A good friend sent me an article called Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior from the Wall Street Journal. In it, the author claims that Chinese mothers are willing to put enormous pressure on their kids to succeed and the kids eventually realize their mothers are right. She writes, “A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it … What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.”
Now, I agree that goal-oriented kids (and grownups) accomplish more, but this is way over the top, especially when some more details of harsh treatment are provided.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know Ronit and I have a 22-year-old daughter who excels academically, having finished high school when she was 16. We have a son who is musically gifted, a top student and a school captain, who will be finishing high school when he just turns 16. Our youngest daughter is only 9, but she is well known by her teachers and her friends’ parents as the girl to associate with. She is polite, independent, determined and accomplished academically, as well as in several arts.
Yet, we use very different methods to help our kids grow, because the most important thing for us is their emotional wellbeing.
Read more about how to raise happy kids…