Thursday, January 20, 2011

That kind of Mommy

I've been reading a good bit about parenting and different parenting styles recently. Most of what I've read has not upset me or made me want to write mean epithets about the author.

Our local paper features articles by John Rosemond once a week. He is the most likely to infuriate me. It most likely stems from some very callous (in my opinion) comments he made in the first article I read. Most of what he writes seems very logical and commonsense to me. Other things he writes, well, I grumble about them to Bob. My biggest gripe with this guy is that he doesn't value good grades.

This week I finally got around to reading the Tiger Mother article in the Wall Street Journal. In the article Amy Chua compares Chinese mothers to Western mothers, and in her opinion, Chinese mothers come out on top. I read the article and several follow-ups to it and none of them made me all that angry. While I don't agree with most of Chua's tactics, I think some of the lessons she imparts are very good. And I laughed at a lot of her crazier tactics, which I think is the reaction she intended.

Bob and I also had several discussions about how she forced her daughters to keep doing things until they were good at them.

In the article Chua writes, "What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences."

The whole nothing is fun until you are good at it is so true, isn't it? And it made us both feel guilty about Little Elvis and the tricycle. He's almost 4 and is only now getting the hang of the tricycle. We literally have to force him to do it, and when we finally give up we are all worn out, hot and angry.

Have any of you read the article? Did you agree with any of it, or did it make you really mad?

Just so you can see what type of parent I really am, in an effort to get Little Elvis interested in coloring, I sometimes let him color on me.

Bob drew the glasses and goatee, but Little Elvis did all the great work with the green and yellow. That's the most he's colored on anything. He is not a colorer.Little Elvis used both hands, although he's definitely a lefty, and he had a blast. (The markers were washable and came off very easily in the shower.)

By the way, I'm fairly certain that my techniques are odd, and I don't plan on writing any parenting books. The titles would be funny, though.


Blogger Ann Wyse said...

The Chinese mother article really got me thinking as well. I think that's good. There's always room for improvement in my parenting.

But it's also interesting to think about how Chua's version of parental success relates to her very specific values. For example, she might get a perfect violin player, but will her child have strong social competence (if that child has no playdates ever)?

It's a good thing we are all so different, because it makes the world a really interesting place - and gives us all opportunities to excel at different things.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Ann Wyse said...

Ooops - One more thing - it took me over lunch to make this connection - I've always imagined that you are quite creative. And certainly the face drawing is not only a creative solution but a creative activity. Ah ha! Maybe you should be writing some books! ;-)

1:52 PM  

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