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Good Housekeeping
Jaclyn Lutanco-Chua, Contributor
January 21, 2011

Does the Chinese “Tiger Mother” method really work? + 5 Effective Parenting Tips

Why are Chinese kids so academically successful compared to their Western counterparts? FN takes some tips out of Amy Chua’s controversial essay. By Jaclyn Lutanco-Chua
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TigerMother_inside.jpgEarlier this month, Yale Law School professor and author Amy Chua raised a furor online when an excerpt from her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was published on the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) website under the title Why Chinese Mothers are Superior. Here, she unapologetically relates the rules on how she gets her two daughters to excel. Among these rules are no playdates or sleepovers and no TV or computer games. In addition, her daughters are only allowed, and must play, the violin or piano.

Chua goes on to point out that insults and name-calling can motivate a child (as opposed to Western parents who worry constantly about a child’s self-esteem), and that a Chinese parent can override their child’s preferences and desires simply because she believes that she knows what is best for her child.

In a subsequent article also published on the WSJ website, Amy Chua clarifies that much of what she wrote in the book was “tongue-in-cheek” and “making fun” of herself. And in her defense, she also says that the title for the article posted on the WSJ was not of her choosing.

While many readers may find some of Chua’s tactics extreme; even bordering on “child abuse,” there are some sound tips that we can take away just the same. We've compiled some of them in the gallery below.


Read these articles for more parenting tips:


Jaclyn Lutanco-Chua would like readers to know that she is not in any way related to Amy Chua. But she welcomes all comments to this article.

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  • Kath Jan 21 2011 @ 07:55pm Report Abuse
    I read the article, and I totally agree with Miss Chua. I'm half chinese, and my family is somewhat like that, and I don't see anything wrong with that.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Snaro Jan 23 2011 @ 05:43pm Report Abuse
    I'm half-Chinese and my mother raised me this way -- I absolutely hate it. Now in my twenties, I feel as if my mom loved me conditionally, meaning only if I excelled. She made me take up activities I was not interested in. She even tried to force me into medical school so I could become a doctor!

    Parents like these make me sad. I would rather have a child who can talk to me openly, who will be happy on their own terms while I support almost everything they do.

    When parents raise their children to be "successful" in only propagates the materialistic mindset of people today. My child won't have to be a doctor to be considered successful, and my child won't have to be making millions for them to be happy.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • MJ Jan 24 2011 @ 07:25am Report Abuse
    I don't mean to offend anyone especially the Chinese Communities but based on my own experience, all throughout my life, the Chibese people I've had to deal with at work, in business and in the academe - Almost all of them are very skillfull at intimidating, manipulative and in many ways give you back sarcasm and insults without any provocation. These are even more true with those who came straight out from China and never lived in a 'Western' society. Plus, it is known that they really never hire non-Chinese, if ever they do, only for front or low job positions. Likewise, they never ever buy from non-Chinese business. There seems to be a lack of ethics in their dealings with non-Chinese people, choosing to be more arrogant and condescending than sociably amiable or at least, friendly. Lacking respect for non-Chinese people, they insist you follow their ways, rejecting any means of blending into the culture of their 'host-country' or the 'mainstream'. I don't like to think this, but I think Chinese parents inculcate into their children's minds to reject or dislike anyone or anything that is Non-Chinese sans, Chinese kids bully their non-Chinese classmates. That's why, in the US and in UK, where societies are more democratic and Human Rights laws are more in effect, these typical Chinese characteristics are abhored and frowned at, so the Chinese are less condescending in those countries. Could cite specific examples too how I and some people I know have been duped and scammed by Chinese people, at least by us, but, I believe there is no need to as I am sure non-Chinese people have their own sad story to tell.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • lisa Jan 25 2011 @ 12:23pm Report Abuse
    Hi MJ, sad to hear your experience with Chinese-Filipinos. But I would not generalize. I run my own business and most of my colleagues are Pinoy and they are all in high positions. I am sure there are scary Chinese as there are scary Filipinos. :)
    Last modified A long time ago
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