A Brief History of Parenting – Part 1/3

June 11, 2011

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.

Digging further, I discovered that Tiger Indeed has only reviewed one book. I’m sure you guessed the title: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Then I discovered Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist who’s pioneering work in the 1940s – 1960s identified the different methods of parenting.

Baumrind described Amy Chua’s parenting method but the way Chua raised her daughters wasn’t from one method as there is some crossover between Authoritarian and Authoritative.

Continued on June 12, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – 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.

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The Sino-Vietnam War of 1979

August 19, 2010

After the death of Stalin, relations between the Soviet Union and China turned sour while the Russians and the Vietnamese developed a closer relationship.

To counter this perceived threat, China encouraged Cambodia to take aggressive action against Vietnam. By the end of 1978, the Cambodians under the leadership of Pol Pot launched a series of attacks along the Vietnam border.

The Vietnamese retaliated with armored units and captured the capital of Cambodia on January 7, 1979.

Since 10 thousand Chinese military advisers in Camboida became prisoners, China loses face.

On February 15, 1979, China says that it’s going to invade and teach Vietnam a lesson.

The Vietnamese decided to hold back their regular army and defend the border with militia units using guerilla tactics in the hills and rainforest similar to how they fought America.

China takes heavy casualties after attacking and soon returns to China.

China has a long history with Vietnam. The First Chinese domination of Vietnam took place in 207 BC to 39 AD. The second occupation was from 43 to 544 AD.  The third was from 602 to 905 AD.  The fourth was between 1407 to 1427 AD.

Then France ruled over Vietnam from 1862 until the Japanese invaded during World War II. The French would return in 1946 and fight the Vietnamese until 1954.

This week, the US and Vietnam, once enemies during the American-Vietnam War (1961 – 1975), become allies to block China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.  Source: Goldsea Asian American News

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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. 

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Mao Zedong, the Poet

July 27, 2010

Many outside China think of Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976) as a brutal dictator. Yet, he was fifty-six when he became the ruler of China and seventy-two at the beginning of The Cultural Revolution.

In fact, while commanding the Red Army during The Long March (1934-1935), we see a man who respected China’s peasants proving he was more of a nationalist than a Communist. Then there was the move away from Communist Russia after Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, when Mao said, “Our common old friend, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, doesn’t approve of this.”

In 1935, Mao’s poem, “The Long March”, reveals an awareness of the sacrifice and the willingness to suffer to accomplish great things.

The Red Army fears not the trials of the March,
Holding light ten thousand crags and torrents.
The Five Ridges wind like gentle ripples
And the majestic Wumeng roll by, globules of clay.
Warm the steep cliffs lapped by the waters of Golden Sand,
Cold the iron chains spanning the Tatu River.
Minshan’s thousand li of snow joyously crossed,
The three Armies march on, each face glowing.

Mao was a complex man, and it wasn’t until after the failure of the The Great Leap Forward (1958 – 1961) that the fatal attraction and power of leadership corrupted him leading to the horrors of The Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976), which Mao’s critics in the West use to define him.

Anyone who follows all of Mao’s life instead of relying on his last decade would understand that he cared deeply about the common people while punishing the landowners and wealthy, who abused them.  On the other hand, his foe, Chiang Kai-shek, supported the landowners and wealthy while crushing the peasants and workers.

There is a post on About China.info that says, “Mao’s poetry exhibits a spirit of boldness and power, weaving together history, reality and commitment… Bold transformation of myth and literary quotations are a distinct feature of Mao’s poetry.”

At Mao Zedong Poems, Two Birds” A Dialogue (1965), reveals what Mao may have been thinking about as President Johnson increased America’s involvement in Vietnam. Was Mao also warning us of what he was about to do in 1966, when he launched The Cultural Revolution?

