Childrearing

Trickle Down Tiger Mommying Is Starting To Affect My Child

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tiger momWhat may be even more difficult than having a Tiger Mom is being the mother of a daughter who has a friend who has a Tiger Mom. My daughter’s best friend at school is a girl – let’s call her Lauren – who has recently come to Canada from Beijing. Lauren is very sweet, very smart, and I’m happy that she and my daughter are friends.

But I became less happy about their friendship only last week, when both girls scored 14 out of 15 on a school math test. While I was thrilled that my daughter did so amazingly well – only the week before she got 7 out of 15 – my daughter told me that Lauren was very upset.

“She thinks that 14 out of 15 is bad. She says her parents are going to be mad at her. Is 14 out of 15 bad?” my daughter asked.

“Are you kidding me?” I responded. “Fourteen out of 15 is amazing!”

“Then why does Lauren think it’s bad?” my daughter asked.

Seriously, I would rather talk about sex than talk about strict parents – or any type of parents. I’m not judging how Lauren is raised, but it’s starting to affect how my daughter thinks about herself.

It was hard enough at the beginning of their friendship, when invitations went out for my daughter’s birthday party. Lauren, I was informed, had never gone to a birthday party before. “Can you believe that, Mommy? She has never been to a birthday party!” I had no idea what to say, because I’m not up on childrearing in Asian countries. Perhaps no one has birthday parties. Flash forward to me calling this mother frantically (she did not RSVP) because my daughter really wanted her best friend at her birthday party. It was clear, after all, that this girl really hadn’t been to a birthday party. (My daughter, as a gift, received a card. Don’t get me wrong. She got plenty of presents. I’m just pointing out the differences.)

Then there is the fact that my daughter is jealous of how well Lauren plays the piano. Lauren was asked to perform at a school function. “Well, how often does Lauren practice?” I asked my daughter. Apparently, unlike my daughter who has piano lessons once a week and may practice twice a week, Lauren has been taking piano lessons five days a week since she was 3 years old.

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53 Comments

  1. person

    February 23, 2012 at 9:39 am

    “I certainly wasn’t going to mention that Lauren’s mother needed to ask Lauren’s father, because we live in North America and I don’t believe in asking a man for anything…”

    You don’t think that maybe the child’s father should have some input on what activities his daughter goes to?

    • a different person

      February 25, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Of course she doesn’t, Eckler only views men as sperm donors….

    • Andrea

      February 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Oh man..where is the like button?? Person and another person., nicely done.

  2. C

    February 23, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I also live in North America and as a unit, I would also absolutely discuss the issue of a playdate with my husband if my child had never gone on one for cultural reasons. Seriously, there is much worse parenting that could be affecting your child. You’re lucky your daughter’s best friend has parents that care about her, even if their ways are different. So sorry they are such an inconvenience for you.

    • DebMoore

      February 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Thats exactly how I feel. 1. I always discuss those things with my husband not because I need permission but because we have a life together and it would effect him just as much as myself and really it’s common curtisy! 2. Why can’t you tell your daughter that families are different than each other? I do it all the time with my daughter. I don’t know how many times I have said “thats the way they do things, this is the way we do things and when you grow up and have a family, you can decide how you’d like to do things” It’s a great learning experiance for your daughter to know that people are different. I grew up in a very controlled enviroment and was told we were the only right ones, and it took a long time to realize, accept and enjoy the differances of other people! It’s much less stressful life thats for sure! And while it may not be “easy” I like that my daughters friends and families are different than ours, much better to teach her that at a young age then later when she is already set in her ways.

  3. Emily

    February 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

    This is one big, huge teachable moment: “Not all kids do the same activities, just like not all families celebrate the same holidays, and not all people look the same.” Repeat as needed for sleepovers, play dates, whatever – not just with Lauren’s family, but with other friends, as well. I am sure that it is not true that EVERY kid in your daughter’s class plays the piano, or EVERY child is on a soccer team. The world would be a pretty boring place if we all did the same things all the time. I bet that your daughter understands this better than you might think.

