Why I love my strict Chinese mom

29 01 2011

By SOPHIA CHUA-RUBENFELD
Last Updated: 11:36 AM, January 18, 2011
Posted: 11:29 PM, January 17, 2011

Writer Amy Chua shocked the world with her provocative essay, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” when it appeared in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

The article, excerpted from her new book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” described “how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids.” It led with a manifesto: “Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do: attend a sleepover; have a playdate; be in a school play; complain about not being in a school play; watch TV or play computer games; choose their own extracurricular activities; get any grade less than an A; not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama; play any instrument other than the piano or violin; not play the piano or violin.”

While Chua says she has received death threats for her comments (one critic called her the “worst mother ever”), the question remains: What do her own children think? Now Chua’s eldest daughter, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, 18, tells her side of the story exclusively to The Post . . .

Dear Tiger Mom,

You’ve been criticized a lot since you published your memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” One problem is that some people don’t get your humor. They think you’re serious about all this, and they assume Lulu and I are oppressed by our evil mother. That is so not true. Every other Thursday, you take off our chains and let us play math games in the basement.

But for real, it’s not their fault. No outsider can know what our family is really like. They don’t hear us cracking up over each other’s jokes. They don’t see us eating our hamburgers with fried rice. They don’t know how much fun we have when the six of us — dogs included — squeeze into one bed and argue about what movies to download from Netflix.

I admit it: Having you as a mother was no tea party. There were some play dates I wish I’d gone to and some piano camps I wish I’d skipped. But now that I’m 18 and about to leave the tiger den, I’m glad you and Daddy raised me the way you did. Here’s why.

(continue reading here)

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