So-called “Chinese parenting”: why it’s causing controversy and why it matters in Chapel Hill

By Rachel Hainline

Amy Chua, author of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother"

It’s the eternal question haunting parents from Stockholm to Sacramento: how do you inspire you children to succeed without over-pressuring them? How do you convince them to practice the piano to the point of perfection? How do you persuade them to earn top grades– or at least put in their very best effort?
Author Amy Chua offered her suggestions in her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In it, she describes what some might call a “strong” parenting style, which included screaming, threatening, and harassing her two girls within an inch of their lives.
In interviews with other newspapers, Chua explained that the memoir ended up completely different from her initial intentions. She originally planned to prove that her “Chinese” parenting style was superior to Western parenting, but ended up explaining how she’d been humbled by one of her daughters rebelling.
Since its publication, the book has fomented a massive controversy. Some reviewers applaud Chua’s brash style, while others are offended by incidents from the memoir, such as the time she refused to let her daughter use the restroom until she perfected a piece of music. To read some of these opinions, click on the links below.
In a school where over 400 students regularly enroll in AP classes, where it’s common for students to take four or five APs and do multiple extracurriculars, it’s safe to say that most of us know of someone whose parents are similar to  Amy Chua. To begin addressing the issue, the CHCCS school system is showing the documentary A Road to Nowhere on Tuesday, January 25, at 7 pm in the Hanes auditorium of Chapel Hill High School. For more information, go to the ECHHS home page.

Some links with further information about the “Chinese Parenting” controversy:

Other opinions on the subject:

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