Tiger Mom Teaches Us All a Lesson
Now, I'm not a parent but I know parenting is one of those things that people take quite personally and seriously. Case in point - Amy Chua. I haven't read her book, but I understand the gist. It's a woman's journey through parenting her children, "tiger style."
At first, I questioned why this received so much attention but then I realized why the topic is so sensitive: it's the children. It's the feeling of being bullied into thinking that one way of parenting is better than another way. And in Chua's defense, she says the book is not about that. It merely describes one mother's experience with raising her children.
However, in a submitted article to The Wall Street Journal, she does provide detail on how she raises her children: no TV, no pets, no computer games, no grades under A, no parts in school plays, no choice of extracurricular activities, and no musical instruments except piano or violin. And in fewer characters than a Twitter post, she positions Chinese parents as superior, opening her essay with: "A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids."
Most parents who have multiple children should know that there is no perfect way to parent. You can try to raise every child you have "the same" way and each child ends up completely different with varying values, morals, attributes and ambitions.
But in my field, what I was most impressed with was the blitz that swept through the media cycle surrounding her book and the topic of parenting. People exhibited different emotions; they were enraged, excited and moved by the conversation but the most interesting part is that they chose to speak out. Faster than a computer virus, the book, Amy and the topic of parenting led to pieces in The Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, the Huffington Post, the TODAY show, Early Show and every other major morning show, network and newspaper.
I have no clue whether or not Amy Chua is a good mother but I do know one thing - she is or has one heck of a publicist. And while the search goes on to find the secret recipe of parenting, Amy Chua and her publicists instead perfected the recipe of how to increase sales for a book . . . by inciting a parenting revolution.