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Have you ever wondered if you would be able to be a tiger mother and raise your children as strictly as Chinese mothers? To this question, I have answered no.
I would feel bad forcing my children to achieve perfection. My conscience would not be clear if I made them see that I did not settle for a lower than excellent grade and forced them to always work hard, so much so that there is no time to play the computer, watch television or go to sleep for a weekend to his friends' house.
'We live in a cottony society', Javier Urra (Child Psychologist and Child Advocate) said recently, in an exclusive interview GuiaInfantil.com. This society that protects children so much, of families whose parents do everything for them, is giving rise to 'neither-nor' generations (neither studying nor working), and thus it is very difficult to motivate children in the value of effort. This constructive criticism by Urra is relevant to comment on the ideas of a Yale University law professor, Amy Chua, who has written the book. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, on his belief that children must be educated in a strict discipline that leaves out things as common and popular as children staying over with friends.
This daughter of Chinese immigrants, born in the US and married to an American, defends the strict style of Chinese mothers against the overprotective style, according to her, of Western mothers. According to this Chinese philosophy, Western mothers would be a kind of kitten dedicated to purring our children until they fall asleep, while we help them grow between cotton wool. Thus, according to Amy Chua, 'a Western mother will tell her son that he has done something very well the first time he does it and the child will lose all interest in repeating it again, while a Chinese mother knows that nothing is fun until is mastered. You have to work hard. '
On the other hand, to me, common sense tells me that neither this type of Spartan education like that of the mother tiger nor the excessive permissiveness of the mother cat are good references. I imagine the torture that can be both for me, as a mother, and for my children, living in a strict system whose rules do not allow children to sleep outside the home, attending parties, participating in a school play, watching watching television or playing computer games, choosing your own extracurricular activities, getting a grade below A, not being number one in all subjects (except gymnastics and theater), or playing an instrument other than the violin or piano, for being the only ones who build character. And we are seeing that permissive and overprotective societies are generating emotionally immature adolescents and young people.
As Javier Urra said, 'we are creating young glass, tough, but fragile'. Therefore, we know what is happening, but how can we, parents, solve it from our small plot of house with our children? That is the key to the question. Experience tells us that extremes are never good in education. While Americans have spent decades educating their children from the perspective of self-esteem over achievement, the mother tiger philosophy holds that tenacious practice is necessary to achieve excellence. Therefore, let's be cautious, let's set limits, educate ourselves in the value of effort, let's learn from each other, but let's keep only the best of each side.
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