Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that “stressing academic success is not good for children” or that “parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.” By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be “the best” students, that “academic achievement reflects successful parenting,” and that if children did not excel at school then there was “a problem” and parents “were not doing their job.” Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.
You can’t tell me this guy would’ve accomplished what he has if he’d been brought up by the Jamaican side of his family.
And now, a subject close to my heart — garbage!
Chinese parents can get away with things that Western parents can’t. Once when I was young—maybe more than once—when I was extremely disrespectful to my mother, my father angrily called me “garbage” in our native Hokkien dialect. It worked really well. I felt terrible and deeply ashamed of what I had done. But it didn’t damage my self-esteem or anything like that. I knew exactly how highly he thought of me. I didn’t actually think I was worthless or feel like a piece of garbage.
As an adult, I once did the same thing to Sophia, calling her garbage in English when she acted extremely disrespectfully toward me. When I mentioned that I had done this at a dinner party, I was immediately ostracized. One guest named Marcy got so upset she broke down in tears and had to leave early. (…)
(I also once heard a Western father toast his adult daughter by calling her “beautiful and incredibly competent.” She later told me that made her feel like garbage.)
If only all Chinese people thought garbage was bad. Then we wouldn’t have all those smelly, broken boxes of bok choy littering Spadina!
PS: if you admire Obama and his czars because they have law degrees from Harvard and Yale, please note:
The woman who wrote this WSJ article, Amy Chua, is a professor at Yale Law School.
Does that lower your esteem for Ivy League degrees?
Do you think Amy Chua will be fired now, like Larry Summers was (before he was rehired by… Obama)?
And what’s it like have to use a Leftist “Received Wisdom” Decoder Ring to know the day’s “correct thoughts”?