• Ideas
  • May 17, 2011

Declawing the Tiger Mother

Mothers reflected in the TV screen are closer than they appear. Author Amy Chua oversees her daughter’s violin practice.

A couple of months ago, Yale University law professor and parent provocateur Amy Chua set the internet ablaze with fury and contempt when the Wall Street Journal posted an excerpt from her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, entitled “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” In it she concludes that her “Chinese” style of parenting (ie., only allowing her daughters to study piano or violin and forcing them to practice even on vacation; berating them for their imperfections; “rejecting” a hand-drawn birthday card; no television, sleepovers or play dates) is the formula for churning out successful child prodigies.