The other day, I went with a dear friend to hear Amy Chua speak about her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Before you heave a rock at your computer screen, please allow me to explain.
When the book was released, I read plenty of articles and reviews about it, including the one published under the headline “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” in the Wall Street Journal on January 8, 2011 and decided that I wanted no part of reading the book. Based on my review reading, this woman sounded completely looney-tunes.
In her talk, however, Chua had the platform from which to tell the audience that many readers (& reviewers!) missed the irony and self-depracating humor in the title and the piece itself and instead believed that she was advocating the “superiority” of a particular, very strict, ethnically defined approach to parenting. Her intention was for the book to be funny, a self-parody. She said that it was really “weird” to read what was written in the media.
GULP. I didn’t just judge the cover of the book, I judged it based on the reviews. It was definitely a Moonstruck “snap out of it” moment.
Chua went on to say that the “Tiger Mom” is not about achievement; rather it is about believing in your kids and believing that they are capable of so much more than they think they are. Uhhhh, yeah, that’s exactly how I roll.
GULP, again. I was feeling pretty rotten at this point. The Silver Lining is that I learned a very valuable lesson about making snap judgments and ASS-U-Ming. I have bought the book and it is at the top of my reading list. Have you read it? If so, I’d love to hear what you think about it!