It started on a Sunday Hike (the Lunar New Year dinner) – Part 2/3

At a recent Chinese-American Lunar New Year dinner, all Asians were talking about Amy Chua’s essay in the Wall Street Journal, Why Chinese mothers are superior, and her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

They were angry with Chua. They said Chua was going to make their job as parents more difficult since most American Caucasian parents would stereotype them and disapprove.

Since most of the Chinese-Americans I know were born and raised in mainland China, I had to remind them that Amy Chua grew up in the US and was not Chinese but Chinese-American.

While her Middle Kingdom born and raised mother and overseas Chinese father raised her using perfectly acceptable, universal Tough Love parenting methods, she was also exposed to America’s evangelical atmosphere where far to many preach his or her brand of parenting, religion, politics and lifestyle as if it were the only acceptable way to live.

Among Chinese in America or China, I’ve seldom heard anyone preach what he or she believes is the best way to raise children, live and worship.

However, one of my closest Caucasian friends in the US does nothing but preach.

The consensus among the Asians I’ve heard was that it was wrong of Amy Chua to brand Tough Love parenting as a Chinese method.

In fact, it isn’t. All through history, Tough Love has been the way most parents raised children all over the globe. SAP (Self-esteem arm of Political Correctness) is the exception and is a recent, flawed belief. The SAP parenting model could be called the curse of a wealthy family or culture, which often leads to its downfall.

According to the reader reviews for Amy Chua’s memoir at, at 11:59 AM on Sunday, February 06, 2011, one-hundred-and-fifty-seven (157) people rated her memoir as a four or five star read.

Many of these four and five star reviews were thoughtful, long and well written.

In contrast, there were one-hundred-thirteen (113) one or two star reviews and most that I read were short with a few long-winded rants that seldom go into detail about the book itself.

The results show that more than 58% of reader reviews enjoyed her work or supported some level of Tough Love parenting leaving 42% opposed to her memoir/parenting style.

I didn’t count the three star reviews since they are somewhat neutral.

Then there is the on-line opinion poll the Wall Street Journal conducted to discover which style of parenting was considered best for raising children.

The Permissive Western parenting style most practiced by SAPs, earned 37.7% of the 35,201 votes, while 62.3% voted for Demanding Eastern parenting.

The results from Amazon reader reviews and the WSJ poll on the subject seem to indicate that SAPs make up about 40% the population, which may represent the “average” American parent and child.

To be Continued in Part 3

Return to It started on a Sunday Hike – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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