Random thoughts thanks to “Anais Nin” and “Amy Chua/Tan”

July 8, 2011

What kicked off these random thoughts was caused by a Chinese friend quoting Anais Nin, “The only thing psychoanalysis achieves is to make one more conscious of one’s misfortunes.”

I Googled the quote from Anis Nin and found it on Solar Powered Visions and then found the following quote from PSYCHOANALYSIS AND THE TRAGIC SENSE OF LIFE by Richard L. Rubens, Ph.D., “To undertake such a journey is what is asked of patients in psychoanalysis. It is a journey into territory neither analyst nor patient knows completely, and both participants must recognize that they cannot know in advance what they will ultimately discover.… It (psychoanalysis) calls on man (or woman) to recognize his (or her) position in the forward sweep of time and to choose to live his (or her) life in full awareness of the loss that is inextricably bound up with the process of growth and change.”

That resulted in my thinking of two of Amy Chua’s critics on the Amazon Forum for Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and that these two are unable to grow and change from what they have learned.

One of these anonymous critics calls herself Mandy Wu and the other JLee—both claim to be Asian and/or Chinese.  In fact, JLee started out claiming to speak for all Chinese women when she voiced her opinions as a fact that Chinese mothers are not like Amy Chua. Later, the China Daily would prove her wrong, which led to JLee calling me a Cyber bully.

Both Mandy Wu and JLee have demonstrated that Western psychoanalysis has made them aware of how miserable they are and they have identified this misfortune with Amy Chua’s parenting style as described in her memoir. These two critics are unable to recognize their position in the forward sweep of time and to live in full awareness with the process of growth and change. They are stuck.

I replied to my friend, “Amy Chua’s critics should just ‘eat bitterness’ and get over it.”

He said, “That’s not what ‘eating bitterness’ means.  It really means to endure hardship in order to build a better life.”

I asked, “Does that apply to both physical and mental hardships such as depression?”

He said yes.

As I walked away, I thought of, “Amy Chua and Amy Tan.”  I turned around and asked, “Why is Amy such a popular name among Chinese?”

My friend laughed and replied, “In Chinese ‘Amy’ means ‘love rice’ and Amy is one of the most popular names that Cantonese give to their female children.”

I then went to the MDBG online Chinese dictionary and discovered that “Ai” means love , which in Chinese is pronounced the same as the beginning of “Amy” and then I typed in “rice”, which appeared as “mi” or .  In Chinese, Amy is written as .

Discover Amy Chua Debates Former White House “Court Jester” Larry Summers

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

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Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 3/3

May 31, 2011

Guest post from Hannah in China

In fact, in China, children should not argue with their parents and the child must do what the parents say.

When the child is good at studying, it means “Guang Zong Yao Zu”, (bring honor to your ancestors).

When you get the low score (100% score is best. 60% means you barely passed the exam. 90% is good. However, even just 1% lower and the child gets the “cold face”).

This not only means teachers calling parents endless times for meetings and punishment from the parents but it embarrasses your ancestors too.

This means when children are doing the homework, parents watch them until they finish to insure no mistakes.

Another recent review from Amazon.US points out an interesting thought. “The (Amy Chua) book raises an important question: Is America’s assumed educational mediocrity really the fault of our public schools (as some believe) or is it the fault of an epidemic of indulgent parenting (as others believe)? Asian kids seem to do remarkably well in the public schools… and raising little complaint about the quality of the schools.”

As for myself, Hanna writes, I think I’m the lucky one born in a family offering more freedom. Luckily I was a good student so my parents didn’t have to pay as much attention to me.

Did they spoil me? Sure. Did they care about my feelings? Yes, because they allowed me talk and argue with them.

If your child is no good at school, you must still love them. However, being strict so they have a good future is not worth it if they hate you later. No matter what kind of family you live in – strict or spoiled – the important thing is to love. Then the world can be better place.

(From the Blog’s host) Amy Chua was heard from again recently when she wrote for USA Today, Tiger Mom: Here’s how to reshape U.S. education.

Chua says, “My memoir — seen in the West as a story about “extreme” parenting — is being marketed the opposite way in China, as a story about the importance of giving kids more freedom. Amusingly, the book’s title in China is Parenting by a Yale Professor: Raising Kids in America, and I was asked by one Chinese women’s magazine to give its readers tips on “how to be friends with your kids.”

