Amy Chua appeared on the Today show Tuesday to talk about her success through strict parenting one year after she was dubbed one of the most controversial figures of 2011 following the release of her book about being a Tiger mom.
In case you're unsure what a Tiger mom is exactly...
The term was invented by Yale Law School professor and mother Amy Chua to define a 21st century parent who pushes their children through A-type parenting based on Chinese tradition in terms of education rather than American parenting, which she believes is too laissez.
For more concrete examples, Chua does not allow her daughters, Sophia and Louisa, to get lower than an A grade in school and insists on hours of practicing piano and violin with no extracurriculars or play dates with friends.
After she created the moniker back in January 2011 in an excerpt from her book in the Wall Street Journal, Chua's definition of parenting the Chinese or Western way, to push children to the max to achieve, has reached the masses, not just the upper-middle class folks of means. However, since her column first emerged, Chua has received harsh criticism for the views outlined in her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
The book serves as a memoir to tell the tale of Chua while raising her two American daughters the Chinese or Western way through Tiger parenting, which includes intense studying and foregoing of media like television and the Internet, and her struggles to adapt to one of her daughters, a Harvard student, who often rebels.
What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences, Chua wrote in her book.
Chua said when children tend to resist her style of parenting, the Chinese strategy of strictness is the best way to alleviate opposition and challenge children.
If done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle, Chua wrote. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence...Once a child starts to excel at something-whether it's math, piano, pitching or ballet-he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.
However, not all parents are supportive of Chau's notorious mothering techniques, evident by the strong criticism online.
The internet is scary, Chua said on an appearance on the Today show Tuesday to talk about her book and the impact it has had on her daughters.
Chua told Ann Curry on the Today show that since her eldest daughter entered Harvard, she has since quelled the amount of strictness in her parenting because she believes she has done her job as a mother well.
My girls are amazing, Amy Chua said. If I had to do it all over again, I would raise my kids the same way. I'm a proud, strict mom.