Sunday, December 4, 2011

What If Amy Chua Were Alexander's Mother?

Yesterday, I let Alexander read the online Wall Street Journal excerpt of Amy Chua's book: The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
The book made quite a stir by highlighting the different parenting techniques between the 'no-nonsense' Chinese approach (no playdates, no sleepovers, no school plays, only top grades praised, hours of piano practice...) and the more lenient, 'it's okay if you don't win' Western one.
Halfway through the article, Alexander asked me:
"You're Western, right?"

*** *** ***

This got me thinking, what if Amy Chua were Alexander's mother?

Instead of prohibiting playdates and sleepovers, she would very likely encourage them. You know, to recharge her brain.

Instead of vetoing school activities, such as the debate team, she would embrace a forum where he could debate. One where she was not involved.

She might even feel giddy the day he announced he was giving up the violin or piano. Because frankly, life is too short.

True, she might realize too late that to answer ALL of Alexander's questions is not a good idea. Or to rationalize all decisions is not the best approach, soon recognizing she is facing a mental ninja warrior more adept at finding legal loopholes than a lawyer in a John Grisham novel.

But, maybe one day, she would relent. And sit down with him to watch back-to-back episodes of Mythbusters, admiring his drawings of small villages with large libraries, listening to minute details about the latest Percy Jackson novel, marveling at his photographic memory and his sharp wit. She might even stop trying to run the show. Finally realizing, that with Alexander, it's much better to just sit back and enjoy the ride.


  1. Life is too short-love it!

  2. Enjoy the ride - you´re his co-pilot!

  3. Very true! And, if it's in a Ferrari...I'm not complaining!
    Although, I did love my little cinquecento...