Y’all know I like to read and I like to share with you the good books that cross my path. Well, sometime last year I heard about this book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua and the stir it was causing. The excerpt that caught my attention was about a dinner party and a lady that left the party early because she was upset when Chua shared with the guests what Chua had told one of her daughters when the child exhibited poor behavior (no I will not tell you what it was – read the book!).
There was a story there and I wanted to know more. So, off to the library I went and found the book on CD. Even more delightful – it was read by the author!
Chua is the oldest daughter of immigrant parents. She went to law school, married a Jewish guy, Jed, and they are raising two very talented young ladies, Sophia and Lulu. The book chronicles her experience raising children as an “Asian Mother.” The author points out early that “Asian Mother” is a description that includes either sex from any culture. It is not a term she reserves strictly for Asian mothers.
From the time her daughters were born, Chua gives you a run-down on the positives and negatives of raising children here in the States as a parent who does not necessarily subscribe to the Western way of raising children. While the book is about her whole family, it centers around the force of wills that exists between her and her younger daughter, Lulu.
From an early encounter on their snowy porch one winter, to an eventual showdown in Russia, through school, piano, violin and tennis, Chua tells it just like it happened. In the end, she doesn’t determine that the Western way of raising children is the wrong way or that the Asian way is the right way. Chua and her family seem to come to a peace with the two and recognize that above all, it is about believing in your kids and what they can do.
This book, especially if you listen to the author read it, will make you laugh, occasionally cringe but overall, it will make you reflect on how you were raised and how kids are raised today.
If you have kids, it might give you some insight.
If you don’t, like me, it is still an excellent read! I look forward to any material Chua writes in the future.