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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Amy Chua

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1,1551097,046 (3.57)65
Member:wonderbook
Title:Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Authors:Amy Chua
Info:Penguin Press HC, The (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:A Non-Fiction

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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua (2011)

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Narrated by the author. For all the controversy this book generated, I think what was missed is that she finally learned her way wasn't always the highway. Parenting is an inexact art and science anyway, and thankfully her daughters weren't driven to drink by her ways (yet, anyway). I did find her incredibly obstinate and oblivious, a driven overachiever who believes everyone should subscribe to her view of the world. Amy Chua reads the audiobook. (Surprised, anyone? She probably felt no one would capture her feelings exactly). Actually it works quite well. Her entrenched stubbornness is maddening and shrill in her own voice but at the same time, you can tell that in hindsight even she knows being a tiger mom wasn't that effective. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This book as a selection for my face-to-face book club this month, and I was really intrigued when the members of the book club picked this as a selection. I suspect that is was because of the controversy that the book as stirred.

I must admit that the timing for reading this book was good for me because my husband and I had just gone to a showing of the documentary The Race to Nowhere, so my reading of this book is probably somewhat tempered by the viewing.

While I understand the controversy surrounding the book, especially the reactions to some of the harsher exchanges in the book between Chua and her daughters. Honestly, however, I expected it to be much more disturbing of a read than I anticipated, and I expected to find myself angrier with Chua's parenting approach much more than I was.

Overall, I found the book well-written, insightful, and often very poignant as Chua recalled raising her daughter's and carefully explained the differences she sees between Chinese Mothers and Western Parents. One of the more interesting aspects is her explanation of Chinese Mother as she carefully notes that a parent does not have to be either Chinese or a mother to be a Chinese Mother, but rather it's more of a philosophical stance or belief system about the role of the child and the parent and beliefs about education. This does, however, mean, that much of this philosophy is not informed by the Chinese culture for those Chinese Mothers who are indeed Chinese.

As I was reading this, I found myself reflecting on my own upbringing and my parents approach to various aspects of child-rearing, including their beliefs about the value of education. And, I reflected on my recent viewing of The Race to Nowwhere. The one thing that I keep thinking was that it's really all about balance and helping your children find a balance in life while still understanding that school should be a priority.

I must admit that I do see value in some of Chua's parenting strategies but others, including the inability for a child to pick the musical instrument that he or she would like to learn, a bit too harsh. For instance, we have a piano and a trombone, neither of which my son has been interesting in learning to play. Instead, he wanted to learn to play the guitar, so after some discussion with family and friends, we have decided to pursue this desire. I will admit that I still hope that he will want to tickle the ivory at some point, but unlike Chua, I am not going to force piano lessons on him.

What I do think is appealing about this book is that as you read you realize that Chua does really want the best for both of her girls, and she does come to learn that she cannot push each of them in the same way or in the same way that she was pushed. However, there are times that the book will make very angry as they view the way she talks to her daughters and the way she often manipulates them to get them to succeed in the way she wants them too. ( )
  slpwhitehead | Jan 17, 2016 |
This book as a selection for my face-to-face book club this month, and I was really intrigued when the members of the book club picked this as a selection. I suspect that is was because of the controversy that the book as stirred.

I must admit that the timing for reading this book was good for me because my husband and I had just gone to a showing of the documentary The Race to Nowhere, so my reading of this book is probably somewhat tempered by the viewing.

While I understand the controversy surrounding the book, especially the reactions to some of the harsher exchanges in the book between Chua and her daughters. Honestly, however, I expected it to be much more disturbing of a read than I anticipated, and I expected to find myself angrier with Chua's parenting approach much more than I was.

Overall, I found the book well-written, insightful, and often very poignant as Chua recalled raising her daughter's and carefully explained the differences she sees between Chinese Mothers and Western Parents. One of the more interesting aspects is her explanation of Chinese Mother as she carefully notes that a parent does not have to be either Chinese or a mother to be a Chinese Mother, but rather it's more of a philosophical stance or belief system about the role of the child and the parent and beliefs about education. This does, however, mean, that much of this philosophy is not informed by the Chinese culture for those Chinese Mothers who are indeed Chinese.

As I was reading this, I found myself reflecting on my own upbringing and my parents approach to various aspects of child-rearing, including their beliefs about the value of education. And, I reflected on my recent viewing of The Race to Nowwhere. The one thing that I keep thinking was that it's really all about balance and helping your children find a balance in life while still understanding that school should be a priority.

I must admit that I do see value in some of Chua's parenting strategies but others, including the inability for a child to pick the musical instrument that he or she would like to learn, a bit too harsh. For instance, we have a piano and a trombone, neither of which my son has been interesting in learning to play. Instead, he wanted to learn to play the guitar, so after some discussion with family and friends, we have decided to pursue this desire. I will admit that I still hope that he will want to tickle the ivory at some point, but unlike Chua, I am not going to force piano lessons on him.