  4. katia

    February 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I love that you brought up this interesting topic…….
    yeah, the same comment stood out for me (in a negative way). I live in N.A. too. (I’m half american, half canadian, have university eduactinon and live in a liberal, large urban area.)
    My husband better ask me before agreeing to any sleep-overs especially with people i’ve never met, and he would definitely expect the same. Some people might live in Beijing and not believe in asking for a man’s permission about these things. I’m not sure why you had to lump living in N.A. with your own feelings. Am I going to far by saying it seems like you are trying to link this family being cautious with the things feminists fought against in the 60s and onward? You should maybe read a bit about Chinese history for the past 70 years (regarding gender relations). Her answer could have also been a poilte ‘no.’ (Maybe she has no intention of asking her husband and just hopes you wont ask again). I was a babysitter for a nice, very wealthy chinese woman years ago and she definitely didn’t respect her husband or even her lover (her husband was still living in china) very much. I’m sure she ‘asked permission,’ for this and that to make them feel good though. Still, no sleepovers for her lonely 8 yr old daughter, ever! (she was happy to have time away from her daughter, thus the baby sitter, just not into seepovers) I’m going to risk generalizing and say that wealthy Chinese people are often much more cautious than middle class north americans. Their kids probably have less chances to be molested, too!

  5. Michelle

    February 23, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I think it’s a good thing for kids to have friends like this. It’s important to understand different lifestyles and to view each to have their own strengths and weaknesses. My best friend in college was an over the top achiever which encouraged me to compete with her and improve my own GPA. I am a hard core crafter, she decided to join me and it helped with her anxiety issues. Why would you want to be friends with people who are exactly like you? That’s so boring!

    • Laura

      February 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      I just have to say….I love the term “hard core crafter.”

    • Laura

      February 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      I just have to say….I love the term “hard core crafter.”

    • Clericsdaughter

      February 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      You hit the nail on the head, Michelle. When I was a little kid, spending time at my friends’ houses was exactly how I learned about the ways different families were living. That kind of experience is a gift, not a curse. Even as an adult, I’m aware of how much my childhood friends have influenced my outlook on other people who may be radically different from myself.

  6. V

    February 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I just wanted to join the others in saying that your statement “..we live in North America and I don’t believe in asking a man for anything..” did not sit well with me. I was being very open minded about the other points in the article, but I think with this you are stereotyping and in a negative way.
    If you say the same thing to your daughter wouldn’t she assume that women in other parts of the world have no right to their own opinions and have to depend on their husband for decisions? That would be a very wrong message to the young ones.
    You should be glad that your daughter is being exposed to different cultures and different parenting styles. She needs to learn that not all people are the same – even the ones who grew up in North America.

    • Not Surprised

      February 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      I agree. I was understanding of the article until I reached that line. However considering this author’s previous articles I am not surprised in the least at her caviler attitude towards her “baby daddies”.
      I’m all for independent women but a child’s father, if he’s already involved in her life, should have a say in what goes on with her activities.

      BTW, I’m a woman who can fix a toilet AND hang pictures. 😉

    • Hall

      February 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      I’m glad someone else feels this way. I got to that line and had a really hard time reading on. I’d like to give the writer the benefit of the doubt but all I can see is sexism.

    • Andrea

      February 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Why would she ask? It’s just the baby daddy!

    • Steph

      February 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      I also detest the attitude that women don’t need a man for anything except fixing stuff and lifting heavy things. It’s a very pick and choose approach towards feminism.

  7. CW

    February 23, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I think there needs to be a “happy medium” between over-the-top Asian “Tiger” parenting and overly permissive typical American parenting. Yes, Lauren’s mom should lighten up a bit and allow her daughter to participate in the school play and go on the occasional playdate. But you should place more limits on your DD’s screen time and cut back on the social activities until your DD is consistently getting good (not perfect) grades. I’m sorry, but if any child of mine scored 7 out of 15 on a test, she’d have her screen and playdate privileges suspended until I was seeing consistently better academic performance.

