Battle of the Tiger Mother: My Response

Monday January 31, 2010

I’ve struggled with my response to the Tiger Mother.

Maybe you’re not familiar with the recent controversy. If that’s the case, read Amy Chua’s Wall Street Journal article here.

I must admit, I haven’t read her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. I’ve followed Chua and the book through articles posted in several newspapers.

If you’ve read the article above, you might want to also read Chua’s response to Wall Street Journal readers here. She makes the point that this is a sort of “coming-of-age” book for Mom, describing her journey in parenting. She moderates the stance presented in the first article somewhat.

I can’t speak from any kind of pedestal; I’m far from a perfect parent. But I’ve decided that the biggest difference between me and the Tiger Mother lies in my faith.

My faith affects my life and forms my attitudes toward my children. I know I’m loved unconditionally by a holy God – a God who is greater, more excellent, more superior than I can express. I can give Him nothing less than my best.

Success – to me and my children? It’s not measured in the eyes of society. And happiness? It has a totally different definition. The Tiger Mother and I both want the best for our children; her best and my Best are two different things

And that holy God – He’s the perfect Parent; I can’t even pretend to be. Yes, I fall short. But He still loves me. He encourages me, forgives me, and inspires me to do and be my best with all the abilities He’s gifted me with.

What better model for parenting?


Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Well said, Laura. I've been following the conversation about Tiger Mother as well and you've articulated this beautifully. A wise reader reminded me not long ago that God's expectations of us are the only ones that really matter.
I do think it's interesting how she has backed off from her stance somewhat. Maybe she was unprepared for the backlash?
Love the relevancy of this post, Laura-- have a blessed Monday!

Diane said...

Good response. That's what separates us from the world.... God. :O)

Victoria said...

I've followed the whole thing as well and I can honestly say I do see the wisdom in what she tried to do with her girls. I disagree with some of her methods (I could never say the things she does to my kid), but she makes some good points, like American kids being far too coddled, and her attitude towards parenting being influenced by the "immigrant" mindset of parenting. In some areas I can see how moms and kids could benefit from some of it.
I agree though--at the end of the day, what God wants is all that matters. And happiness in Him is the best kind.

Jean Wise said...

Good thoughts both in your post and in the comments. I think you have found the key difference with your faith and definition of happiness. Often it boils down to lots of prayer and common sense when it comes to our kids

Melinda said...

I agree, Laura ... My definition of success for my kids is very different than the world's. My heart's desire is that they love God and serve Him passionately.

Karen said...

Oh, Laura, there is no better model than our Father.

BTW, I loved your newsletter this week!

Johnnie Alexander said...

Well said, Laura.

Laura said...

Yes, it shapes everything, doesn't it? I think that second interview was rather lost in the crossfire. We even had a response over at the HighCalling.

I like your answer, Laura. We have a different plumb line.

Joyfull said...

Beautiful post and a response full of grace. We as Christians are to live differently and let our light shine with God's love and grace. Wonderful example that you shared of this.

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