Paul J. Mills, Tiffany Barsotti, Meredith A. Pung, Kathleen L. Wilson, Laura Redwine, and Deepak Chopra Gratitude, along with love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, and self-knowledge, is a vital attribute of our wellbeing. While there are many definitions of gratitude, at its foundation, gratitude is a healing, life-affirming, and uplifting human experience that shifts us […]
By Kanika Sethi for Intent.com
In the last week, there has been a publicity blast for a new memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” written by Amy Chua, a professor at Yale Law School and first generation Chinese-American. Her somewhat provocative article, and excerpt from the book, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” has been making the rounds on the internet and has sparked responses and rebuttals from many. My poor Chinese-American sister-in-law has now decided she’s going to hold off on buying the book, possibly because the buzz generated by the article has turned her off. She told me the article has been forwarded to her at least a dozen times! (I happen to think she’s a pretty superior woman — and a great mother too!) In today’s usual style, Chua is using semi-controversial stories to draw attention to herself and her latest book.
If we are simply comparing how much Americans and Chinese value children’s education as a whole, let’s look at the straight facts. In the U.S., we allocate total budget allocate 17% of a total budget on education vs. 12.1% by the Chinese. In our country a primary education is mandatory, but 1 out of 4 Chinese children do not attend school (Unicef.com), a statistic the Chinese government is aiming to better. Where the Chinese have neglected their rural poor, the US is still struggling to understand how to address the particularly notable gaps in performance by White / Asian-Americans and Black / Hispanics. In fact, Asian-Americans do outrank all other Americans in every category in which they’re tested. Bottom line is still that in both China and America, Asian parents seem to have placed their children atop the rankings in achievement.
One of the most salient things that is sure to emerge from Chua’s writings is that high expectations for children are beneficial. As a teacher and a mother, I think it’s vital to have only the highest of expectations for children – and to do everything in your power to create the right environment for them to thrive in. However, I also think that it’s quite alright for children to fail, and experience failure – and a great deal can be learned from these experiences.
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