  8. Mistie

    February 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I think a lot of you are missing the difference between “I need to discuss this with my husband” and “I need my husband’s permission.” My husband and I try to run things by each other, but if something comes up, I can make a game time decision about our daughter–he feels confident doing the same. Women in the West have more control over their lives than a lot of other cultures. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in pointing that out to our daughters and sons. You don’t have to be generalizing, racist, or rude about other people’s beliefs, but you do need to explain to children why you choose to live the way you do, i.e. I like to be in charge of my own decisions, and it’s important to find spouses, friends, and life partners that share similar values.

    • The Other Steph

      February 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      But according to the article, Lauren’s mum said, “I’ll need to talk to my husband.” That could mean, “He hasn’t met you yet so I’ll have to run it past him,”, it could mean, “My husband is our social director so I’ll check with him to see if she has anything on that day,”, or yes, it could mean, “I’ll have to ask his permission.” But don’t you see how racist it is to jump to the ‘asking permission’ assumption just because they’re from China?

    • RighttoWorkMom

      February 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Mistie, I completely agree. While Eckler definitely has points in here that rub me the wrong way, I think people are really running fast and loose with their interpretation of that statement. My husband and I discuss the schedule when we’re together and collaborate on bigger commitments like lessons and so forth, but I would not have to seek him out just to let my daughter go to a friend’s house. First, I don’t need his permission. Second, we’re married and have been for a long time, so I typically know how he’ll respond to such basic parenting questions.

      I don’t agree with this author on almost anything in regards to her daughter’s education (I’ve read her articles enough to know that), but I feel badly for her because she seems to have a large following of people who seek her out specifically because they do disagree with her on a regular basis. I take issue with her approach to homework, studying, conferences, etc., but I’ve agreed with her on so many other articles that it seems to balance out. When I see an author who invariably rubs me the wrong way, I simply choose not to read those articles – and I even have one such contributor on this site (to be fair I will admit that she doesn’t seem to be a regular or staff member, so it’s easier for me to avoid her. I say this not to make some blind finger pointing, but because I realize it can be more difficult to ignore someone who offends you on a weekly basis).

    • CW

      February 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      I would absolutely want my DH to run by me any potential playdates that are at another family’s house (as opposed to a public place like a playground, bowling alley, etc.) the same way I would do him the courtesy of the same. It’s a safety issue not a wifely submission thing.

    • V

      February 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      @RighttoWorkMom, I completely agree with your point about ignoring posts that you might not agree with. For me, this is the first time read an article by this particular author and I felt like joining in on the conversation.
      As for the part about not seeking out your husband’s opinion about sending your kid to a friend’s house..what would you do if you were in the Asian’s family’s situation? If you were in a foreign country, and your daughter was invited to her first playdate/slumber party in a friend’s house, wouldn’t you talk it over with your husband? I understand not making a big deal out of it if you know the place and the people..

    • RighttoWorkMom

      February 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      V, I guess it depends on how long we’ve been living in a new place and how well we know the culture. If we had only been there a few months, I might want to talk to him. If we’d been there a few years, probably not. Honestly, though, my husband and I talk about these things ahead of time. We know who she is friends with, so we talk about the possibility of playdates and so forth before they come up.

      Then again, I would have no problem saying to another mom, “We’re not ready for her to have a sleepover as her first time at your house. Can we arrange a playdate first?”

  9. Sara

    February 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    My kid gets a talking too if she misses anything on a test. Why? Because the problems are not difficult for her and if she misses something it’s because she’s being sloppy and slacking off, not because she tried her hardest.

    My daughter practices her piano half an hour a day. I’m certainly not spending $100 a month for her to play the piano and not practice. Why bother taking lessons at all if you never practice.

    She also doesn’t get to go play with her friends on weekdays, there’s just not enough time.

    I don’t see why it’s difficult to explain that some families are different than others. My kid has known that since she could talk. They go to one church, we go to another.

    I think you’re the problem. Unable to understand that it’s ok that people parent differently and probably also having very low expectations for your child.

