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In a memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, she discusses how parenting affects the success of their children. She wrote a follow up article on The Wall Street Journal called “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.” She writes about the effectiveness of being an Authoritarian Parent. She has been successful in raising her daughters and is proud to uphold her tiger mother status from her parents. The meaning of an Authoritarian Parent is that they command orders to their kids to do well academically in school. When the children fail, the parents punish their kids sternly. Her daughters were not allowed to join in non academic related extracurricular activities, not being the number one student in subjects, or get any grade lower than an A. There is a difference in opinion in regards to the effectiveness of raising children from a western point of view. They see an Authoritarian Parent as having a disregard for fostering the development of the child’s self esteem by not giving praise to the child’s accomplishments if their grade is less than an A. The Western Parent sees this as being mean. The Authoritarian Parenting style is an effective method that can be studied and measured through the motivation of the child, success of the child, and the mental state of the child.
The Authoritarian Parenting style is an effective method that can be studied and measured through the motivation of the child. Chua cites “It’s parents who foist life on their kids, so it’s the parents’ responsibility to provide for them”. An example of this is illustrated in Chua’s efforts in motivating her child to learn to play a complicated piano piece titled “The Little White Donkey.” Her daughter Lulu was having a very difficult time learning to play the piece correctly. Lulu got to point of giving up and tore the sheet music into pieces. Chua’s husband felt sorry for the child and even hinted for Chua to take it easy on the child. Chua instead proceeded with being relentless in her attempts to motivate her daughter to learn how to play the complicated piano piece “The Little White Donkey” perfectly. She taped up the torn up pieces of sheet music and sat with her daughter multiple hours practicing not allowing her to take a break to use the restroom. They practiced through dinner and Lulu eventually realized that she was finally able to play the piece perfectly, she was overcome by happiness, pride and sense of accomplishment. Chua recalls her daughter’s excitement as she eagerly played the piano piece for her approval. Despite all the conflict between Lulu and her mom while trying to learn to play the piano piece perfectly, Lulu lay in bed with her mom later that evening and they slept and hugged together which fosters the growing bond between mother and daughter.
The effects and effectiveness of Authoritarian Parenting is an effective method that can be studied and measured through success of the child. Chua states that “Chinese parents demand perfect grades because they believe that their child can get them.” If a Chinese child gets a B or lower, the parents would be very upset and there would be a lot of screaming. The reason why Chinese parents would react harshly is because the lack of academic success of their child is a reflection on the parents not doing their job effectively. The Chinese parent would make the child do countless practice tests with the goal of thoroughly understanding the material so the child can get the grade back up to an A. Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. Chinese parents believe that in order to be good at anything, you have to work hard. Parents know that learning new material is always hardest at the beginning and this is usually when children become lazy. It is the parents’ job to encourage and motivate their child to study and practice the material repeatedly which is necessary for success. Once the child has mastered the material and gets a good grade. The child will receive praise, admiration, and satisfaction which reinforces the idea that hard work is worthwhile.
The Authoritarian Parenting style is an effective method that can be studied and measured through the mental state of the child. Chua cites that “Chinese parents are not concerned about their child’s psyche, they assume that their children’s psyche is strong.” This is why Chinese parents behave in a seemingly harsh manner towards their children. One example is that they believe the solution to their child performing poorly academically is to excoriate, punish, and shame the child. Chinese parents believe that their child will be strong enough to take the shaming and degrading comments and grow from it. The parents feel it is important to make it clear to the child that poor academic performance is a reflection of the parents not doing their job effectively. Chinese parents will do whatever is necessary to help the child study and work towards improving their grade by having them perform repetitive drilling of the study materials until they have mastered it. A second example is that Chinese parents believe they know what’s best for their children and often override their children’s own desires and preferences. They believe that only activities related to academics are worth participating in. This explains why Chinese children are not allowed to participate in extracurricular activities such as sleepovers at a friend’s home, going to a school dance, participate in a school play, and can’t have a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. The Chinese parents truly believe that their children’s self esteem and psyche is strong enough to deal with their seemingly unrealistic and restrictive demands.
There is a difference in opinion in regards to the effectiveness of raising children from an Authoritarian Parent’s point of view compared to the Western Parent’s point of view. Chua cites a study that found “almost 70% of the Western mother said that Stressing academic success is not good for children” or that “parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.” Western Parents see an Authoritarian Parent as having a disregard for fostering the development of the child’s self esteem and psyche by not giving praise to the child’s accomplishments if their academic efforts results in a grade less than an A. The Western Parent sees this as being harsh and mean. Chua states that “It’s not that Chinese parents don’t care about their children. They would give up anything to sacrifice for their children. It’s just an entirely different parenting model.”
The effects and effectiveness of the Authoritarian Parenting model can have significantly positive results. It involves a dynamic relationship between parent and child that may seem overbearing and restrictive. Success in Academics is of primary importance while non academic related extracurricular activity in not allowed. Chinese parents have used this model with much success. The Authoritarian Parenting model has shown to be effective in the motivating the child to work hard academically, which leads to academic success of the child, and promotes a strong mental state of the child.
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