead, the study should expand in its scope and include all Asian Americans in addition to Pacific Islanders, because these cultures encourage stricter parenting methods and place a higher value on education compared to the wishy-washy style of the average White American parent who talks to his/her child less than five minutes a day and allows the child to divide his/her daily time watching about 10 hours of TV, listing to music, hanging out with friends, playing video games, spending time on sites such as Facebook, sending text messages, etc.

The results:

  • Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity, 1990-2010 (all ages):

In twenty years, the suicide rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders never cracked 7% and even improved from 6.63% in 1990 to 6.24% by 2010.

For American Whites, the suicide rate was 13.3% in 1990 and climbed to 14.13% by 2010—more than twice the suicide rate of Asian/Pacific Islanders.

Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  • Unemployment rate by race for March 2013 (all ages):

The White American unemployment was 6.9%.

The Asian-American was 5% (the lowest employment rate among all racial groups)

Source: United States Department of Labor

  • Divorce rate by race:

Whites had the highest divorce rate in America at 27%.  African American’s were a distant second at 22% and Hispanics at 20%.

The Asian-American divorce rate was 8%—less than a third of the White divorce rate.

Source: Assisted Divorce.com

  • Drug use by race (all ages):

“Of the major racial/ethnic groups, the rate of drug use is highest among the American Indian/Native American population (10.6%) and those reporting mixed race (11.2%), followed by African Americans (7.7%), Hispanics (6.8%), and whites at (6.6%).

The lowest rates were found among the Asian population at 3.2%—less than half that of whites.

Source: pbs.org

  • Money Income of Households—Percent Distribution by Income Level, Race, in Constant (2009) Dollars: 1990 to 2009:

1990 White = $49,686 (Medium income in dollars)
2009 white = $51,861

1990 Asian = $61,170
2009 Asian = $65,469

Source: US Census, Table 690

  • STD Health Equity – Rates by Race or Ethnicity:

In 2011, Whites had 1.7 times the reported gonorrhea rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders

In 2011, Whites had 1.4 times the reported chlamydia rates of Asians/Pacific Islanders

In 2011, whites had 1.4 times the reported syphilis rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders

Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Life Expectancy by Race:

The average life expectancy of an Asian-America in the United States is 84.56 years, but for White Americans it is only 78.74 years.

Source: World Life Expectancy.com

  • Birth Rates (Live Births) per 1,000 Females Aged 15–19 Years, by Race … 2000–2011:

White = 22 per 1,000

Asian/Pacific Islander = 10 per 1,000—less than half that of white females aged 15-19.

Source: cdc.gov

  • Education:

50 percent of Asian Americans in comparison to 31 percent of the total U.S. population had earned at least a bachelor’s degree, and about 48 percent of Asian Americans were employed in management, professional and related occupations, compared with 40 percent of the white population

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

In Conclusion: “Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success, according to a comprehensive nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center.”

In addition, the Pew Research Center says, “Their living arrangements align with these values. They are more likely than all American adults to be married (59% vs. 51%); their newborns are less likely than all U.S. newborns to have an unmarried mother (16% vs. 41%); and their children are more likely than all U.S. children to be raised in a household with two married parents (80% vs. 63%).”

The average White parent is obsessed with his/her child’s self-esteem and happiness, while the average Asian-American parent practices a parenting philosophy known as tiger parenting that most whites detest.

Considering the information in this post, what parenting method has the best long-term results for a longer, healthier better quality of life? Please leave a comment with your answer.

Discover The Truth about American Education

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Blind Obedience – Part 3/4

America’s public schools are not failing.

In 2010, of about 42 million students attending the public schools (K – 12), white–non Hispanic (23.2 million) and Asian (1.9 million) met the goals of the NCLB Act, and these two racial groups represents more than 25 million (59%), while the two ethnic groups that did not measure up were African-American (6.2 million) and Hispanic/Latino (9.9 million) representing about 16 million students.

This does not mean all African-American or Hispanic/Latino students failed to meet the standards set by the NCLB Act but most did.

Since students may not graduate from high school without passing a competency test and about 50% of African-Americans graduate from high school annually, that says more than 3 million African-American students were successful in addition to more than 6 million Latinos.

Then more than 16% (one million) of African-American and 14% (1.4 million) of Hispanic/Latino students graduate from college.