  10. Jennifer

    February 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    First of all, I’m not familiar with the phrase “Tiger Mom,” and am unaware of how popular a term it may be, but I find it offensive to be used as a title for any parent whose methods one may determine are stricter than their own. I, myself, could be considered by many other parents to be on the stricter end with my son, and I am aware that most other parents at our playgroups/local library/etc haven’t the same level of expectations as I do for my son, but I would never write an article talking about “Doormat Moms.” So the title alone started my reading off a little uneasy…

    Continuing on into the article, you point out near the beginning that you are not “up on childrearing in Asian countries.” But then you continue to berate this woman, what social events she permits her daughter to attend, their lifestyle choices at home (lack of tv), the choice of gift for your daughter’s birthday (believe you me, she didn’t HAVE TO send a card… but she did), need I continue, really???

    I understand that your main point of this article is the affect her parenting style has on your daughter, but let’s get real here – your daughter is going to be exposed to so many different kinds of people, parents, teachers, etc, and it won’t matter where on Earth they originated… She will come into contact with people who will excel in areas that she either hasn’t investigated, or doesn’t invest as much effort into undertaking (the piano, was your example). If you don’t want your daughter to compare herself to others, thereby diminishing her own sense of self-worth, then YOU need to work at helping her learn to value herself as she is. I can guarantee that this will be more effective and productive than merely complaining about how other people (“Tiger Moms,” whatever other title you invent for whatever other type of person who is not EXACTLY like you) are creating these challenges for your daughter.

    Oh, and I just have to add how much I thoroughly enjoyed your one comment there, “I’m pretty sure Lauren’s mom doesn’t judges me, so I can’t judge her.” I was due for a good laugh like that, so thank you. Perhaps if you spent more time analyzing yourself, you could become a little more self-aware, and a little less judgmental toward others.

    • Tracy

      February 24, 2012 at 1:26 am

      Perhaps you should google the term “Tiger Mom” if you’re not familiar with it so you can have a basis of understanding for this story. Try to stay current; okay?

    • Barnes

      February 24, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Co-signed.

    • Barnes

      February 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

      Oh, and in case you were going to take Tracy’s (rather unnecessarily snotty) advice: FWIW, I -am- quite familiar with the “Tiger Mom” stuff. Doesn’t change anything for me.

    • Jennifer

      February 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      @ Tracy – So if there was a new, popularized term for labeling homosexuals, or any minority group of any kind, and I wasn’t privy to the knowledge of it, I would be a target for being criticized as “not staying current?” You are ridiculous. I have much better things to spend my time learning about, and more important facts than that to store in my memory (be it short- or long-term). I guess you just entirely missed my point that I am not a supporter of negative labels.

    • AlphaC

      February 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Jennifer, seriously, Google it. It’s not a “negative label” (or did not start out that way), but is a term popularized by an Asian American mother in her recent best-selling parenting book.

    • Jennifer

      February 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      AlphaC, I think this is a bit silly, but I went ahead and googled it, and I see that it originated from an author, who used it in that exact reference. But I don’t think anyone has understood my point on the subject – I began my first comment, acknowledging that I wasn’t familiar with the term, or aware of its popularity of use, but that REGARDLESS of how common a term it might be, I don’t believe in using labels like these, specifically, because it perpetuates stereotyping. There was another article on Mommyish about how we are all “tiger, helicopter, snowflake, etc, etc, etc) Moms,” and I hold the same opinion. A parent may be strict with some things, and more laid-back with other things, but by trying to put a label on that mother, a person is neglecting the fact that we all take different approaches, and instead, tries to classify them, which will cause other people to associate other attributes of the label (tiger mom, for example) with that parent, which may or may not apply.

      So I will try to clarify this one last time, and if people want to continue to nit-pick at this, it will be their own choice to waste their time, and a clear indication that they have difficulty understanding what they’ve read:

      I do not approve of titles being given to people for any reason, as it perpetuates stereotyping. When I saw a label being used in the title of this article, I thought it could possibly be controversial and/or offensive. Upon reading the article in its entirety, I discovered many more offensive comments/suggestions.

