Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is Tiger Mom inside me?

I'm so in love with Amy Chua, the author of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom". Frankly, some of her discipline, I felt very extreme but it is up to her. But as a mother, I was awed by her energy - how did she manage work stress, working hours, picking up kids, making them practice along with day to day, household work. In between, she even tries to train her dog. Was she on some drugs?

So many times, I experienced chest pains by yelling, screaming at top of my lungs to explain my daughter of why she had to play countless times to play a music piece perfectly. After chest pain episodes, nowadays, I left her on her own. And of course, her piano practical test results fell apart. But what can I do? She won't listen, argues, runs away, yells...You can take a horse to a pond to make it drink but you can't force it on the horse. In the same way, I guided and explained her the importance and even warned her the repercussions of ignoring my preaching and even made her visualize by telling her a story of beautiful life will be when one day,  she becomes a professional pianist and everybody wanted her to play at various prestigious events  but I don't have patience/competitive nature like Amy Chua. I myself questioned many times of why all these headache, why to force her, why can't she enjoy her childhood life, why these competition/stress at this young age.....

Only one thing, I was disappointed by the book when I did not find the answer to how Amy Chua made her kids to focus on Academics when they were spending five to ten hours on music. Recently her first daughter got into Harvard, how did that happen, when her focus was entirely on piano. This is question, I always whenever I force my kids to practice piano as my goal is not making them professional pianists but a side skill which they need to have to enrich their life.

Well, here are few snippets from the book along with my thoughts:
Nowadays, I'm facing the same issue. Even though, I protected kids from watching Disney teen oriented serials, my
daughter learned American way of stressing on wrong words like "Now" after every sentence along
with mimicking and rolling eyes by reading books and that too her age level. Need to be cautious of what kind of books, kids are reading as books of every kind is available and some authors' without any thought process, write fictional books emphasizing on hatefulness of a kid on mother's boyfriend and disrespecting mother for her wrong choices. Why do seven year-old need to know that crap?
This is a very important lesson!! I need to preach my kids and myself of how not to make excuses
Yes, I still remember the episode, I personally experienced the unfairness at kids' school.
Well, I don't praise too much nor criticize excessively but, right in the middle.
I'm so confused with books contradicting each other's advice - give them hug and praise them
and some say - too much praising will make them dependent on positive enforcement
and once they don't get, the kid might put himself down by thinking that he is not up to the par.
But I do stress on my kids to work hard and especially, when I see what they are capable of.

This is were I'm not that lucky with respect to husband :(

And oh yes, I enforce this - staying together as a family and be there for each other!

I'm facing the same problem and she hits right on with her observation.

This is so true!! After reading her book, I was like yes, yes, Indian parents do this, do that....

Important tidbits, I need to know as my kids are learning piano from five years.
I don't know about Chinese/Indian but oh God, I'm witnessing this kind of mentality in my in-laws.
My mom doesn't believe and I can guarantee that not many Indian moms believe that their kids owe them something.
As far as I know, they did everything with unconditional love.

Yes, this is a needed lesson for my kids. When I enforce on them, they won't listen
but now they know, why a Chinese kid always gets ahead of them in competitions and why they play piano so well...
When I kids participate in competitions, I tried to stress just like her on notes, articulation and technique. And yes, I had my battles with my daughter - yelling, screaming and trying to explain of why they have to perfect.
Some of the American piano teachers won't give importance to articulation by saying that it is just a show off/drama
but for me, all those three important for a song to be played exactly like the way it was composed.

No one ever told me the importance of Suzuki. Every piano teacher, I came across criticized
but I was always impressed by kids who can play any song by just listening to the tune. 

Never before I appreciated violin until I read this!!

I agree with Chinese parenting. Some of the things like swimming, music, soccer, skating, I introduced to my son at earlier age. I bet if I did now at age ten, his shyness would have stopped him from learning/experiencing.
The other day, I told to my son - you being born here will be equivalent to me born in India, if he won't enroll in swimming and compete.
Sun Yang, a Chinese swimmer left China and moved to Australia to get trained and compete in Olympics. Swimming records have been shattered left and right by USA. Being here, kids need to use these facilities if they enjoy competing.  

This is how my mom feels!! I too believe that kids don't owe anything to parents.  How parents take care of kids with love, in the same way, kids should feel of taking care of parents, if at all is needed not by force. 

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