Did America’s public school teachers fail these African-American and Hispanic/Latino students? I do not think so.

The same “e-mail critic” I quoted in Part 1 dismissed what I said about our daughter (in another e-mail) attending the public schools and “learning” well enough from her (K to 12) teachers to graduate from high school and be accepted to Stanford. She just completed her first year at Stanford with flying colors mostly thanks to her public school teachers and the great job they did teaching. Those same teachers also had African-American and Hispanic/Latino students in their classes.

The “e-mail critic” said our daughter was an exception infering that most students of all racial groups fail when in fact, that is not the case.

My point was that if our daughter learned what her public school teachers taught, there is no excuse for those students and their parents that do not meet the mandates of the NCLB Act.

Our daughter is Asian-American and there are 1.9 million Asian-American students in the U.S. public schools that as an ethnic group met the requirements of the NCLB Act with the highest average score when compared to all other racial groups.

Do we dismiss 1.9 million Asian American students and the dedication of the parents and say they do not count?

Do we measure all students by those at the bottom with parents (among other inequalities) that did not do an adequate job supporting their children’s education?

If you want to know how dedicated the average Asia-American parent is, I recomment you to the Amy Chua controversy and her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Continued on July 27, 2010 in Blind Obedience – Part 4 or return to Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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The Reality of American Education — Part 2/3

MYTH: “The United States Used to Have the Worlds Smartest Schoolchildren.”

ANSWER: Ben Wildavsky says, “No, it didn’t. Even at the height of U.S. geopolitical dominance and economic strength, American students were never anywhere near the head of the class … the results from the first major international math test came out in 1967 … Japan took first place out of 12 countries, while the United States finished near the bottom …

“If American’s ahistorical [unconcerned with or unrelated to history or to historical development or to tradition] sense of their global decline prompts educators to come up with innovative new ideas, that’s all to the good.  But don’t expect any of them to bring the country back to its educational golden age—there wasn’t one.”

MYTH: “Chinese Students Are Eating America’s Lunch.”

Wildavsky’s ANSWER: “Only Partly True … China’s educational prowess is real. Tiger moms (such as Amy Chua, who wrote Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) are no myth — Chinese students focus intensely on their schoolwork, with strong family support (mostly missing in the U.S.), but these results don’t necessarily provide compelling evidence of U.S. inferiority.”

“Wildavsky then says that many of the students in rural China outside Shanghai (the PISA international test was conducted only in Shanghai) are poorer and less educated than ‘China’s’ coastal cities …

Wildavsky says, “(American) alarmist comparisons with other countries, whose challenges are quite different from those of the United States, don’t help.

“Americans should be less worried about how their own kids compare with kids in Helsinki (Finland) than how students in the Bronx measure up to their peers in Westchester Country.”

MYTH: “The U.S. No Longer Attracts the Best and the Brightest”

ANSWER:  “WRONG.”

While Wildavsky mentions that the U.S. should be concerned about the future, the U.S. college education system was (and still is) second to none since the United States has long been the world’s largest magnet for international students.

In fact, he says there are more foreign students in the United States today than there were a decade ago — 149,999 more in 2008 than in 2000.

For international graduate study, Wildavsky says, American universities are a particularly powerful draw in fields that may directly affect the future competitiveness of a country’s economy: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Continued on July 5, 2011 in The Reality of American Education – Part 3 or return to Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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Too Happy! Too Perfect! Too Fragile! – Part 3/4

Then Wendy Mogel, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles and the author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, echoes Kindlon’s words when she says, “Well-intentioned parents have been metabolizing their anxiety for them (their children) their entire childhoods, so they (the children) don’t know how to deal with it when they grow up.”


“Raising Cain is a 2-hour PBS documentary that explores the emotional development of boys in America today. Our guide in the program is child psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D. His book on the emotional lives of boys, “Raising Cain,” with co-author Dan Kindlon, was a New York Times bestseller. Raising Cain chronicles the lives of boys from birth through high school through powerful documentary stories about real boys. The interviews reveal the challenges and confusion that boys encounter while growing up in America.”

A family psychologist in Los Angeles, Jeff Blume, then told Lori Gottlieb, “A kid needs to feel normal anxiety to be resilient. If we want our kids to group up and be more independent, then we should prepare our kids to leave us every day.”

