Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The great parenting debate

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior
Amy Chua is a Wimp
The Chinese Mom Backlash

Amy Chua's book and a Wall Street Journal article have caused a major parenting debate storm!  Who does it better?  Chinese-style parents or American parents?

Some debaters point out that while American parents look longingly at test scores in Asian nations, many Chinese mothers (not Yale professor Chua) wish for more creativity and choice for their children.

David Brooks argues that it's not the softer parenting style of American mothers, but Chua, who never let her daughters go to sleepovers or do crafts, who's the wimp.  "She doesn't understand what's cognitively difficult and what isn't.  Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls."

Cooperation and ingenuity are developed from tons of practice.  Because functioning well in a group is really hard.  Ask any third grader at the end of a school day spent finalizing essays and putting together a dinosaur museum at Parker.  Then look at how their eyes shine with satisfaction and accomplishment on opening day.

Parent, John Arnason  sent me this photo he took at dusk on Parker's trails.  "It was a beautiful ski by moonlight.  Just me and the owls," he said.  No debate there.

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