What I do think is appealing about this book is that as you read you realize that Chua does really want the best for both of her girls, and she does come to learn that she cannot push each of them in the same way or in the same way that she was pushed. However, there are times that the book will make very angry as they view the way she talks to her daughters and the way she often manipulates them to get them to succeed in the way she wants them too. ( )
  slpwhitehead | Jan 16, 2016 |
To say that Amy Chua is a type-A personality is an understatement. The Yale law professor, author, lecturer, wife of a Yale law professor and mother of two beautiful daughters is the most driven person I have ever read about. Throughout the book she blames her Chinese heritage for much of her behavior explaining that the Chinese mother's way is not to allow free choice and that to be a Western parent is to be a failure. Her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, knew their alphabet by 18 months old, they entered first grade knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide, began music lessons with private tutors at an early age, took Mandarin Chinese lessons, and basically did everything Amy decided they should do. On the other hand, they never had sleepovers or play dates, watched tv or played video games, or did anything that was not seen as valuable by their mother. Anything less than an "A" in school was unacceptable and any place less than first place was a disgrace. The girls were told that if there were ever any extra credit questions on a test they had better do them, and do them correctly, even if it meant missing recess. They spent countless hours every single day practicing their music, piano for Sophia and violin for Lulu, even if the family was on vacation. The violin was packed along with the suitcases and Amy called ahead to vacation locales to book access to a piano. Yes, the girls became amazingly accomplished at everything they did but at what cost?

While I cannot disagree that Amy accomplished stunning results with her "Chinese Tiger Mother" discipline, I am horrified at her methods. Making an 8 year old sit at a piano for hours and not allowing them to have a bathroom break or any food or drink until the child masters a music piece is abusive. Insulting one child while praising another is not "motivating" the insulted child, it is cruel. The constant belittling of the "Western" ways of child-rearing is grating after awhile. I do not admire Ms. Chua but I am thrilled that her younger daughter, Lulu, finally had enough and rebelled at age 13. Lulu rightly accused her mother of making her daughters obey so that Amy would be the one in the spotlight as the amazing mother. Go Lulu! ( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
...Amy Chua's unexceptional memoir about her dedication to raising children who excel...
added by atbradley | editThe Guardian, Terri Apter (Jan 29, 2011)
 
“There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids’ true interests,” Amy Chua writes. She ought to know, because hers is the big one: “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” a diabolically well-packaged, highly readable screed ostensibly about the art of obsessive parenting. In truth, Ms. Chua’s memoir is about one little narcissist’s book-length search for happiness. And for all its quotable outbursts from Mama Grisly (the nickname was inevitable), it will gratify the same people who made a hit out of the granola-hearted “Eat, Pray, Love.”
 
Parenting and child psychology take up most of the self-help book genre, stressing the point that every parent must develop their own creative and suitable ways to deal with their child.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother stands out from its genre contemporaries, as author Amy Chua delves right into the techniques she used to raise her own genius daughters, who are very lucky. Why? Because they're Chinese! Yes, the author aims at educating the unfortunate rest of the world on how to raise their kids to be more like the genius race that is the Chinese.

Chua believes that the Chinese race is superior because of the mothers’ tough parenting techniques: for example, the Chinese mother considers an A- grade a bad grade, never compliments her kids in public, and only allows them to participate in activities from which they’ll win a trophy or medal; and it must be gold.

The controversy that this book has caused has been mainly down to how the author compares the know-it-all 'Chinese mother' to the typical good-for-nothing 'Western mother'. That being said, the book itself is very captivating, divided into stories and anecdotes that are both educating and suspenseful, with organized profiles on her family. Her controversial theory, however, may jar with parents who do not fall in line with the author’s ideals.

It’s important to remember that everyone has their own parenting methods. So, if you come out with just one thing from this book, it may be that if having no social life, being forced into hobbies, and being under constant pressure to score the best grades is what it takes for a kid to be genius, then perhaps it’s not worth it after all.

It’s easier to read the book as an autobiography than as a self-help book; that way you can enjoy the mother’s thoughts on her daughters’ upbringing and the methods that she used. That way, the book won’t ruffle your feathers or come across as condescending to those who might be in the firing line of the straight-talking Chua.
 
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A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids.
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What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it.
I can't tell you how many Asian kids I've met who, while acknowledging how oppressively strict and brutally demanding their parents were, happily describe themselves as devoted to their parents and unbelievably grateful to them, seemingly without a trace of bitterness or resentment.

I'm not really sure why this is. Maybe it's brainwashing. Or maybe it's Stockholm syndrome. But here's one thing I'm sure of: Western children are definitely no happier than Chinese ones.
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Traces the rewards and pitfalls of a Chinese mother's exercise in extreme parenting, describing the exacting standards applied to grades, music lessons, and avoidance of Western cultural practices.

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