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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Children are tougher than we give them credit for!, 18 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book. I am Chinese now living in the UK and I admit I was outraged when I first read the WSJ excerpt of her book. My first thoughts were I can't believe anyone would do something like that to their children. However as I thought more about it and I guess living out here in the UK I've been so used to the numbing and dumbing of our children's perceived fragile self esteem and always making sure that their feelings and wants are always met for fear of damaging them emotionally, I forgot that hey, I was brought up pretty much the same way. I practiced the piano for an hour (okay not daily and not 2 hours a day but 5 times a week, pretty much didn't watch tellie apart from the news, don't remember a sleep over (although cousins stayed with us during holidays for a night)....and you know what, I'm none the worse for it.

I now have 2 girls and within my circle of friends, I've found out very quickly that expressing my hopes and dreams for them is the quickest way to get ostracised from modern society simply because it is MY hope and MY dream and no one has asked them (my eldest is age 3) if they wanted it in the first place. My friend was horrified when she found out I had been drilling the alphabets and numbers to my pre-schooler after coming back from school or that I meant for my girls to continue ballet and start piano lessons at age 4 with a view to taking exams. I would rather my daughters grumble to their boyfriend/husbands/friends that "mum was a nuthead and made me do ballet and piano" rather than "i wish mum made me do such and such"! Parenting is such a personal issue so I applaud Amy Chua for baring her closet.

I give this 4 stars because it was the single most honest piece of memoir I've read. It would've been 5 stars if Amy Chua did a step by step breakdown of how she made her daughters practice for 2 hours a day and how she got her energy to parent the way she did!

Lastly, Amy Chua ought to thank WSJ for creating such a storm with that excerpt. It generated more publicity that she could even dream of!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jun 2011 21:15:48 BDT
Where did your read about two hours a day? As far as I understood it, it was up to five or six hours if the girls didnīt work concentrated enough. They didnīt have any free time for themselves. Not even as young children were they allowed to meet friends to just play. (And small children learn more by free play then by being drilled things they donīt understand yet.)

Posted on 9 Jul 2011 04:03:27 BDT
Grit Lit says:
You don't sound like you read the book. It was three daily hours of music, plus homework and Mandarin lessons. And math drills.
When they traveled the world they STILL spent hours practicing instead of exploring new places. Chua's priorities are accolades for her children and reflected glory for her. She doesn't care about their real selves, only how they can win praise from the public.
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