The Chinese did not develop the parenting style Amy Chua described in her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In fact, the Chinese may have learned this method of parenting from the British, French, Germans, Russians, Portuguese and Americans since this method of parenting was first developed in the West in the 18th century.
The 19th century invasion of China by Western powers during The Opium Wars explains what happened, and it was a British citizen from Northern Ireland that may have introduced this style of parenting to the Chinese.
This man was Sir Robert Hart, known as the godfather of China’s modernization. It was Hart, the main character in The Concubine Saga that guided the Qing Dynasty to restructure China’s educational system to compete with the superior, Western style of education of the time.
If you recall, the West was going through the Industrial Revolution then.
Recently, I discovered that the one-star critic’s reviews of Amy Chua memoir of raising children the Chinese way had gone too far when another anonymous reviewer calling itself Tiger Indeed left this one-star review, “There once was a nation that fully endorsed these principals (referring to Amy Chua’s parenting methods). It was called the Soviet Union. Enough said.”
This wasn’t a book review. It was an ignorant, opinionated condemnation of the way Amy Chua raised her children.
Then I discovered Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist who’s pioneering work in the 1940s – 1960s identified the different methods of parenting.
Continued on June 12, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2
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