Eventually, Gottlieb mentions Amy Chua’s memoir, the Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and says, many of today’s parents who are obsessed with their kids’ happiness share Chua’s desire for their children to have high achievement but without the sacrifice and struggle that this kind of achievement often requires.

Continued on June 29, 2011 in Too Happy! Too Perfect! Too Fragile! – Part 4 or return to Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 2/3

What is the risk of mental and/or physical damage by spending too much time on the Internet or from cell phone use?

According to a recent poll, 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 timesa day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day.

Seventy-five percent of teenagers now own cell phones (In 2010, there were 33.5 million teens in the US, which means more than 25 million may be at risk for brain cancer in the future.), and 25% use them for social media, 54% use them for texting, and 24% use them for instant messaging.

Thus, a large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones.

In fact, according to eMarketer, “Teens live, eat, sleep and breathe the internet. More than 95% are using the internet in 2011.”

We also know from parenting studies that self-esteem and/or permissive parenting is more prevalent among Caucasian parents in the US than Asian-American parents and comparing the suicide and mental illness rates among teens in these two groups reveals a shocking truth.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death of young persons aged 15-24 and according to Child Trends Databank, among males, suicide rates in 2003 were 13.3 per 100,000 for Caucasians but only 6.7 per 100,000 for Asian- Americans.

For females, the rate of suicide among Caucasians was 3.0 per 100,000 while the Asian-American female suicide rate was 2.5 per 100,000. Source: Teen Help.com

Continued on June 8, 2011 in Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 3 or return to Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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An example of Intolerance and Ignorance

After reading an insulting review titled Fascist Crap on Amazon, which was an ignorant, intollerant rant and an example of individuals that do not have the ability to accept anyone that is different from him or her, I decided to write this post.

The reaction was from an anonymous reviewer that calls herself Danielle Cara, which defines most if not all of Amy Chua’s critics. Amy Chua is the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which was on the New York Times Bestseller List for about 20 weeks after its release January 11, 2011.

Why Do Parenting Styles Differ? by Kandra Cherry, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Idaho State University, with additional coursework in chemical addictions and case management. She also holds a Master of Science in Education from Boise State University. Her primary research interest is in educational psychology.

Kandra Cherry writes, “After learning about the impact of parenting styles on child development, you may wonder why all parents simply don’t utilize an authoritative parenting style. After all, this parenting style is the most likely to produce happy, confident and capable children. What are some reasons why parenting styles might vary? Some potential causes of these differences include culture, personality, family size, parental background, socioeconomic status, educational level and religion.

“Of course, the parenting styles of individual parents also combine to create a unique blend in each and every family. For example, the mother may display an authoritative style while the father favors a more permissive approach. In order to create a cohesive approach to parenting, it is essential that parents learn to cooperate as they combine various elements of their unique parenting styles.”

Then there is what Amy Chua had to say about how she was raised and how that influenced her as a parent.

Amy Chua writes, “I was raised by very strict, Chinese immigrant parents, who came to the U.S. as graduate students with practically no money. My mother and father were so poor they couldn’t afford heat their first two winters in Boston, and wore blankets around to keep warm. As parents, they demanded total respect and were very tough with my three younger sisters and me. We got in trouble for A minuses, had to drill math and piano every day, no sleepovers, no boyfriends. But the strategy worked with me. To this day, I’m very close to my parents, and I feel I owe them everything. In fact, I believe that my parents having high expectations for me – coupled with love – is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me. That’s why I tried to raise my own two daughters the same way my parents raised me.”

As for the Montessori educational method, which the critic that wrote Fascist Crap is an advocate for, in 2005, the Journal of Research in Childhood Education in a Comparison of Academic Achievement Between Montessori and Traditional Education Programs said, “The results of the study failed to support the hypothesis (which means opinion) that enrollment in a Montessori school was associated with higher academic achievement.”

Then in 2006, CBS News reported, Do Montessori Schools Have An Edge? In the CBS report, Debra Ackerman, Ph.D., of the privately funded National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), tells WebMD that no single teaching method or curriculum, including Montessori, has been proven to be the best approach for teaching young children.

There are many widely differing approaches to early education, Ackerman says, and the large-scale studies needed to better understand which methods work best are just starting to be done.

Discover how to Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Education, family values, Parenting

 

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