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We are all aware to the stereotypes associated with Chinese practices of raising children in comparison to the American methods. A very intriguing New York Times Bestseller, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua further emphasizes the vast differences between the more collectivist Chinese culture and Individualistic American culture.

The novel brought a great deal of controversy, backlash and debate over the morality of Amy Chua’s child rearing practices.

According to Chua, “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”.

In her novel, Chua stressed academic success and the importance of practicing piano and violin hours on end, without breaks even if the children cried and whined. She believes shame and punishment of a child by calling them “garbage” will not lower their self-esteem rather improve their confidence.


Chua caused a great deal of controversy as a Chinese mother in a Western society. She also stated that, “Chinese parents believe that their kids owe them everything”.

Amy Chua describes the origin of Chinese rearing practices from Confucian ideals of filial piety, where aggressively overriding children’s resentment and desire to play along with shame is viewed as a necessity and a priority.

An example of Chua’s Tiger mother rearing habits is shown when Lulu, her younger daughter struggled to play and particular piece on the piano and threw a tantrum so the tiger mother released her fury, “I told her to stop being lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic. Jed took me aside. He told me to stop insulting Lulu—which I wasn't even doing, I was just motivating her”.

The differences between Chine and Western rearing methods are clearly present; however, one is not necessarily triumphant over the other. The differences in rearing merely represent the differences in culture. Both parents on either side of the spectrum crave what’s best for their child, they just have completely different ways of showing it.



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