Essay: Raising children

There are several ways to raise your child, and there seems to be a clear difference in upbringing children in the dissimilar cultures. This particular topic has been written about in an article from 2011 ‘Why Chinese Mothers are Superior’ by Amy Chua. Amy Chua is a professor at Yale law School in USA, and in the article she writes about how to raise your child. Amy Chua is also writing about the difference between Chinese and Western parents by comparing their methods. The comparison is for us to gain an insight into good and bad consequences when it comes to raise stereotypically successful kids, and at the same time makes the reader consider, if the Western method is the one to prefer. The first thing we read is a list of what Amy Chuas children are not allowed to do, and the things that are totally unacceptable is for examples; sleepovers, school play, watching tv, etc. With the Chinese method it is definitely not the children who decide what talent they want to engage, but it is the parents job. Generally the parents choose school and playing a classic instrument to be the kids priorities. ‘Compared to Western parents Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. Western kids, on the other hand, are more likely to participate in sports teams.’ This could possibly create a cultural and social gap between the Western children and the Chinese children. A point Amy Chua talks about is when children does not succeed. For example if they get a bad grade or fail in their hobbies: ‘Western parents are concerned about their childrens’ psyches. Chinese parents aren’t.’ She is emphasizing that Western parents are way more concerned how their children feels about bad grades and not why they got bad grades. She noticed that the Western parents often are too attentive about their children. Especially when it comes to their children self-esteem: ‘They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital.’ This means that the parents is worry about their children feeling of not being good enough, and this entails that the parents is afraid of criticizes their kids. The Chinese parents have a whole different view on how they should respond: ‘If a Chinese child gets a B – which would never happen – there would first be a screaming, heir-tearing explosion. The devastated Chinese mother would then get dozen maybe hundreds of practice tests and work trough them with her child for as long as it takes to get the grade op to an A.’ Amy Chua would certainly keep pushing her kids and motivating then, they can achieve their goal, even though the kid does not want to. There is good and bad sides about it. The good thing is that the parents prepare their children. When they grow older, they will have to face the real world, and they have to take responsibility. The bad thing is that the child might lose their own identity, and not having their own opinion, because their parents always have said what they should do. Amy Chua also means that children often want to give up, because things sometimes are hardest in the beginning, but when you eventually gets better, then it also will be funnier. She uses an example where her own daughter refuses to learn a song on the piano, and therefore her daughter cannot get up for water or even go to the bathroom. She has to get it right, which happen late at night and after that she wants to play the piece over and over. Amy Chua uses provocation to draw in the reader, and just by mention the name of the article something degrades the reader’s parenting. With the list the reader will react with a sympathy for the poor little girl, and with a disdain for the evil parent who just destroys their children’s childhood. Throughout the article Amy Chua really managing to keep ones attention with the contrast between the Western upbringing and the Chinese upbringing, which makes a child successful. She wants to engage Western parents to a debate about upbringing. In particular because the recent focus there has been on Asian mothers and their upbringing: ‘There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids’ true interests.’ Once Amy Chua has drawn the readers she engages them further by using herself as an example. She has a firsthand experience by the fact that her husband is a Westerner, and she is Chinese. She is comparing the Western and Chinese parenting and therefore says: ‘All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.’ Their children will be successful even though they have to suffer to get there. The article has shown the huge difference between Chinese and Western upbringing. The conclusion on this debate, about which method you should choose, depends on your culture. There is no recipe that comprise a precise upbringing.

Source: Essay UK -

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