Did anyone see Amy Chua, author of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," on the Today show this morning? I haven't read the book, but it seems basically a story of the author's parenting philosophy. It's pretty strict by American standards - no playdates or sleepovers, computer games or television. The kids were expected to practice music 2 1/2 hours a day for goodness sakes. Any grade less than an A was considered a failure, and the daughters were expected to be top in their class. Even a plain birthday card given by the youngest daughter was once rejected because of the lack of effort therein. Crazy, right?
But on the other hand, don't we perhaps coddle our children too much? When I was teaching high school it seemed that many parents thought their children walked on water, and many students were happy just to do the little it took to pass a class. Teachers go through training after training to help us make learning fun so we can keep the student's attention. No child should be left behind, you know. Maybe we need to have higher expectations for our children. As the author pointed out in the interview children rarely have innate aspirations and beliefs that they can excel to the level they may achieve with a parental push. We worry so much about their self esteem, but we aren't always preparing them for the real world.
I don't think I would go as far as Chua did; we're a pretty fun family. But I do expect my children to be their best and do their best at whatever they achieve, and I am concerned when I see how sucked into TV and internet games many children are. What do you think?