Friday, March 4, 2011

Tiger Mom

I'm just getting over a week of non-stop coughing, and should be going to bed early, but instead I started reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother at midnight and finished it in one sitting, without leaving my spot in the corner of our sofa, from cover to cover (including acknowledgements and notes).

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

In a nutshell: I get Amy Chua! I get her because I'm a fraction of her: unsympathetic Chinese parents, but mine are liberal and loving; first-born, but never any pressure from parents for me to be first or carry the flag; Type-A personality, but I love sleep too much to ever achieve anything. (In college, I had read that US presidents and other great leaders all needed less than 6 hours of sleep.)

So, my immediate reaction after finishing this book was to get my 3 year-old started on piano (and so easy, I thought to myself, because the piano I've had since 1977 is now in our home in Hong Kong, though for the past 10 years it has been more a decorative item than musical instrument), to be followed in a couple of years by violin lessons for my 5 month-old.

And now, after two days to really think about the book, and a full-night's rest in between (for me, that's 9 hours), I still agree with and want to follow her parenting style, but perhaps just a fraction of it.

Actually, the book is more memoir than instructional guide. And Amy Chua is right, the humor is more relate-able if you were raised the Chinese way. Highly recommend!

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