Earlier this week I article in Wall Street Journal, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, and forwarded it to some friends and family. Some of their reactions ranged from shock to amusement.
First and for the record I am not a parent.
I’ve had a fascination on how my high achieving friends and other were raised with the hope that maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity to be a parent. I saw a variety of styles from the super-strict to a hands-off approach. I was raised in a nurturing household where my mother let us play, create, make friends, encouraged us to do our homework, and make lots of mistakes. We had chores, responsibilities, and some guidelines. Call them rules, but like many things in life (except for the laws of the universe), there was flexibility.
To say that one style of parenting is superior to another seems like nonsense to me. It’s a tough job being a parent and let’s remember our mothers carried us around for ~ 9 months. In fact, I think on our birthdays, we ought to better acknowledge our mothers’ ‘efforts. I digress.
Is your child’s academic excellence and the number of accolades they receive the true measure that they will be happy and live a fulfilling life? I bet the ways to successfully raise a child are numerous and to describe one style as being superior to another in the context of culture further separates us and fosters stereotypes.
My take is as follows:
- Acknowledge that there are differences in styles and rating them seems pointless.
- Being a Mom is one of the world’s most challenging jobs.
- Moms rock!
Thank you Mom for being YOU.
- In Defense of Laissez-Faire Parenting
- Chinese students’ high scores in international tests come at a cost
- Commentary from my friend Angela Archer