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Tag Archives: Amy Chua

A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2/3

Amy Chua‘s so-called Chinese parenting style, identified as mostly Authoritarian, is the “CLASSIC” no nonsense do as I say, not as I do parenting style that first came about during Victorian England in the 18th century. The other parenting methods did not materialize until the 20th century, so how Amy Chua raised her two daughters had been in practice for more than two hundred years.

Amy Chua says, “I believed that raising my two daughters the same way my Chinese immigrant parents raised me was the right way and that I had nothing to learn from the laxer parenting I saw all around me.” Source: USA Today

Positive Parenting Ally.com (PPA) says, “I think we can see the early seeds of the authoritarian parenting style in the 18th century. At that point in time, parents in the Western world (particularly the British) began taking the first steps toward a mind shift and become more involved in their children’s upbringing.

PPA also says, “The mind of an authoritarian parent likes order, neatness, routine and predictability.… Children of authoritarian parents tend to do well in school and are said to generally not engage in drinking or drug use. They know the consensus rules and follow them.”

Instead of calling this method of parenting authoritarian or Chinese, I’ve used the term Old-World, which fits and is an acceptable choice of parenting

Authoritarian parenting was a vast improvement over how children had been raised (or not raised) before the 18th century. Prior to the authoritarian parent, children were mostly treated as adults and faced severe punishments such as mutilation, slavery, servitude, torture, and death. In fact, the US has a long history of treating children this way. Source: Child Labor in U.S. History

It was in the 18th century that Western parents stopped seeing their children as a potential representation of dark and evil forces that had to be kept in check physically (harsh beatings etc.) and instead attempted controlling their minds, their feelings, and their needs.

Continued on May 24, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part Three or return to Part 1

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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).

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A Brief History of Parenting – Part 1/3

The Chinese did not invent the parenting style Amy Chua described in her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In fact, the Chinese may have learned this method of parenting from the British, French, Germans, Russians, Portuguese and Americans since this method of parenting first developed in the West in the 18th century.

The 19th century invasion of China by Western powers during The Opium Wars explains what happened, and it was a British citizen from Northern Ireland that may have introduced this style of parenting to the Chinese.

This man was Sir Robert Hart, known as the godfather of China’s modernization. It was Hart, the main character in The Concubine Saga that guided the Qing Dynasty to restructure China’s educational system to compete with the superior, Western style of education of that time.

Recently, I discovered that the one-star critics’ reviews of Amy Chua memoir of raising children the Chinese way had gone too far when another anonymous reviewer calling itself Tiger Indeed left this one-star review, “There once was a nation that fully endorsed these principals (referring to Amy Chua’s parenting methods). It was called the Soviet Union. Enough said.”

This wasn’t a book review. It was an opinionated condemnation of the way Amy Chua raised her children.

Digging further, I discovered that Tiger Indeed had reviewed one book. I’m sure you guessed the title: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Then I discovered Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, who in the 1960s was the first to identify the different methods of parenting.

Baumrind described Amy Chua’s parenting method but the way Chua raised her daughters wasn’t the same as there is some crossover between Authoritarian and Authoritative.

Continued on May 23, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part Two

_______________________

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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Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 8/9

In Part 4 of Recognizing Good Parenting, I focused on another method of parenting—the average Asian-American parent. The results provided in Parts 5 through 8 in that series are impressive.

Well before Amy Chua and her essay in The Wall Street Journal then her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Asiance Magazine reported December 2009, “How (average) Asian-American parents raise successful children.

“What Chinese (Asian-American) parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.

“This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up.”

The author wrote, “Western friends (parents) who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most.


Kindergarten children – Is this the result of parents using old-world methods of parenting?

“For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It’s hours two and three that get tough.

“Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best.”

Many of Amy Chua’s critics claim this description of the average Asian-American from Asiance Magazine is a stereotype and is wrong

However, Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. writing in Psychology Today explains Why Chinese Mothers Really are Superior (on average). “It’s not stereotyping when it’s right.… Asian Americans have the lowest self-esteem of any ethnic group in the U.S., but achieve the best academic performance (and, among adults, the lowest unemployment rate)…

“On average,” Dr. Twenge says, “Asian parents use more discipline and insist upon hard work more than Western parents. And on average, their kids do better….”

In Part 9, take a test to discover how much of an “average” American parent you might be.

Continued on May 12, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 9 or return to Part 7

_______________________

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.

