A tribute to all Tiger Moms
One of the first things I did upon getting Kindle for my Android phone was to download about PhP3K worth of books from Amazon.com. (I did not notice it and I ended up lamenting about it when I realized how much I had spent.) One of those books is Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which I downloaded because I had been curious about the controversy surrounding it and thought that it could also be the key that would unlock my question of, “Why are kids these days feeling so self-entitled even when they don’t deserve it?”
Oh yes, a lot of us would cringe at Chua’s parenting methods (she was such a perfectionist that it’s scary to even contemplate) but take note, I live in a country where it’s legal to spank your kids. (And am I so ever glad that it is legal here. I think it kept the brats from dominating this country for a while.) She never spanked her kids, so I don’t understand where all the hostility is coming from. Also, this is a memoir. She makes fun of herself even when she brags about her and her daughters’ accomplishments because at the end of it all, she was indeed humbled by her rebellious second daughter.
What people probably failed to see is how this kind of mother had to sacrifice a major part of her time and youth in order to ensure that her children become the best that they could achieve. Even if that’s not what the kids want. Heck, she works, cooks, cleans, tutors her kids, takes care of the dogs…only a mother could clock in that amount of dedication. Oh, sure, her obsession with perfection is twisted but you have got to admire such love and passion. Of course, she did have her bouts of self-doubt and that was interesting to see as well.
(A video of Russell Peters’ comedic talk about how immigrant parents beat their kids and how Caucasian kids feel left out because they only get sent to their rooms. It’s funny, just don’t take it too seriously because we all know that you’re not supposed to beat your kids.)
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a riveting read. I appreciated my mother more. She was about as tough as Amy Chua herself. She wasn’t a perfectionist (getting a grade of B was forgivable; C was not) but boy did I get spanked. And I am thankful, even when she realized later on that as a toddler, I was the type of child that you could actually talk and explain mistakes to without resorting to spanking. She was a lot more lenient with my younger siblings, having learned her lesson from her experience in raising me. You know how it is with eldest children, they’re like the trial-and-error kid.
Like Chua’s daughters, I went through piano and voice lessons (my sister learned the violin in addition to that; I think it’s an Asian thing) and I threw my share of tantrums when I wanted to stop. When I was younger, I couldn’t stay 10 minutes in the room alone with my mom without getting frustrated but as I grew older, I realized that really…all moms want what’s best for us. They may not always be the perfect parents, but they do try their hardest to lead us to bright futures.
To re-post my Facebook status:
Dear Ma, I probably inherited most of my skills from you. I hope I inherited your looks as well. Hahahahahaha! Thanks, Ma. Love you! ♥ ♥ ♥ Happy Mothers Day!
And to all the moms out there: I SALUTE YOU. Motherhood is not the easiest thing to do as it requires multitasking, dedication, passion…and it’s not something you can resign from.
Happy Mothers Day to you all!
Mom-FridayMay 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm
What a very insightful post! If only I have the luxury of time to read a book, this one from Amy Chua will be my choice!
skysenshiMay 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Grabe, it was so good, I forgot to study for my exams. That's why I had to cram. LOL!!!!
MrsMartinezMay 12, 2011 at 12:23 am
Piano and voice lesson din ako haha Kaya alam na same generation tayo hehe
skysenshiMay 12, 2011 at 12:31 am
Naku hanggang kina Alex/Leki yang piano and violin lessons na yan and she's 7 years younger than me. I think my younger bro (10 years old) is about to experience it. Good luck na lang. Hahahaha!
WillMay 12, 2011 at 2:29 am
I've always wanted to read this book since I first heard about it. I'm curious how Amy had presented the story in such a way a lot of people got angry at her. I know a lot of friends with tiger moms, and some of them became pregnant or have joined frats.
skysenshiMay 12, 2011 at 4:05 am
Actually, I think the reason why a lot of people got angry at her is that a lot of irresponsible journalists (who probably were very lenient with their kids) quoted her out of context. I read many of these articles and they really did not get what satire meant even if it hit them in the face.
Chua was actually making fun of herself, at least her younger self. It was a journey. Sure she sounded like a braggart at first, but if you listen to most Asian parents…they really think that way.
Perfection or nothing. And then she softens towards the end.