This morning it was the battle hymn of the tiger father on Good Morning America when George Stephanopoulos interviewed Jed Rubenfeld, Amy Chua's husband, a Yale law professor, and best-selling author. He said while dealing with the book's publicity has been difficult, the fact that it sparked an international conversation is "tremendous." In regards to Chua's parenting techniques, Rubenfeld said, “99% of the time absolutely I agreed with it, because as I was saying for me these were traditional American values, not Asian. So yes, I was on board with it,” And, he applauds his wife for her honesty. "I wasn't totally crazy about being a character in somebody else's book and so I said I'd rather be kept in the background. And, that's what she did." What do you think of his sentiments?
Last night in progressive San Francisco, author Amy Chua read and accepted questions (even a compliment) during a lively and candid appearance at Booksmith. The mother caused quite a stir when a portion of her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was excerpted in the Wall Street Journal. Here are some of the event's highlights:
- Chua's daughter Lulu suggested these alternate titles for the book. "The Perfect Child and the Flesh Eating Devil" and "Why Oldest Children Are Better."
- The memoir was born after a terrible blowup Chua had with Lulu. The author wrote "practically the whole book in two months."
- "I showed every page I wrote to both my daughters and my husband. It was basically like family therapy. It was a cathartic process." — Chua on how her family feels about the book.
- "No. I did not write or know the headline and I do not believe that Chinese parenting is superior." — Chua on the title of the WSJ excerpt.
- When Lulu refused to try Russian caviar, Chua called her "an uncultured savage."
- When asked if she would write a "mommy book, part two," Chua replied, "Definitely not!"
- "This book — and this is the important part, this is the story of our family's journey and my own transformation as a mother. It's a memoir. It is not a how-to-book." — Chua on clarifying the type of text she wrote.
By now, you've probably seen Amy Chua's Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior on the WSJ, as well as retaliating pieces, all over the web. Her harsh methods, which include not allowing her kids to go on sleepovers and to get any grade less than an A, were meant to push her children towards excellence.
Her daughters may thank or blame her later on in life depending on where they end up, but I'm wondering how much of an effect does parenting have on your adult self. Have your parents influenced your career wins and fails?
Imagine a childhood where your opinion doesn't count. Formative years void of sleepovers, school plays, and the ability to earn any grade other than an A. To many parents these suggestions (and occasionally calling your kid garbage) seem like they should be in a handbook of how not to raise a child, but they are Amy Chua's arguments for productive parenting. The mother of two, author, and law professor penned Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, a controversial piece recently published in the Wall Street Journal. The article has stirred up intense emotions and a volatile comments section. What's your opinion?