There is nothing to envy about the “average” American families. It’s in in worse shape than the economy (and I wrote this in April of 2010 almost a year before Amy Chua’s essay appeared in The Wall Street Journal).
My wife is Chinese. She lived in China the first twenty-eight years of her life. She is now an American citizen. In China and other Asian countries, family and earning an education through hard work is important.
If you study Confucian philosophy and the Five Great Relationships, you will understand what I’m talking about. For the most part, the younger generation in China respects, honors and obeys the elders, and the elders are responsible for preparing the younger generations for a prosperous life. I did not say a happy life. I said prosperous. That means hard work—mentioned more than once in the Chinese Constitution.
Article 42. Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right as well as the duty to work.
What does that have to do with parents raising children? Everything.
I taught high school English, journalism and reading from 1975 to 2005. Facts about American kids and their families were drummed into my head in one workshop after another at the high school where I taught. During those thirty years, I worked with more than six thousand students and met with hundreds of parents.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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