Trouble from China — Is Amy Chua Chinese or Chinese-America?

January 27, 2011

In China, Amy Chua is being criticized for writing that Chinese parenting is superior to soft Western methods.

The criticism from China comes from the deep cultural roots of Confucianism and Taoism that one does not force his or her beliefs, opinions and lifestyle on someone else as being better. It is considered improper to preach. It doesn’t mean most Chinese disagree with her.

However, Chinese parents may preach to their children.

Have you ever met a Confucian or a Taoist going door to door touting his philosophy and warning you are doomed if you do not convert?

In her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Chua proudly says, “My family comes from southern China’s Fujian Province, which is famous for producing scholars and scientists.”

Then sometime around 1925 as China descended into Civil War, World War II, chaos and anarchy for the next fifty years, her grandparents moved to the Philippines where her father was born. Chua’s mother was born in China in 1936.

In 1960, her parents met in Boston, which means Amy Chua’s mother was really Chinese.

Amy Chua learned from her parents how to be strict and demanding, which explains why she wrote, “Chinese parenting is better at raising kids than Western ones.”

Parents I call SAPs (the Self-esteem arm of Political Correctness) believe that any effort to control a child, burden her with rules and guide him toward a goal is child abuse. The SAP method is to encourage children to follow his or her dreams and be happy all the time.

This is how the “average” American parent has been raising children in the US for decades.

Since I was criticized for writing the average American parent is a SAP as if I meant, “all” Americans, clearly says, “average people”; “the ordinary (or common) man in the street”. Another site says, “around the middle of a scale of evaluation“.

The word “average” doesn’t mean “all”. Unexceptional and exceptional people don’t count in the average, but studies say SAP parenting is average (common) in America.

The SAPs of America have evangelized this soft parenting method for the last fifty years converting many to this religion.

If Chua had written, “Chinese-American parents are better at raising children,” she wouldn’t have been criticized in China — just in America from the common SAP.

After all, Amy Chua is Chinese-American and has been influenced by America’s evangelical atmosphere of preaching and converting others. The competition is fierce since there are thousands of Christian sects, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, neoconservatives, Republicans, Democrats, SAPs and now Tough Love parents — unless the SAP mob forms an alliance with one of the other religions and lobbies for a law to make Tough Love illegal.

SAPs have already been very successful in the SAP war against spanking children as a last effort to correct an unacceptable behavior. Instead, parents are required to bribe kids the SAP way with a TV, video games, a Facebook page, sugary foods, toys and trips to Disneyland.

Discover my Review for Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother where I got in trouble for writing “average”.


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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