      Has anyone who has focused so intensely on this one ridiculous little detail even read the rest of my original post? Because really, my acknowledgment of not being familiar with the term had so little to do with my main points, but was merely a lead-in. Wow.

      But AlphaC, thank you for at least including the fact that “at least [Tiger Mom] didn’t start out [as a negative label].” Because it might not have began that way, but this author is clearly using it in a judgmental and offensive context. And before anyone continues to defend the status of the label as being offensive or not-so, try to ask yourself this – if you were this woman that the author of this article is writing about, would you feel offended to be referred to as a Tiger Mom in this context/article? Generally, people do not like to be labeled – especially in regard to their ethnicity (where “Tiger Mom specifically refers to Asian parenting”). Unless, of course, they are labeling themselves (as Amy Chua did originally in this regard.)

  11. Me

    February 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I know I physically read this article but my head couldn’t get past the sexism and racism in it. Great job 🙁

  12. Barnes

    February 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Following up a judgmental rant by tacking on “…so I can’t judge her” at the very end does not absolve you of responsibility for being catty and xenophobic. This article is offensive.

    Your daughter’s friendship with Lauren is teaching her that not everyone is exactly like her, and that not everyone desires to be exactly like her. It’s a good lesson, and one that’s difficult for a parent to teach with words alone, so maybe you can appreciate that your daughter is getting the opportunity to learn it through a friendship she values. And maybe it’s a lesson you ought to learn yourself.

  13. Another Eckler Gem

    February 24, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I think it’s funny how you bookend the article with claims that you aren’t being judgmental, then proceed to judge the everloving crap out of this woman and her parenting. While you teach a valuable lesson to your daughter in the beginning — “If you want to be as good as her, you’ll have to practice like she does,” it’s negated by the “I’m not saying it’s WEIRD that she gave her a card for her birthday…” BS that directly precedes it. If it really doesn’t bother you that this “Tiger Mom” didn’t get your child a present, then you wouldn’t even think to mention it.

    • Frances

      February 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      I don’t understand what’s wrong with a gift card, lol. My daughter received two for her last birthday, and she loved going to the store and picking out her own gift. I think this articles has some serious racist undertones.

    • V

      February 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      I completely agree! The fact that she remembered the birthday card and mentioned it in the article obviously means that it bothered her. What happened to “it is the thought that counts”? Do we need to give a gift of some value for birthdays for it to be considered a real gift?

      @Frances, I think the author meant a greeting card, not a gift card. I am sure she would have been very happy with a gift card and wouldn’t have complained here 🙂

  14. Fabel

    February 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

    There are ways of explaining how parental styles differ without mentioning possible cultural differences. You don’t have to tell your daughter (for example) that Asian countries often raise their children to strive for perfectionism; you can just be like “All families have different rules for their kids,” which I’m sure she’s already figured out.

  15. Cee

    February 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    There’s no need for parent conferences, dad/step dad living with your child and it doesn’t matter if she gets a low grades (NOT that it needs punishing, but it needs remediation) as long as she gets sleepovers and dancing! I suppose that’s the way of the North American woman. Perhaps going to the parent conferences WOULD help your child get better grades, hm?

  16. sweetpea

    February 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Im glad some you already brought up the `talk to my husband`point made in the article. I felt that was a bit harsh, saying that we live in North America and you have no need to ask a man for anything.
    That sounds as if you have an issue with women who choose to discuss where their children go and what they do, with their husbands. And vice versa, i`d wager.
    That comment sounds frighteningly like the kind of `THIS IS AMERICA`crap we hear from south of the border. Many `north americans`consult each other on what needs to be done with the kids.

  17. sweetpea

    February 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Ok, i just re-read what i posted, and guess what…it sounds just as bad as what this article had to say. I retract that part about the Americans. Please forgive me.

  18. Asian and proud

    February 24, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I really feel like this article is heavily stereotyping a culture and written so passive aggressively it makes me uncomfortable. The undertones of the article seem to blame the another person’s culture for her daughter’s feeling of inadequacy. If the author did not mention where the family came from and left it at “Tiger Mom” I would have found the article amusing, but because she pointed out they are from Bejing, the chinese kid plays piano and the family is too cheap to get a birthday present makes me angry.

