Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

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Post Thu, Jun 23 2022, 11:06 am
Has anyone read this book? I would love to discuss it, here in this forum or in a book club.

I would particularly like to discuss it with someone who can relate to the author or to her daughters' upbringing. When the book first came out, everything I saw about it in the frum world was critical. But I feel the book and Amy Chua's approach have a lot of merit and value. I can relate to it, as I was brought up somewhat like this (Russian, not Chinese Smile), although I have become more American over time. Trying to reconcile or square the two approaches; to find the right path perhaps.

Separately, I've actually created an email address for the purpose of starting a women's book club in Flatbush. If you're interested - or if you know know of an existing book club here - please reach out!
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Post Thu, Jun 23 2022, 11:23 am
I haven't read it, but I am also Russian-speaking and very familiar with that type of parent. My parents were not like that, but I grew up seeing a lot of other parents like that. Like you, I see this type of parenting in a nuanced way, neither all bad or all good.

In its best form, it is about instilling work ethic, responsibility, high standards, and teaching skills so that the child can become the best version of themselves. In that situation, the parent is really driving it for the child's benefit, is not comparing the child to other children, and the child gets to decide what they ultimately want to focus on.

In its worst form, it can be about glorifying the parents through the child and making the child as good as possible in whatever the parent wants because the parent has a certain self image that they are intent on preserving. And the child is constantly being compared to others and pushed to compete and may be pushed into areas they aren't interested in.
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Post Thu, Jun 23 2022, 11:47 am
I don't remember too many specifics; it's been years since I read it.
Dr. William Helmreich said (quoted in Mishpacha) that he was a "gefilte fish dad."
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Post Thu, Jun 23 2022, 1:09 pm
I remember when the book came out and it was negatively received by most child development people - not just in the frum world.

I did relate somewhat as my mother had a bit of that parenting but it was chiefly about academic achievement which was what she really was most vested in. Anything but an A was not good enough for her.

She did give me art classes, piano lessons; guitar lessons, riding lessons, dance but had no real interest in my achieving excellence in those although I was *forced* to take piano for many years when I really had no interest. So I didn't practice as much as I should have and she didn't care that much.

In terms of academic success however she was NOT willing to do the work for me as some parents are and would tell me to do it on my own as she thought that was how you learned subject matter although obviously she was supportive of getting my supplies; books; taking me to the library etc.

My mother was an extremely bright woman - she came to USA at 11 speaking no English and graduated college Phi Beta Kappa in the normal time frame - I.e. when she was 22.
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Post Thu, Jun 23 2022, 1:16 pm
There is a facebook group — Untigering — for those who have been traumatized by that sort of parenting and are willing to admit it.
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