Amy Chua discusses the importance of parenting in a book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Why Chinese Moms are Superior”, she discusses how effective it is to be an authoritarian parent. She is proud of her parents for recognizing her as a tiger mom. Authoritarian Parents are parents who command their children to excel in academics. Parents punish their children harshly when they fail. Her daughters could not participate in extracurriculars that were not academic in nature, they couldn’t be number one students in their subject, and they couldn’t get a grade lower than A. The western view of the best way to raise children is different. Authoritarian parents are seen by them as being disrespectful to their child’s development, not praising the child when the grade is lower than A. Western Parents consider this to be cruel. Authoritarian parenting can be measured in terms of motivation, success and mental state.
Authoritarian parenting style can be studied, measured and evaluated through the child’s motivation. Chua cites: “Parents have to take care of their children because they are the ones that force them into life”. Chua’s motivational efforts to get her daughter Lulu, to learn the difficult piano piece “The Little White Donkey”, were an example. Lulu struggled to master it. Lulu was so frustrated that she tore up the sheet music. Chua’s father felt bad for the child. He even suggested Chua ease up on her. Chua’s husband felt sorry for the child and even hinted that Chua should take it easy on her. She taped her daughter’s torn sheets of music together and they practiced for many hours without her being allowed to go to the toilet. Lulu played the piece flawlessly after they practiced for hours. She was overwhelmed with pride, happiness and accomplishment. Chua remembers her daughter’s excitement when she played the piece of music for her approval. Lulu’s mom was frustrated by her attempts to perfect the piano piece. But, Lulu went to bed with her that night and they hugged and slept.
Authoritarian Parenting’s effectiveness can be measured and studied through the success of a child. Chua explains that Chinese parents are very demanding because they feel that their children can achieve perfect grades. Chinese parents are likely to react strongly because their child’s academic failure is a reflection of how they have failed in their role as parents. Chinese parents will make their child take numerous practice tests to ensure they understand the material. This is done in an effort to get the child’s grade up from a C+. Chinese parents think that hard work is required to excel in anything. Parents understand that the first time children learn something new is usually the hardest and when they become lazy. Parents must encourage and motivate children to practice and study the material over and over again. This is essential for success. The child will be rewarded for a job well done once they have mastered the material. The child will get praise, admiration, satisfaction and encouragement, reinforcing that hardwork pays off.
Authoritarian Parenting can be studied to determine the effectiveness of this method. Chua claims that Chinese Parents don’t worry about the child’s mind, and assume that it’s strong. For example, they may believe that punishing, shaming, and excoriating their child for poor academic performance will help. Chinese parents think that their children will be able to handle the humiliating remarks and become stronger as a result. Parents want to be clear with their child about the fact that poor grades are a result of them not doing the job well. Chinese parents do everything they can to make sure their children are able to study effectively and achieve a better grade. They will drill them on the material until the child has mastered it. Chinese parents, for example, often ignore their children’s preferences and wishes because they believe they are doing what’s right. They only consider academics to be worthwhile. This explains why Chinese kids aren’t allowed to do extracurricular things like sleepovers, school plays, school dances, or even have a girlfriend. Chinese parents are convinced that their children have a strong self-esteem, and can handle the seemingly unreasonable demands they make.
Western Parents and Authoritarian parents have differing opinions on the best way to raise their children. Chua cites that a Western Parent believes that an Authoritarian Parents disregards their child’s development by not praising them for their achievements, even if it is a low grade. Western parents see this as cruel and harsh. Chua says that “it’s not like Chinese parents don’t love their children.” They will sacrifice anything to protect their children. It’s a completely different parenting style.”
Authoritarian Parenting’s effectiveness and effects can be very positive. It is a dynamic relationship that can appear overbearing or restrictive. The success of the child in academics is paramount, and extracurricular activities that are not related to academics are prohibited. This model has been used by Chinese parents with great success. Authoritarian Parenting works well to encourage children to excel academically.