Tiger Mom: East-West Combo May Be Best for Kids

Asia teaches discipline, America creativity: Let's combine
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2011 1:49 PM CDT
Tiger Mom Amy Chua: Parents in East and West Can Learn From Each Other
An East-West combination of parenting techniques might work best: Amy Chua.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Tiger Mom Amy Chua, no stranger to how nasty the mommy wars can be, thinks her fellow Americans are "strangely close-minded" when it comes to parenting, she writes in USA Today. Everyone gets hyper-defensive whenever a new philosophy of child-raising is mentioned, which is "odd because anyone can see that there are many ways of producing happy, healthy children—and clearly no one right formula." Parents in the East and West, for example, could learn valuable things from each other.

Asian nations are great at teaching kids "self-discipline and focus" early, while "the great virtue of America's system is that our kids learn to be leaders, to question authority, to think creatively," she writes. Can't we combine the best aspects of both? "If in their early years we teach our children a strong work ethic, perseverance and the value of delayed gratification, they will be much better positioned to be self-motivated and self-reliant when they become young adults," writes Chua. "This is a way to combine East and West: more structure when our children are little (and will still listen to us), followed by increasing self-direction in their teenage years." (Read more Amy Chua stories.)

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