    Being a first generation asian american, my parents were immigrants and the reason that parents push their kids so hard is because they did not have the opportunities that most first world countries have. This article is intolerant and ignorant. And just for the record, my parents let me sleep over my friends house, have my friends sleep over and let me go to birthday parties without making me play the piano and were happy for me even if I got a 10 out of 15.

  19. Julie

    February 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I’m a North American woman who appreciates tiger mothers for helping to raise standards for our children that “snowflake” moms have drastically lowered as of late. I also ask my husband for his input on many things, none of them being hanging pictures or repairing plumbing – two things I can do myself.

    This is some of the most sexist, racist, ethnocentric crap I have ever read. Disgraceful, all the way around.

  20. Melanie

    February 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

    That article was incredibly xenophobic and brought absolutely no value to readers. Not only did you generalize all Asian families, and make ridiculous assumptions (Asian people don’t have Birthday parties!?), but instead of celebrating differences and embracing learning opportunities for your daughter – you took a very judgemental “us” vs “them” approach. I would be thrilled if my daughter made friends that motivated her to do better in school and practice the piano more – what the heck are you actually complaining about?? Also what an absolutely ridiculous attempt at a feminist stance with the not -asking -a -man- for- anything and then immediately undermining it by inferring women can’t hang pictures or fix toilets. I will never read your articles again.

  21. CaneCorso Mom

    February 26, 2012 at 1:12 am

    What an incredibly ridiculous article.
    1) You were upset about the fact that your kid got a card instead of a gift, from a child who DIDN’T EVEN COME. Entitled much?
    2) You let your 8 year old watch tv whenever she wants. Perhaps that’s the reson that she’s getting 7 out of 15 on math tests?
    3) I’m not even going to say anything about asking fathers on their opinion. You’re ridiculous, and I think most of the other commenters hit it on the head
    4) Maybe YOU are the reason Lauren can’t come over for playdates and sleepovers. If I had high expectations of my child, I certainly wouldn’t encourage her to associate with a girl who, apparently, has no rules, boundaries, consequences, or expectations in her life.

    Why should Lauren’s mother allow YOUR trickle down snowflake mommying to affect HER kid, who is actually going to know how to succeed in life?

    So disgusted right now.

  22. Heather

    February 26, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Wow. I don’t know who manages this web site. Clearly, there are issues with a lot of the writing here, and maybe the management team deserves some criticism as well as the authors. But, honestly, you should be FIRED for this racist piece of garbage.

    • Jennifer

      February 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      I found myself also wondering as to the editing process for articles published on this site – I wouldn’t expect it should take so many reader comments to determine that this article was incredibly offensive, from start-to-finish. Especially given the general open-minded approach Mommyish seems to take on most subject matters discussed (birth-control articles, for example), I’m surprised they would want to be affiliated with comments/insinuations such as those enclosed in this article.

  23. Patricia

    February 27, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I lived in Beijing for 4 years and yes, parents are strict. Very much so. That’s as far as I’ll go to agreeing with you.

    Now, come on. Your daughter is being “affected” by this “tiger mom”? As your daughter grows she will get to know all sorts of people – hopefully – who live their lives diffrently and are still very happy. Learning that being different is okay is such an important part of life. It seems to me your child is fine with it, since she is friends with a child who has such a different upbringing. What’s concerning is that you are not. Your child is not being “affected” she is “living”. It is normal for a child to question herself. It means she is capable of analyzing situations; that’s a good thing. What, are you going to shield your kid forever so she never has to wonder about anything? Come on, please.

    As for the “I don’t have to ask anything from a man” part, it is so judgemental and totally backfires with the following words “except to fix a toilet”. Oh dear god, it’s like 1967 came calling and someone answered. So the woman asked her husband – the child’s father, I can’t stress this enough – on his opinion on how to raise their child. Good God that woman has a backbone missing!

    Come on.

