Washington, Jan 11 (ANI): A Michigan State University scholar has refuted “tiger mother” philosophy that parents should drive their children to succeed even at the expense of the kids’ happiness.
The Eastern view of parenting, as defined by best-selling author and self-described “tiger mother” Amy Chua, is that children should be pushed to excel at all costs. Parents needn’t worry about their happiness, she argues, only their success.
Contrary to this philosophy, MSU researcher Desiree Baolian Qin said a child’s happiness is vitally important.
In her research, Qin – who, like Chua, is a Chinese mother – found that high-achieving Chinese students were more depressed and anxious than their white counterparts.
“I strongly believe that happiness matters tremendously for children to develop well, so they don’t just have success now and then later on experience maladjustment,” said Qin, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.
“It’s really important for parents to pay attention to this,” she stated.
In her best-selling book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” Chua, a Yale Law School professor, created a firestorm of controversy for her hardline parenting.
In the book, Chua describes how she demanded straight A’s from her two daughters and drilled them for hours every day on the piano and violin. The girls were not allowed to watch TV, be in a school play or have a play date with friends.
Qin called these restrictions “ridiculous.” She said she and her husband, Tom Buffett, would never keep their daughters – Olivia, 4, and Helena, 2 – from having play dates or other activities that build social and emotional skills.
“Children need the ability to work well with other people, to relate. I feel strongly that I won’t raise my kids just toward success at the cost of other things. More than anything, I want them to be well-rounded, emotionally healthy kids,” Qin said.
Qin said there’s nothing wrong with having high expectations for your children. The problem often comes in the way those expectations are communicated.
Her study will be published in the Journal of Adolescence. (ANI)