Two Birds: A Dialogue (1965)

The roc wings fanwise,
Soaring ninety thousand li
And rousing a raging cyclone.
The blue sky on his back, he looks down
To survey Man’s world with its towns and cities.
Gunfire licks the heavens,
Shells pit the earth.
A sparrow in his bush is scared stiff..
“This is one hell of a mess!
O I want to flit and fly away.”
“Where, may I ask?”
The sparrow replies,
“To a jewelled palace in elfland’s hills.
Don’t you know a triple pact was signed
Under the bright autumn moon two years ago?
There’ll be plenty to eat,
Potatoes piping hot,
Beef-filled goulash.”
“Stop your windy nonsense!
Look, the world is being turned upside down.”

Through Mao’s poetry, we learn more about the man—not the modern emperor.

Discover China’s Privately Passionate Poetry

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. 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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China’s Capitalist Revolution (Part 2 of 9)

July 1, 2010

In 1978, Deng was elected leader of the Communist Party beating the Maoists.  His goal was to have China’s economy catch up with the West within 20 years. “In this new age we will focus our efforts on modernizing industry, agriculture, technology and national defense to transform the country by the end of the century in a Chinese way.”

The first challenge was to grow food for China’s starving peasants. During Mao’s failed programs, millions had died. At the end of 1979, peasants in Anhui had started a private farming system. In one year, food production had increased three fold.

Deng was happy to support whatever worked, but local party bosses resisted change after 30 years of Maoism. There was a saying, “We’d rather have the weeds of socialism than the fruits of capitalism.”

Deng surprised the Maoists by giving his blessing to the farmers of Anhui, and by 1981, Anhui was feeding itself. They said, “We’ve been liberated. It’s not like in the past when peasants were rounded up like an army.”

The next step was to modernize China’s industry and that meant China had to work with the United States. Deng also wanted and ally because of threats from the Soviet Union.

Return to China’s Capitalist Revolution Part 1 or go to Part 3

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 Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. 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.

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.


Red Dawn Remake

June 9, 2010

Cinematical reports that a remake of “Red Dawn”, a 1984 move about the US being invaded by the Soviet Union, is scheduled to be out later this year.  However, since the evil Communist Soviet Empire does not exist anymore, the remake needed another bad guy to invade the US, so they made Communist China the villain.

This resulted in Chinese newspaper headlines saying the “U.S. Reshoots Cold War Move to Demonize China.”

Judging from at least one comment on Cinematical, I’d say the Chinese have a reason to be upset.  Some person (who can’t spell or punctuate) called “Buzz” said, “Guys china is not our friend or allie.  They are still very bad people (gov’t) who want to dominate the world. Let them grip and complain. Who cares? Their newspapers are full of anyi American propaganda so why should we care what they think.” 

If “Buzz” didn’t grow up in Kentucky or Tennessee, he must be a Tibetan or Uyghur refugee.

Here are a few reasons why the Chinese might be sensitive when demonized in the West.

1. The Opium Wars (1839 and 1860) invaded by France and England
2. Taiping Rebellion (1851 to 1864) led by a Christian convert
3. Burning of the Summer Palace (1860) by a Western allied force
4. Dungan Revolt 1862 (a Muslim rebellion)
5. Yangzhou riot 1868
6. Tianjin Massacre 1870
7. Panthay Rebellion 1856 to 1873 (another Muslim rebellion)
8. Sino-French War (1884 -1885)
9. Sino-Japanese War (1894 – 1895)
10. The Boxer Rebellion followed by a Western invasion
11. The collapse of the Qing Dynasty followed by forty years of civil war and anarchy as warlords fought for control of China and the West did nothing to intervene.
12. World War II (1937 – 1945) invaded by Japan
13. The Korean and Vietnam wars, which to the Chinese were seen as threats to China considering the century that came before those two conflicts. Mao said that Vietnam was the lips to China’s teeth. What happens to the teeth when the lips are gone?

How many times has China invaded America, England, France or Japan with a military force? Has a Chinese Buddhist or any Chinese raised in Confucian tradition started a rebellion anywhere in the world?

See Christianity and Islam in China

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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