  24. Sophie

    February 28, 2012 at 5:27 am

    This article is really offensive, I can’t believe it hasn’t been removed yet. Just terrible for so many reasons. The author needs to have a hard look at herself & mommyish needs to take some responsibility here as well, this shouldn’t have been published.

    • Sophie

      February 28, 2012 at 7:13 am

      Oh and – ‘Flash forward to me calling this mother frantically (she did not RSVP) because my daughter really wanted her best friend at her birthday party.’ – seriously? frantically?! I hope you don’t have any real responsibilities if an errant RSVP to a children’s party has you on the brink of collapse.

  25. Kim

    March 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Okay, I realize this article is 2 weeks, old but I read it and was so offended by the racism–Lauren’s family does not represent all of Asia OR all of China (hello? Do you have any concept of how large and diverse China is?) any more than you and your family represents all of North America.

    But as with most cases of racism/sexism/ageism/etc. etc., prejudice is simply a scapegoat for deeper issues. So I’ll address the deeper issue: This article is about YOU feeling inadequate, not your child.

    Another family is “ruining” your child? Give me a break. My child has friends who are allowed to go to bed an hour later than she does, can eat sweets whenever they want, get all sorts of toys that she doesn’t have, and have bigger allowances than she gets. And you know what my response is? Some version of, “Well, that’s X’s family. Not ours.”

    If you are a parent, you will come across all kinds of parenting philosophies which will be in some way ideologically opposed to your own. And I guarantee that Lauren’s parents are at home bemoaning the questions coming out of her and the fact that YOU are “ruining” their grand parenting plan for their daughter: “Why is so-and-so allowed to go to sleepovers?” “Why can’t I have piano lessons just one day a week like so-and-so?” “Why is so-and-so’s mommy proud of her for a 14 and you aren’t proud of me?”

    The variety of parenting philosophies that you come across might be challenging to YOU as a parent because you are forced to question–and perhaps even change–your own parenting decisions, but your child isn’t privy to that consternation. She just experiences the truth in this world: people are different and do things differently from each-other. And that lesson is beneficial to your child. I would bet that your child will learn great things by being friends with Lauren, as Lauren will likewise learn great things from being friends with your daughter.

    And by the way, you could do worse in the friend-selection department than a high-achieving, intelligent, hard-working, musical virtuoso!

  26. Mrs. Lynn

    March 25, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Excuse me, but I DO believe in consulting my husband on matters concerning our children and any other important decisions. He is my LIFE PARTNER after all! And I am an American wife.

  27. Si Ling

    May 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Not all Chinese parents are like Lauren’s.
    I know that because I’m Chinese. I learned to play the piano because I wanted to, not because my mom forced me to learn how to play it. I have never gotten full marks for any test or examination in my whole entire life and have even failed some of them before and my mom’s okay with that. I live in Asia, and my friends do hold birthday parties.
    I don’t think you should judge how parents parent their kids based on the race or nationality of the parents themselves.

  28. mblackm2

    August 11, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I can’t answer for all of China, of course..but my DIL is Chinese,raised around Shanghai as a child, then lived in Hong Kong for some years..and there seems to be some truth to the things alleged in the story. We were watching Chinese barrel racing, which is sort of a new thing over there, apparently..and she commented wonderingly how the riders’ parents must really be disappointed in them. When I asked why, she said because Chinese aren’t really into hobbies. I’m sure that’s an exaggeration…maybe? she came to the US when she was 16, and was supposed to start college for her Bachelor’s. She became too American and started having fun and didn’t finish her degree. She said her family was highly disappointed because she didn’t get her Bachelor’s by the time she was 20, and her Master’s by the time she was 22 or 23. She also told me quite matter of factly that she was beaten when she brought home bad grades, and left on the street once when she brought home a math paper that had a score of 60 on it..when she was 10 years old. She also told of checks for girls being on their periods at school if they tried to get out of swimming, being scolded because her hair was ‘too light’.. because it looked dark brown and not black..and wearing shirts that showed their bras so the school knew they were wearing regulation plain white bras. Whole different way of doing things.

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