In interviews, she comes off as unresolved. “I think I pulled back at the right time,” she said. “I do not think there was anything abusive in my house.” Yet, she added, “I stand by a lot of my critiques of Western parenting. I think there’s a lot of questions about how you instill true self-esteem.”
Her real crime, she said, may have been telling the truth. “I sort of feel like people are not that honest about their own parenting,” she said. “Take any teenage household, tell me there is not yelling and conflict.”
Yelling and conflict in the teenage household.
Initially, Ms. Chua said, she wrote large chunks about her husband and their conflicts overchild rearing. But she gave him approval on every page, and when he kept insisting she was putting words in his mouth, it became easier to leave him out.
“It’s more my story,” she said. “I was the one that in a very overconfident immigrant way thought I knew exactly how to raise my kids. My husband was much more typical. He had a lot of anxiety, he didn’t think he knew all the right choices.” And, she said, “I was the one willing to put in the hours.”
In my family, I've had the over-the-top Amy-Chua role.
I had it with Jimmy, and I had it with C. (Not with Andrew.)
At one point, the entire household - Ed, M. (nanny), Christian (aide for Jimmy & Andrew & unofficial son) - were lined up in opposition to my four-year quest to teach C. math.
Today everyone's glad I did what I did.
Ms. Chua wrote most of the book in eight weeks, yet struggled with the end, she said, reflecting the East-West tug on her parenting. “It’s a work in progress,” she said. “On bad days I would say this method is terrible. I just need to give them freedom and choice. On good days, when Lulu would say: ‘I’m so glad you made me write that second draft of my essay. My teacher read it out loud,’ I think, I’ve got to stick to my guns.”
Retreat of the ‘Tiger Mother’
By KATE ZERNIKE
Published: January 14, 2011
That's where Amy Chua and I are different.
I am torn over not doing enough.
Not doing enough with C., and certainly not enough with Andrew.
And, heck, while I'm at it -- Jimmy could have used a couple more efforts to teach him to read, too!