Thursday, February 3, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Sheep Mother

Could not find a picture of me hugging a sheep so here is a cute one of Jamie and Wilbur welcoming spring of '08.

I recently read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. As my cool cousin, Mrs. Schinandez puts it "the book that everyone is talking about, but no one has actually read." 

Ms. Chua is was born in the Chinese zodiac year of the tiger so she is a Tiger Mother. She is "willing to engage in battle with undying courage." with her daughters. She wrote honestly about how she forced her daughters to excel by threatening and belittling them. There were many times throughout the book when I thought Ms. Chua was off her rocker and not just when she made her kids practice their music 5 or 6 hours a day without toilet breaks. 
But mostly I felt sorry for her. She depended so much on what other people thought about her children for her own happiness. She stated that she was never more proud of her daughters then when she received compliments following her daughter's flawless piano and violin recitals. 
To judge yourself based on the offhand praise of people, who don't even know you or your kid, seems wrong and a really rotten way to parent.  
One of the toughest things to do as a mom- and maybe this is my American way of thinking- is to recognize that your kids are their own people and when they do well, it is definitely not because they have good parents, it's because they did well as themselves. And when they mess up, it's not our fault as parents- it's because as little humans, they make mistakes. 

Out of curiosity, I looked up the Chinese zodiac for my birth year and learned that I am a Sheep. While a "sheep mother" doesn't have the same cool factor as a "tiger mother," I can tell you that this ewe feels pretty positive about her kids future resilience and character.

1 comment: