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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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Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 7/8

About a year ago, Business Insider.com published, “It’s Official, Asian-American Students Work Way Harder to Become More Educated Than Everyone Else” then went on to say Asian-American students take far more Advanced Placement (AP) classes during high school than most other Americans.

To verify this, I used the Academic Performance Index (API) in California to rank and compare four high schools.

Although Chinese are the largest Asian minority in the US, they are not listed separately but are included with other Asian-Americans, which are Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Vietnamese and Koreans.


Today there are about 14 million Asians in the US. As a group, Asian-Americans outperform all other racial groups academically.

At Rowland Unified School District’s Nogales High School, 76% of the student population is listed as Hispanic and 11% as Filipino. The Filipino/Asian students averaged 790 on the API while the Hispanic students averaged 627

At Oakland High School, three ethnic groups were listed. African Americans make up 26% of the student population with an API average of 517; Asians are 53% of students with an API of 667 and Hispanics are 16% of the student population with an API of 519.

At Los Lomas High School, 74% of the student population is white with an API average of 851 while the 11% Asian population averages 861.

At Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California, 53% of the students are white with an API average of 895. Asians make up 32% of students and average 921 on the API.

Education.com says that Asian-American students generally fare better than other racial minority groups in respect to grade point averages, standardized test scores, or even numbers of high school, bachelor, and advanced degrees obtained compared to other racial minorities (National Center for Education Statistics, 2003; U.S. Census Bureau, 2003).

To be continued on March 26, 2011, in Recognizing Good Parenting – Part 8 or return to Part 6

_______________________

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 March 25, 2011 in Education, literacy, Parenting

 

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Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 5/8


Here are the statistics that may help current and future parents of all racial and ethnic groups rethink parenting.

Some of Amy Chua’s critics claimed that her “old world” style of parenting leads to mental illness for her daughters and explaines the high suicide rate among Asians/Chinese (which isn’t true).

Before accusing Chua, those critics should have done some research.

According to Child Trends Databank, among males, suicide rates in 2003 (in America) were highest among the following:

  • Native American (24.7 per 100,000)
  • Non-Hispanic whites (13.3 per 100,000) – CAUCASIANS (about twice that of Asian-Americans)
  • Hispanics at 9.2 per 100,000
  • Asians at 6.7 per 100,000
  • Blacks at 6.6 per 100,000

Among females:

  • Native Americans had the highest rate of suicide at 9.0 per 100,000
  • Non-Hispanic whites at 3.0 per 100,000 – CAUCASIANS
  • Asians at 2.5 per 100,000
  • Blacks at 0.9 per 100,000

Source: Teen Help.com

To be continued on March 24, 2011, in Recognizing Good Parenting – Part 6 or return to Part 4

_______________________

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 March 23, 2011 in Education, literacy, Parenting

 

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Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 3/8


Until Amy Chua’s essay,
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior appeared in The Wall Street Journal and her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was published, there wasn’t much of a discussion or debate about parenting in America.

The obsessive Politically Correct, self-esteem driven parent held sway over how most Americans raised children.

Now, thanks to Amy Chua, there is a wakeup call to many future and current parents. Critics have accused Amy Chua of child abuse, being a narcissist, a liar, a backstabber, a psychopath, etc.

Amy Chua was also attacked for daring to say Chinese mothers were superior to the soft American parent.

In fact, Amy Chua was parenting as the Old Testament advises except for the spanking (she never mentions in her memoir that she spanked her children).

Maybe Chua should have spanked her younger daughter Lulu because she was rude, insulting and rebellious.  Maybe she should have used soap and washed out Lulu’s mouth.

To be continued on March 22, 2011, in Recognizing Good Parenting – 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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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Education, literacy, Parenting

 

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Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 2/8


To discover how far the average parent in the US has gone to pamper the average child, the March 2011 Bulletin for AARP provided some disturbing statistics.

In Pampering Our Kids, AARP said, “When boomers finally became parents, they wanted nothing but the best for the little ones, driving sales for infants, toddlers and preschoolers to more than 17 billion a year.”

In addition,Money Management Works said, “Teen spending is playing a bigger and bigger role in the U.S. economy. Teenagers have money and they are spending it.… Despite the recession, 75% of teens are receiving the same or more spending money this year than last year.

“Clothing accounts for the biggest chunk of spending by teens, at 34%. Entertainment places second, at 22%, and food is third, at 16%.

“In a 2007 article by marketingvox, according to Packaged Facts, teen spending was $189.7 billion in 2006 and will be $208.7 billion by 2011. This is despite a 3% decline in the 12-17-year-old population over the same time period.”

Studies and statistics show that 80% of American parents (way above average) never attend a parent-teacher conference during the time their child is in kindergarten through twelfth grade (public schools).

This change in parenting also resulted in statistics describing today’s average American child and teen spending about 10 hours daily having fun watching TV, playing video games, social networking on Facebook, hanging out with other teens at the mall, or sending endless text messages to friends.

Politeness among the average American child and teen was out and rudeness was in. The old adage of the child “to be seen and not heard” was as good as dead for the average parent.

However, Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says, “‘Seen but not heard’ is not the best model for parenting children. On the other hand, it is infinitely superior to the abdication of adult authority that marks the current age.”

To be continued on March 21, 2011, in Recognizing Good Parenting – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

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 March 20, 2011 in Education, literacy, Parenting

 

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Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 1/8


In the 1960s, Political Correctness in partnership with the unproven theory of soft, obsessive self-esteem driven parents rewrote the rulebook for parenting in America resulting today in the “average” American parent that talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day.

Out went the soap that was once used to wash the mouths of vulgar children and teens leading to the common use of the “F” word in almost every spoken sentence.

In addition, spanking (corporal punishment) was all but outlawed and identified as child abuse by many.

However, Religious Tolerancesays, “Corporal punishment is strongly recommended in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

Most of the biblical quotations advocating corporal punishment of children appear in the book of Proverbs.

“The phrase “spare the rod and spoil the child” is often incorrectly attributed to the Christian Bible. It does not appear there. It was first written in a poem by Samuel Butler in 1664.”


This video shows both the wrong and right way to spank a child.

 

Instead, Proverbs 13:24 says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently).”

Proverbs 19:18 says, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Proverbs 23:13 says, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

Proverbs 23:14 says, “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell (Shoel).”

Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brengeth his mother to shame.”

The Old Testament was the oldest parenting guide in the Western world and was used for several thousand years until the 1960s.

To be continued on March 20, 2011, in Recognizing Good Parenting – 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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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in Education, literacy, Parenting

 

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Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 4/4

I know how important education is to the Chinese. I’ve been to China many times.

When Chinese mothers gather, they usually don’t talk of American Idol, fashion or the latest Hollywood gossip.

Chinese mothers talk about their children and how they are doing in school and recommend the best schools.

Most Chinese parents start saving for college when the child is still in the womb. The sacrifice the average Chinese parent makes for their children’s future education is mind-boggling.

My wife is Chinese and our daughter came home and did homework without the TV on.  She earned straight “A’s” since third grade and graduated with  a 4.65 GPA due to the AP and honors classes she took.

If she had not earned those grades … her mother would figuratively break her legs.

Anyway, back to Grendel.

After that staff meeting with Grendel, he left the room followed by a cloud of tobacco smoke.

The rest of the teaching staff sat stunned.

Soon, we were on our way home to correct papers and plan the next day’s lesson.

For the rest of that school year, true to his word, Grendel stayed behind closed doors—most of the time—while the teachers struggled to provide a liberal education.

No, not what Republicans mean by liberal.

Return to Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 3 or start with 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.

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