Reading – Tiger Mothers/Parents!
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I know, I know, I’ve been away far too long!
But I’m back (even if it’s just for awhile) to give my two cents about a book I started reading and didn’t put down until probably 3am; I didn’t want to look at the clock for fear that I’d scare myself about lack of sleep and panda eyes in the morning (thank you cosmetic companies, for the creation of concealer!).
What’s this book about and why did it make me stay up so late? It was Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Growing up in a notorious Asian family, I have to say that I relate to the author’s younger daughter, Lulu. The rebellious one who broke her mother into giving her the freedom to pick what she wanted to do instead of forcing it on her.
I was sent to piano classes when I was seven because my parents thought it would be good for me to learn something outside of school. So off I went to piano classes but I never practiced and was never good at it. I do practice when I had practical exams and understand that with practice, I will get better and eventually play a piece perfectly (as perfect as can be).
However, as I grew into my teenage years, I resented it more and more. To my parents’ horror I became a cheerleader (which I think is an attribute to being a confident person). They let me choose what I wanted to do though, even if they didn’t fully agree with it. I’d rather go to cheerleading practice than practice piano. In that way, I relate to how Lulu made the choice to play tennis and eventually won tournaments. I became a cheerleader, competed and had many opportunities in my cheerleading career that most people my age then wouldn’t have had.
My parents were not THAT strict enough to call my brother or I “garbage” but they were also not afraid to call us out, be super critical, and constantly correct us if we did or said something they deem is wrong. They also didn’t believe in spoiling a child. Spare the rod spoil the child – they definitely practiced this! However, looking at the big picture, I think they taught us how to be a good person in life and do right by ourselves and every single person in our lives.
And you know what, even with the worse of it where they become overbearing, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else.
With some recent disappointing family dramas (extended family), I’ve concluded that my parents have taught us good values (which they still apply to us even to this day) and this lead to us being raised well through to adulthood. We can think and fend for ourselves, and although we are definitely not the book smart sort, I can tell you that we make up for it by being street smart and hold ourselves to a higher standard. We know when to do the right thing, and have respect for people who matter to us, and of course, ourselves.
Lastly, I guess I would have to say after reading the book, I felt better about my roots and where I come from. It doesn’t really matter if there was a strict type of parenting, or a loosely liberal one – what matters is that you know who you are as an adult, and you are happy with it.