So this article in the Wall Street Journal has been making the rounds on the innanet lately. There’s been a bit of controversy regarding Amy Chua’s parenting techniques.
Chinese parents can get away with things that Western parents can’t. Once when I was young—maybe more than once—when I was extremely disrespectful to my mother, my father angrily called me “garbage” in our native Hokkien dialect. It worked really well. I felt terrible and deeply ashamed of what I had done. But it didn’t damage my self-esteem or anything like that. I knew exactly how highly he thought of me. I didn’t actually think I was worthless or feel like a piece of garbage.
As an adult, I once did the same thing to Sophia, calling her garbage in English when she acted extremely disrespectfully toward me. When I mentioned that I had done this at a dinner party, I was immediately ostracized. One guest named Marcy got so upset she broke down in tears and had to leave early. My friend Susan, the host, tried to rehabilitate me with the remaining guests.
Some are really upset, but I myself find it hilarious. Hey, if she wants to impart some craziness to her children then that’s her thing. Also, calling your kid garbage in English vs Chinese loses its effect — it’s more harsh in Chinese (I think).
The only thing I take offense to is the title of the piece. Chinese mothers are superior? Ummm…they’re more like bat-shiyat crazy…like ALL mothers.
I could address it in my comic, but I have my own crazy mother character to portray.
🙂[found via Angry Asian Man]