Chinese mothers

15 Jan

Have you read this? It makes me feel a little sick.

I know that parents have different “goals” and aspirations for their children, but when did being a piano-playing doctor become the epitome of “success”? The mind boggles.

I have given a fair amount of thought to how I would like the Turtle to “turn out”. Broad strokes you understand, broad strokes. Living the “military life” and moving around so much I think it’s important that he does not follow people blindly. I want him to think for himself. So when he’s “defiant” I try to see it as a good thing. Especially if he has a reason. He has no problem saying no to me or letting me know when things are silly. So I have that base covered.

Independence, confidence, empathy and creativity are things I would like to foster, but I’m not sure how one would go about it. I’m just hoping that my haphazard parenting style will foster these things, somehow. Osmosis?

Regardless, I doubt I will be making him practice the piano for hours and hours. The guitar or the accordion, maybe! Those were the instruments I wanted to play you see. Then again, he isn’t me. There’s a chance he’ll have no interest in playing music. Or that he’ll be like me and be unable to play two chords in succession. Or he might be like my brother and be able to do wonderful things with a guitar. Who knows?

The important thing is that he knows that we will love him regardless. Grades seem to be rather arbitrary things to base your child’s self-worth on.

“Western” and “permissive” it may be but as long as he tries his best (as he defines it), who am I to argue. I know that that was what my parents expected of me. And when I didn’t do my best, I knew it. It was my responsibility. Only I could fix it, by trying harder the next time.

This household will have more of this and absolutely no biting of the piano. None.




2 Responses to “Chinese mothers”

  1. Tammy Hanna January 16, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    I did read that article, and was appalled. I was raised by fairly strict Thai parents (though nowhere near as psychotic as the ones in the article) and I did not interpret the pushing and constant criticism if I didn’t bring home perfect grades as a belief in my ability. Especially when I got little praise, only hearing my mother express any pride at my achievements in the presence of other Thai parents. As a result, my relationship with them has always been strained and difficult. Shudder. I can’t help but question whether those children who are pushed so hard really do end up as happy and well-adjusted as the author claims.

  2. Janine January 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    I’m with you on this. More fun, more messing around, more aimless wanderings. My definition of success is being reasonably happy a reasonable amount of the time. You can keep your wealth and social status.

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