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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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The Un-Civil War Between Old-World Values and New Age Parenting – Part 2/2

Larry Summers cites in his debate with Amy Chua that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard emphasizing what those “two” achieved without a university education.

While Gates was building Microsoft and Zuckerberg Facebook, do you believe these two billionaires spent ten hours a day doing what the average American child (raised by SAPs such as Summers) does to enjoy the first quarter of his or her life?

Summers doesn’t mention that Warren Buffet, one of the richest men on the planet, attended the Wharton Business school at the University of Pennsylvania for two years then transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Working part time, he managed to graduate in only three years.

Summers doesn’t mention that it is common that the top one percent of executives with annual incomes of $500,000 or more often have Ivy league educations from universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Yale or Princeton.


“Asian countries value education more than other countries.”

Summers doesn’t mention that the top 15% of the upper-middle class are highly educated and often have graduate degrees while earning a high 5-figure annual income commonly above $100,000.

To be specific, the median personal income for a high school drop out in the US with less than a 9th grade education is $17,422, and with some college that medium income jumps to $31,054, while a person with a professional university degree earns an annual medium income of $82,473. Source: Wiki Academic Models (this source was citing US Census data).

It’s okay if Summers and his fellow SAPs let their children and teens have fun the first eighteen years of life, but don’t forget, the average life span in the US is 78.3 years.

What are those children going to do for enjoyment while working to earn a living the next 60.3 years as an adult?

Most children raised by Tiger Moms such as Amy Chua shouldn’t have to worry. Those children (as adults) will probably be in the top 15% of income earners and enjoy life much more than those earning less than $18 thousand annually.

Learn more from Costco Connections “Is College Worth It?” or return to The War Between Old-World Values and New-Age Parenting – Part 1

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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.

This revised and edited post first appeared on iLook China January 31, 2011 as Amy Chua Debates Former White House “Court Jester” Larry Summers

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Education, family values, politics

 

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The Un-Civil War Between Old-World Values and New Age Parenting – Part 1/2

One definition of the word “SAP” means “a foolish gullible person”. I copied that from Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, and Larry Summers sounds as if he were a member of the “SAP” generation.

A friend forwarded a link to Larry Summers vs. Tiger Mom, which was published in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on January 27, 2011.

Larry Summers, who has billed himself as a “hard ass”, was President Barack Obama’s top economic advisor for the last few years.

Summers recently left the White House to return to Harvard as a professor then had a debate with Chinese-American “Tiger Mom,” Amy Chua, who wrote an essay that appeared in the WSJ with a headline (she didn’t write), which said, Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.

Summers said why go through all the trouble to earn a university education when computers are eventually going to do the work that requires discipline.

He also said, “People on average live a quarter of their lives as children. That’s a lot. It’s important that they be as happy as possible during those 18 years. That counts too.”

Summers isn’t alone in his belief that children should focus on being happy instead of academic excellence.

The average American parent belonging to the Self-esteem arm of Political Correctness (more SAPs) spends less than five minutes a day encouraging his or her child to be happy, which explains why the average American child enjoys watching TV (4:29 hours daily); socializing on sites such as Facebook (1:29 hours); playing video games (1:13 hours); listening to music (2:31 hours) while managing to send an average of 50 text messages daily. Source: A Kaiser Generation M2 – Youth Media Survey in January 2010 (other studies support these numbers).

The War Between Old-World Values and New-Age Parenting will continue on April 25, 2011 in Part 2

Discover Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff

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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.

This revised and edited post first appeared on iLook China January 31, 2011 as Amy Chua Debates Former White House “Court Jester” Larry Summers

To subscribe to iLook China, 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 April 24, 2011 in Education, Parenting, politics

 

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Parenting 101 — the Amy Chua Controversy

I’m sure that Amy Chua had no idea she was about to light a Baby Boomer fuse that would explode when she wrote her essay published in The Wall Street Journal about Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.

In 2000, Paul Begala, a political strategist for President Bill Clinton, wrote in Esquire, “The Baby Boomers are the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self aggrandizing generation in American history.”

Begala was right.

Starting in the 1960s, the Boomers also gave birth to the narcissistic, self-esteem generation.

When Amy Chua’s memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother went on sale, my wife and I went to the local Barnes and Noble and bought a copy. It took us more than a week to read the book. My wife went first.

However, the morning that Chua’s memoir went on sale, dozens of one-star reviews appeared on Amazon.com condemning the book before anyone had time to read it.