Return to Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 2 or start with Part 1

View as Single Page

Discover Hannah’s review of Red Mansion, a Chinese TV series, or visit her Blogs at Hannah Travel Adventure (Chinese) or Hannah China Backpacker (English)

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To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 2/3

May 30, 2011

Guest post from Hannah in China

In addition, modern Chinese are also having many new chances but this still won’t change the way most Chinese parents raise children, because China now has the “Gaokao”, which is the high school examination to get into a university or college.

Because of the competition, parents can’t afford or wouldn’t dare to let the child just play and have fun. Children don’t know what is best for them.

Parents must force them to study but spoil them at the same time. When the child gets the great score, that means everything to parents. The kids don’t have to do anything else in life but study. Therefore, the story is the boy went into a famous college but didn’t know how to peal the eggshell.

Note from Blog host: Another review from Amazon.UK supports what Hanna is saying. The reviewer wrote, “I know how appalling some of those things sound to many. Not me, since I am Chinese myself and I have been brought up that same way, if not more strict.…. However when I grow up (now 40), I see the vast difference of parenting among other people in different countries (I live in UK now with my English husband), and what repercussions it has on the kids when they grow up. I am glad I was brought up the way I was.”

Hanna says, “Chinese parenting is not about ‘feelings’, but it’s not to say that the parents do not care.”

The child has to finish the school homework to 10 pm at night five days a week. Then after school, the child goes to the special training to develop other skills such as piano. This is not about what the the child is interested but it’s what the parents decided based on what they believe is necessary. What we learn in China is that the children have to attend eight different hobbies classes. There’s no free time.

Continued on May 31, 2011 with Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 3 or return to Part 1

View as Single Page

Discover Hannah’s review of Red Mansion, a Chinese TV series, or visit her Blogs at Hannah Travel Adventure (Chinese) or Hannah China Backpacker (English)

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To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


When it comes to Parenting, One Size Does Not Fit All – Part 3/5

April 9, 2011


When I was a teacher, I often heard parents tell their children/teens, “If you don’t want to do what the teacher asks, you don’t have to.” Then when the child earned a failing grade in the class the accusation directed at me would often be, “You were boring. That’s why he/she didn’t want to do the work in your class.”

If I was so boring, why did any student earn As and Bs in my class and some always did?

Every year, one or more parents concerned more with the child’s self-esteem than his or her education would demand that the student be moved from my class to another teacher that was easier — which meant a teacher that never failed a student.

I knew a teacher at the high school where I taught that automatically gave credit for 50% of the grade to every student as if it were a gift.   All a student had to do in his class was five percent of the work to get a D- since every student started with a 50% handicap.  If another student did 40% of the work, that resulted in an A-.

We talked of this for months, and he never yielded his opinion that it was the only fair way to grade a student.

I also know a property owner with apartments that once had a single-mother tenant that took her two children to Disneyland in Florida for a week but could not pay her rent that month.

I heard this dead-beat parent (that seldom paid her rent on time) say she would rather have her children in a class where their self-esteem wouldn’t suffer than have her children in a demanding teacher’s class. She wanted her children to have fun everywhere they went — at last until those children turned 18.

I had an opportunity to see inside the apartment. The children shared the larger of two bedrooms. There was a TV, a computer with an Internet connection and an expensive video game with toys scattered across the floor.  Both children were in grade school at the time and had mobile phones with unlimited texting.

If you want to see how these SAPs (Parents that belong to the self-esteem arm of Political correctness) fight for their beliefs, click to Amazon and read enough reviews and comments of Amy Chua’s memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother to discover a more complete picture.

To be continued in Part 4, April 10, 2011 at 12:00 PST, or return to Part 2

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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.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Modern Chinese Parents and Children (Viewed as Single Page)

January 28, 2010

A Guest post from Hannah in China (first appeared as a three part series with Modern  Chinese Parents and Children – Part 1, which appeared on May 29, 2011)

Before I start to talking about Chinese parents and children, first let us have a look of the currently pretty hot arguing book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which is a Chinese-American Yale law professor mom that wrote about how she was strict with her two daughters by making a lot of can’t doing rules, and she was acting like a wicked witch to push them to study.

I will not comment on which parenting method is better, Chinese or Western.

