I am convinced every American child needs a Chinese mother. That way, we’ll be ensuring the necessary and obligatory dedication to mind, learning and quantifiable success. I realize my position may not be a popular one, but after reading this ovaric essay — Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior — I am now all in on the Chinese methodology of raising proper children.
Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that “stressing academic success is not good for children” or that “parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.” By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be “the best” students, that “academic achievement reflects successful parenting,” and that if children did not excel at school then there was “a problem” and parents “were not doing their job.” Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.
Why don’t Western parents demand more from their children?
It seems that Western parents want to be friends with their children and not a mother and a father. Western parenting stresses having fun instead of doing hard work. There appears to be a massive lack of teaching discretion and self-control and mindfulness and a severe and unobtrusive dedication to purpose.
When did American children become more about ego than producing quantifiable results either in labor or from works of the mind? When did we, as Westernized people, become so utterly and educationally slovenly that we adhere more to religious principles instead of the scientific process?
How did we sink so far in the mud and the muck of simply believing instead of creating results and inventing new ideas that will stretch the boundaries that hold us back? Now we just quiver in the night and wish and dream for successes we have not learned or earned.
I was raised with the mentality that education was something that couldn’t be taken away from me and while it could be fun it was more important to stress that it was my sole job as a child and I need not have been concerned with any other matters while in school.
That’s a good philosophy, Gordon. If you had decided to go for a PhD or a JD, would that offer have been extended until you completely finished your schooling?
So long as it led to a paying job they would be more than happy to do so!
That’s neat, Gordon. Will you have the same philosophy with your son?
I absolutely have the same philosophy with Chaim Yosef and will with future children as well! 🙂 (I have got to start checking ‘notify me of follow-up comments so it doesn’t take me months and sometimes years to respond to follow-up comments!)
Ha! Yes, I wish we had a “retro-notification” feature that would send you email for all the hundreds of comment questions I’ve asked you over the years that have gone unanswered! SMILE!
Okay, encouraging the hard work and ability of one’s offspring is a good thing, definitely part of a parent’s job. And I get it that the harder one works, generally speaking the better one does. But that doesn’t mean that hard work from every child can achieve superlative results. If I had worked harder, would I be a Nobel prize winner? Achievement at the highest levels is, in fact, limited by innate ability and temperament, background, place (any Nobel winners made it from Mali??), access/opportunity, and, well, luck. So should I raise my kids to feel like failures if they do not achieve at the highest levels of their field? Can we all run a 3minute mile if we try hard enough? Do we adults apply this reasoning to ourselves, or do we say “If I hadn’t been a mother…”, “If I hadn’t been a breadwinner…”, “If I had not had to leave school at 16 to support the family…”, “If I’d been born here instead of there…” “I chose a balanced life over giving up everything else for my career” ?
Let’s not swing to the opposite extreme simply because many Western parents abdicate their responsibilities.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cynthia!