Later, Amazon.com deleted many of these critical reviews that were bitter, caustic, personal attacks on Chua’s parenting methods and had nothing to say of the memoir. It was obvious that most if not all of those early one-star reviews were based on the essay in The Wall Street Journal.

Nancy (not her real name), who works for Barnes and Noble (where we bought a copy of the memoir), told us of an experience she had substitute teaching in a girls P.E. Class. She said there were about 150 girls. Half were Asian and half were Caucasian. When Nancy told them to sit and read or do what they wanted, the Asians took out books and studied. The Caucasians started to text, do makeup and gossip.

Studies show that the “average” American Boomer parent talks to his or her children less than five minutes a day and more than 80% never attend a parent-teacher conference. Boomer parents are so self-absorbed with other interests that TV, the Internet, video games and other teens become substitute parents to their children.

However, when most Chinese mothers (or Asian American) come together, their conversations focus on their children and education, which explains why studies show Asian-American students have the lowest incidence of STDs, teen pregnancy, illegal drug and alcohol use and the highest GPAs, graduation rates from high school and highest ratio of college attendance.

What do you think the “average” Caucasian Boomer mothers talk about when they get together?

A close friend of mine, who isn’t Chinese, read Amy Chua’s essay and many of the comments attacking Chua for her tough stance as a mother. He said it is obvious that Chinese mothers love their children and American mothers don’t because love means sacrifice.

Discover Recognizing Good Parenting

_______________________

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 Parenting Dilemma

Parents are the primary key to a child’s future success and development.  One example is a neighbor couple that raised two children—a son and a daughter both over 30 today and college graduates.

I understand the son has a Ph.D. in alternative energy and the daughter a BA in design from a university in Hawaii.  The son has had no problem finding jobs that pay well. He even bought a home at a time when many Americans are losing theirs.

Recently, the mother and I talked about the parenting debate that was sparked by an essay in The Wall Street Journal. It was obvious that she wasn’t an “average” American parent but she wasn’t a Tiger Mother either.

It seems this neighbor mother told her son she felt as if Amy Chua, the Tiger Mother, had attacked her in The Wall Street Journal essay, but the son with the Ph.D. explained what Chua wrote wasn’t meant to be a criticism of all American parents.

Later, the mother sent me an e-mail saying, “The style of parenting I like involves appropriate choices and consequences. 

“The child gets to chose between walking or riding to school but not between going to school or not, between doing homework after school or after dinner—not whether or not to do it.

“If the child refuses to wear a coat on a cold day then they get cold and next time they wear a coat (natural consequences).”


A CBS News Report says the average American teen sends 17,000 text messages a month.

The mother still couldn’t bring herself to read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua’s memoir.  She said it would make her angry.

However, I am angry, but at a different sort of parent—the ones that followed the “Pied Piper of Self Esteem” in the 1960s making my job as a teacher more difficult for much of my teaching carrier (1975 – 2005).

A fellow teacher and friend still in the classroom says it’s worse now than when I left in 2005. He spends so much time documenting contacts with the “average” American parent he doesn’t have time to correct and record grades. 

He had to hire a retired teacher to correct for him at $25 an hour.

Studies show the “average” American parent talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day while the “average” American child spends about 10 hours a day watching TV, social networking on Facebook, playing video games or sending text messages on mobile phones.

Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. described a different parenting model, “On average, Asian parents use more discipline and insist upon hard work more than Western parents. And on average, their kids do better.”

Dr. Twenge writing in Psychology Today said, “Asian Americans have the lowest self-esteem of any ethnic group in the U.S., but achieve the best academic performance (and, among adults, the lowest unemployment rate).”


“Oh, well, everyone does it!”  However, does that make it right?

If the “average” Asian-American parent represents strict parenting and the soft, obsessive self-esteem parent represent the “average” American, what do we call parents between the two, which might describe my neighbor?

After all, “average” does not mean everyone. Average is a “norm” or the largest represented group in a population, which still leaves plenty of room for millions of horrible parents that beat their children and sexually molest them.

Child Help.org says, “(American) children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect.… Ninety percent of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.”

Did you know there are almost a million teens or children that belong to violent street gangs in the US? LA is the street-gang capital of America with 100,000.

Most of the gang bangers I taught earned FAILING grades and a thousand phone calls couldn’t change that.

Does “Parenting with Choices and Natural Consequences” describe the middle ground between the soft, self-esteem “norm” and the “average” Asian-American Tiger Parent?

Learn how to Recognize Bad and/or Good Parenting

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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.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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