I have been putting off writing this review as I have been processing and thinking about the book.
I rate a book good by
- the time afterward I spend thinking about it and
- the time afterward I spend talking about it
Suffice it to say I have spent A LOT of time thinking about and talking about this book. It has made me wonder a lot about what it is I want for MY children. Up to now I was really not thinking much about should they play a musical instrument, should they become doctors or even if they should go to University. I was really just hoping for a good night’s sleep every now and again.
My Master plan was for them to figure it out and we would take it from there. Well. That plan’s out the door for good thanks to Amy Chua.
Interestingly enough a friend recently got married to a Taiwanese darling Daniel calls a ‘little girl’ and they were here on honeymoon when I was reading the book. I asked her if it was like that for her as well when she grew up and she said yes, not having an A was not accepted. She is a teacher now and many, MANY children in Taiwan go to school from 8am in the morning to 9pm, 6 days a week. How can this be good for children? Surely they should be given the opportunity to be Children?
But where does this leave us as parents?
I’m not suggesting that I will make my children practice piano 90 minutes a day because, quite frankly, I would also like to have a life and there are 3 children in our house. I tried to imagine doing a full-time job (I wish) and then coming home to 4.5 hours of piano practice. It simply does not compute.
BUT what I have considered is that if they decide to take up something best they stick to it and at least master it. I don’t expect them to only be the best because failure is humbling and life sometimes is about failure, but that’s what teaches you resilience.
I want, for my children, (sorry Etienne, I say My and Mine, but I know you feel the same) to be happy and confident and humble. I want them to respect each other and their parents. I want them to feel like they can master anything they attempt. I want to embrace them each as an individual and steer them to be the best they can be, not push them.
I want them to make life choices for themselves, not because they think they will please Etienne and myself, because in the end that is a recipe for failure.
I might read this in 10 years time and roll my eyes at my 38 year old self, but for now that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Read the book, you might not agree with a lot of what she says, but it will certainly make you think.