In her essay Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, author Amy Chua explains that Chinese children are more successful in life than Western children. Chinese children are getting smarter. She also compares different ways of raising children through her short stories and gives examples from her life.
Chua came to the United States with her parents when she was one year old. Now she is married and has two beautiful daughters, Sofia and Luisa.
Although she is a Westerner, she is raising her two daughters under certain rules and restrictions due to her Chinese heritage. Chua argues that Western mothers have an attitude that “school stress is not good for children.”
In contrast, Chinese parents think very differently, believing that “academic success reflects parenting success” (Chua). When their children are struggling with their grades, Chinese mothers spend a lot of their daily lives trying to make sure their children are “excellent” in their classes.
There is no word for giving up in the native Chinese dictionary, but Western parents do not want to pressure or force their children to achieve or pursue something.
Chua says her father used to call her “garbage” in her native language when she was young when she misbehaved with her mother. She feels guilty deep down in her heart and agrees to do something bad to her mother.
She also thinks her parents care about her and doesn’t think the word ‘garbage’ hurts her self-esteem. She does the same with her daughter Sophia at a dinner party in front of her friends.
Her friends think Chua’s behavior towards their daughter is very bad and leave the party. In fact, the only difference between Chinese parents and Western parents is that Chinese parents can tell their children anything and do not take it negatively.
If the same thing happened to children in the West, the reaction would be exactly the opposite, and they would fall into a ‘negative self-image’.
According to Chua, “Chinese parents believe that their children owe them everything.” Chinese mothers devote all their time and dedication to raising their children.
Chinese parents believe that they are sacrificing their lives and time for their children, so children must repay and obey their parents for the rest of their lives. Westerners, by contrast, do not have the same perspective.
Chua gives the example of her husband Jed saying, “Children don’t choose their parents” (chua). He tries to tell her that her parents are raising her because they want children for life and want her to succeed in life. you teach them everything yourself. “Children owe their parents nothing,” Chua said. She was shocked by her husband’s reaction and became completely brave.
Chua says Chinese parents want to raise their children differently, she says. Therefore, they limit them in certain areas so that they can focus on their schoolwork. The Chinese believe that when children fail to reach their goals, practice and hard work are behind it. In her article, she tells her short story about her youngest daughter, Lulu, who prefers Chinese parenting methods.
When Lulu was seven years old, she had to play two instruments and prepare the song “Little White Donkey” on the piano for her recital (chua). The song is very difficult for a 7-year-old to play on the piano.