What I want to say is the book’s author Amy Chua’s way of parenting is typically Chinese though she is 4th-generation American.

Note from Blog host: Evidence of this may be found among reviews and comments on Amazon.UK. Rosie in the UK wrote, “I am Chinese now living in the UK and I admit I was outraged when I first read theWSJ excerpt of her (Amy Chua’s) book. My first thoughts were I can’t believe anyone would do something like that to their children. However, as I thought more about it and I guess living out here in the UK I’ve been so used to the numbing and dummying of our children’s perceived fragile self esteem and always making sure that their feelings and wants are met for fear of damaging them emotionally, I forgot that, hey, I was brought up pretty much the same way.”

Hanna says, “We Chinese have a long history of parents being strict with their children. From old days, the Ke Ju Kaoshi (official examination) was the only chance for people to change their fate and life.

“To achieve this, they must study really hard. We have an old saying about this “Shi Nian Han Chuang Ku Du Ri, Jin Chao Jin Bang Ti Ming Shi”, which means “Ten years of study at a cold window only for the day of passing the examination.”

“To study, students must be pushed even by using the stick.”

In addition, modern Chinese are also having many new chances but this still won’t change the way most Chinese parents raise children, because China now has the “Gaokao”, which is the high school examination to get into a university or college.

Because of the competition, parents can’t afford or wouldn’t dare to let the child just play and have fun. Children don’t know what is best for them.

Parents must force them to study but spoil them at the same time. When the child gets the great score, that means everything to parents. The kids don’t have to do anything else in life but study. Therefore, the story is the boy went into a famous college but didn’t know how to peal the eggshell.

Note from Blog host: Another review from Amazon.UK supports what Hanna is saying. The reviewer wrote, “I know how appalling some of those things sound to many. Not me, since I am Chinese myself and I have been brought up that same way, if not more strict.…. However when I grow up (now 40), I see the vast difference of parenting among other people in different countries (I live in UK now with my English husband), and what repercussions it has on the kids when they grow up. I am glad I was brought up the way I was.”

Hanna says, “Chinese parenting is not about ‘feelings’, but it’s not to say that the parents do not care.”

The child has to finish the school homework to 10 pm at night five days a week. Then after school, the child goes to the special training to develop other skills such as piano. This is not about what the the child is interested but it’s what the parents decided based on what they believe is necessary. What we learn in China is that the children have to attend eight different hobbies classes. There’s no free time.

In fact, in China, children should not argue with their parents and the child must do what the parents say.

When the child is good at studying, it means “Guang Zong Yao Zu”, (bring honor to your ancestors).

When you get the low score (100% score is best. 60% means you barely passed the exam. 90% is good. However, even just 1% lower and the child gets the “cold face”).

This not only means teachers calling parents endless times for meetings and punishment from the parents but it embarrasses your ancestors too.

This means when children are doing the homework, parents watch them until they finish to insure no mistakes.

Another recent review from Amazon.US points out an interesting thought. “The (Amy Chua) book raises an important question: Is America’s assumed educational mediocrity really the fault of our public schools (as some believe) or is it the fault of an epidemic of indulgent parenting (as others believe)? Asian kids seem to do remarkably well in the public schools… and raising little complaint about the quality of the schools.”

As for myself, Hanna writes, I think I’m the lucky one born in a family offering more freedom. Luckily I was a good student so my parents didn’t have to pay as much attention to me.

Did they spoil me? Sure. Did they care about my feelings? Yes, because they allowed me talk and argue with them.

If your child is no good at school, you must still love them. However, being strict so they have a good future is not worth it if they hate you later. No matter what kind of family you live in – strict or spoiled – the important thing is to love. Then the world can be better place.

(From the Blog’s host) Amy Chua was heard from again recently when she wrote for USA Today, Tiger Mom: Here’s how to reshape U.S. education.

Chua says, “My memoir — seen in the West as a story about “extreme” parenting — is being marketed the opposite way in China, as a story about the importance of giving kids more freedom. Amusingly, the book’s title in China is Parenting by a Yale Professor: Raising Kids in America, and I was asked by one Chinese women‘s magazine to give its readers tips on “how to be friends with your kids.”

 

Discover Hannah’s review of Red Mansion, a Chinese TV series, or visit her Blogs at Hannah Travel Adventure (Chinese) or Hannah China Backpacker (English)

______________

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions