Both media and moms are abuzz about the newly released book entitled Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom by Amy Chua. In her book, Chua extols the power of parenting the way the Chinese do it through strict, uncompromising values. In her memoir she pits the Chinese style of parenting against what she considers the ineffective and self-indulging Western style of parenting. Granted, we do not want to raise wimpy, self-centered kids, but on the other hand we do not want to create overly-driven, stressed-out perfectionist either. As the author of the Power of a Positive Mom, I have my concerns about Chua’s relentless insistence toward perfection and her demanding (and almost brutal) methods of parenting. Certainly there is a healthy balance.
The goal of a positive mom is to raise kids who grow to be well-adjusted, hard-working adults, who are full of integrity and give back to society. By caring about the hearts and minds of their children, positive moms help their kids learn the worth and value of every individual. A tiger mom may raise over-the-top driven kids who achieve straight A’s, but at what cost? How do we define true success in parenting anyway?
My desire is to raise kids who make a positive contribution to society whether they are at the top of the corporate ladder or serving in the housing projects in Waco, Texas - which is precisely what one of my daughters is doing as the founder of Waco Arts Initiative. My other daughter faithfully volunteers at a Crisis Pregnancy center in downtown Houston while balancing a very active, full-time job. I’m proud of both of my daughters because they are using their gifts and talents with excellence to serve their community in meaningful ways.
Life is not about what I can achieve to perfection or what I can drive my kids to achieve. Life isn’t perfect and neither are people. There is more to life than being at the top. True success is using our gifts and talents to make a positive difference in this world.