Nurturing/ Teaching Courses
Tiger Mum Parenting|
Dr Alex Tang
In another sense, the uproar over the memoirs a "tiger mum" is long overdue because it points to a deeper root cause. It is due to a clash of civilisations. Northern Americans are rudely awakened to the fact that there is another ancient civilisation existing amongst them. It is a clash of worldviews. It is the Confucian way of nurturing the "perfect man" versus Dr Benjamin Spock's way of "permissive" parenting. It is parental enforced discipline versus "allowing children to be children." It is a clash of socio-cultural construct of what childhood (and a child) is - whether something to be moulded or something that is hidden inside and be allowed to emerge on the own. It is the developing of cultured pearls by irritating the oyster versus allowing the crysalid to reveal the butterfly within. It may even be, as the author of the Time magazine article suggests that Americans feel threatened by the Chinese (read the article here)
A point that is often missed or not highlighted in a critique of Chinese parenting is a timeline. Critics often see the shaming (name calling) and the drilling aspects. What they do not realise is that this is done only when the child is very young (about 2-6 years by my estimate). As the child grows older he or she are given the opportunities to act responsibly, and the shaming and drilling aspects are reduced. I believe that it is an important aspect of Chinese parenting that must be highlighted. It is not that we Chinese are cruel and uncompassionate toward our children. In parenting, we Chinese have tough love. We love our children so much that we are willing to put them through a difficult period when they are young in order that they will grow up to be responsible and disciplined people when they are older.
| posted 1 February 2011 |
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