Lisa's Reviews > Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
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's review
Apr 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: children-parenting, nonfiction, biography-memoir
Recommended for: book club because it will produce discussion!

Halfway through and really enjoying this because I know I did not push my son too hard--I'm definitely no where near as bad as the author!
Colbert interviews the author:

First generation Chinese American, Amy Chua writes about raising her daughters the Chinese way. The Chinese way translates to plenty of hard work, violin/piano practice, more hard work, and no fun because the time has all been spent working. Chua is very successful herself, teaching at Duke and Yale, and this is her third book. Her rules of parenting are very strict and she isn't afraid to verbally abuse her children to get them to work even harder. The first 80% of this book is funny and easy to read. As her conflict with her younger daughter ramps up, I could feel the tension in her home. I couldn't put the book down, but I read with a bad feeling.

As I read, I constantly compared my parenting style to Chua's and what she calls the Western style of parenting (that is the feel good, let the child decide style). Battle Hymn is definitely not a "How To" book, but it does allow you to examine how a Tiger Mom style can be beneficial or how it can destroy family relationships.

The book also made me remember back when my son was in middle school and I dropped him off for a birthday party and everyone there was Asian...except Ryan. As that trend has continued, I finally asked him about his friends yesterday. He told me his friends are the ones that get math (he said this with feeling, not that they just get the right answers, they get math on a deep level that I never will)--and get the top grades. And they get Java and other problem solving. Then he switched the subject to what he was working on with the piano and how that is the only instrument worth playing, unless...maybe...a stringed the violin. We talked a long time, maybe 2 hours--it was great, but I will spare you the details. Maybe the part of me that is a Tiger Mother produced an Asian boy on the inside.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Ro (new) - added it

Ro Givens I do not have the energy to be a Tiger Mom! I heard her first child was pretty obedient. Maybe if I didn't produce such free-thinkers I could get a little more tiger in me. I liked your review!!

Lisa I wondered how Amy had the time and energy to be a Tiger Mom and maintain a successful career. Her first child was very obedient and not always appreciated. Your children are so young--the best thing you can do now is to help your children to enjoy books and learning, and at their age, so much of their learning has little to do with books. Your children should have math in their blood! Didn't both you and Nathaniel get your undergraduate degrees in math?

message 3: by Ro (new) - added it

Ro Givens My kids both love "school" so they have definitely inherited my academic streak. I have a hard time prying Sophie away from math problems (they're age appropriate so it's mainly shapes, patterns, size, position, etc right now.) I'm not too worried, but I definitely have a hard time being consistent with discipline when they are being stubborn! That is the main thing I need to work on...

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