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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Parenting Pt. 2

Comment response?

I don't know what you call it, but oh well.

To Cynthia, whoever you are, with all due respect I may seem biased or naive with regards to my response to Amy Chua's article, but note I DID say they were MY views and no one had to agree with them.

Not being a parent myself, I may not understand where she was coming from. Here's my response to YOUR comment(s), and let me justify them for my own sake.

Fact 1 : I was not judging her.

Lemme go through your comments one by one, shall we?

"Hey you know what, you cant compare yourself to Amy Chua's children. You say you join extra curricular activities in school, but sophia and lulu didnt because they practised music most of the time"

Just because my views are different, don't make assumptions as to how I was brought up. I played both the piano and violin as well, and as a child, I disliked practicing (because it was rote repetition) but I did it because I loved how it felt when I could play my pieces well. By the time I was 15, every spare hour was spent on either the piano or violin. My school work often had to wait till past 10pm, when neighbors wouldn't complain about me practicing.

Go read the article and watch her interviews. She clearly said that being strict with Sophia was fine, but Lulu rebelled, and in the end, she had to find another way to approach Lulu.

"and that is how sophia ended up in carnegie hall. you are not even fit to play in carnegia hall its normal for you to have different views"

Err... what has it got to do with what I can't do?

Yes, I'm a lousy violinist; yes, I will never play in Carnegie Hall; yes, Sophia made it there because she practiced music all the time.

But Lulu didn't, did she? Because what worked on Sophia didn't work on Lulu. Amy Chua said herself that the book was a self-discovery, that parenting is a very subjective field and there is no 1-0-1 when it comes to parenting, because every child is not the same!

Go read this article. It tells of how Amy Chua was humbled by Lulu, and realized that she can't treat both her children the same way.

"and I bet you hadn't read the Battle Hymn of the mother tiger because if you did you probably wouldn't have said things that way."

When did I ever say that I read the book? My response was with regards to the article, not her book. And as I said, I watched her interviews online after reading the article so my views are not wholly one-sided.

And it's "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother".

"its annoying how people like yourself read a page of articles and give a hell lot of feedbacks without even understanding the true story behind all the stated highlights on articles."

I'm dreadfully sorry if I annoyed you, but if I were giving feedback I would have mailed it to Amy Chua instead of posting on my blog as an article RESPONSE. It was a personal RESPONSE, not a rebuttal.

There's a subtle difference.

And it's page(s) of articles to you.

"people arent born to be good in something. if everyone take their time in doing something, they would all be able to do it when they are older but thats not the point. how is that achievement even considered outstanding if everyone your age could do that? children work hard when they are young to be amazing people when they grow up."

Ah... that's why we always need a balance, right? If everyone were like Sophia, (as you tactfully mentioned) no one would be regarded as "outstanding". Which is precisely why we have people like me, who is content to perform in an orchestra because I freeze up in front of an audience when I'm performing solo.

I'm a skeptic, but I'm also a realist.

And you know what's better than a child who works hard because they have a mother like Amy Chua?

A child who works hard because they want to.

"not attending sleepovers and playdates are reasonable. If you've been to one you'd know if it even benefits you from anything. such activities are for lifeless kids who do not think about their future they just want people to keep them company. they just think about enjoyment. Think about this, if amy chua were your mother, you'd probably hate her for all she did to you."

But think about it this way, how about learning to communicate with other children?

The greatest musicians (or any successful person, for that matter) are ones with both technical and social skills. Not mixing with other children could result in a child that is introverted and withdrawn.

Which child doesn't want to be in company? No one likes to be left alone.

"but when you take up the violin and realise that you can play so well, so well that everyone who listens to you praise you and gave genuine feedbacks about how good you are in the violin i dont think that you'd regret having her as a mother anymore, instead will feel deeply grateful for all that she has done despite all that pressuring and the lost of a childhood."

I wouldn't know what would happen if I had Amy Chua for a mother, because my own mother is very different. Having said that, I DO feel deeply grateful that my mother didn't let me give up playing the violin when I was very close to dropping it.

But she never had to threaten to burn my dollhouse.

Again, I'm not saying Amy Chua is less of a mother than mine is, just that she has a different approach to educating her children.

Life is a bit like economics. No decision is made without something else being sacrificed, it's something economists call "opportunity cost". At the expense of being great, Michael Jackson had no childhood (I didn't use Amy's children as examples because her husband still made sure they had their fair share of child-related outings); at the expense enjoying my childhood, I probably will never be as good as I could have been on the violin if my mother had pushed me to practice harder.

But I guess I'll never find out.

After reading this, you can still say I'm an ignorant, ungrateful child (because once you form an opinion about someone, it's super difficult to change it). But let me tell you this, I am a 21-year-old who loves and is loved by her family, I have friends who care (I hope =P), whom I care about, and as much as I complain all the time about how life don't always go my way...


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