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Dragon moms

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The future is the edifice of our hopes, the clothesline on which to hang our dreams.  In fact, we all conduct our lives under the assumption that the edifice is strong, that the clothesline will not snap.  By implication, it means there is a reliable certainty to the trajectory of our lives. But more importantly, there is a fundamental assumption that the expiry date on the license of life is beyond the horizon.

In the realm of parenting, witness the Tiger moms dwell in the future, running pillar to post, soccer field to gym to admissions counseling to swim lessons to <you name it> activity, trying to secure a competitive advantage for their children. For them, the present is just a vehicle into the future.

But for some parents the present is all there is. In a brave, moving, and eloquent essay  – Notes from a Dragon mom  – Emily Rapp, explains why. Her child, Ronan, just 18 months old has Tay-Sachs disease. He is expected to live to the ripe old age of 3, none of it very pleasant. Please read it. It is as beautiful as it is tragic. If nothing else, it offers a mirror against which to calibrate our own lives.


Written by asterix98

October 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

Posted in future, parenting

Western moms

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Here is the rebuttal to the Chinese mom article : In defense of the Western Mom .  As before, I urge you to read the comments section: some are pretty lame, some are very insightful.

From this pissing contest, it is amply clear that each parent thinks they know what is best for their kids (ironically, it is rarely that you will find complete agreement, even between the two parents in a household, on how to raise their own child ).  While every parent wishes that their child/children is/are successful (again the operational definition here can vary), what is important, in my mind, is not to fall prey to the danger of making one’s progeny vicarious vehicles for acheiving your own dreams and ambitions. In other words, they are not your showpieces.

PS: You will not find very many Jane Goodall’s, or a Jacques Cousteau if the parental influence is to always “color inside the lines” (a phrase I borrowed from one of the commentators).

Written by asterix98

January 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Posted in parenting

chinese mothers

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Here is a really interesting article for you. The title : Why Chinese mothers are superior?

The author is a Yale professor, no less. She offers what amounts to a sure fire recipe for raising extremely “successful” kids. Some key ideas. Parents know what is best for their kids. Humiliation and coercion are extremely important to get them past the initial hump in any endeavor. Self-esteem is overrated. Rote learning is absolutely vital. Well, you get the idea.

Not everything she says is outlandish (like practice makes perfect or kids intial resistance to try hard to accomplish tasks) but I can’t help marvel at her audacity to put out an article like this and WSJ condoning it to boot. I think it is totally tongue in cheek. Because it ignores so many things: base rates, motivation, creativity, and innovativeness, etc., etc., If she were really this clueless, it would really be a stretch for her to have made a full professor.

I also recommend you read the comments section for the wide spectrum of responses to this article.

Written by asterix98

January 11, 2011 at 4:27 am

Posted in parenting

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