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English>>China Society

Tiger’ parenting more like folk prescriptions

(People's Daily Online)

16:29, November 15, 2012

Today’s Chinese children are nicknamed “little emperors,” but that is actually not an easy thing for them. There are too many stern parents in China who expect too much of their children and force them to “win at the starting line.” Tiger Mother Amy Chua and Wolf Father Xiao Baiyou have become media sensations amid heavy criticism in recent years for sending their children to prestigious universities through super-strict parenting. Probably encouraged by such “successful” cases, an Eagle Father in Nanjing forced his four-year-old son to run almost naked in the snow, and another Eagle Father in Wuhan forced his son to take cold showers, run long distance, and perform other extreme physical training tasks.

Confucius stressed the importance of “teaching according to the student’s ability.” Teaching has no fixed ways, and the difficulty of teaching lies in correctly identifying the ability of each student. Teaching methods cannot be copied, as there are no two completely identical people. However, there are some universal principles for family education including respecting and appreciating children and helping them form good habits, feel happy, and develop an independent personality. By contrast, the non-mainstream parenting methods adopted by Tiger Mothers and Wolf Fathers are more like some folk prescriptions.

Parents need to take a calm attitude toward the “success” of non-mainstream parenting. There are always lottery winners, but it is obviously more realistic and practical to achieve wealth through hard work than through jackpot lottery winning. In fact, beating as well as “tiger and wolf” parenting has produced many unsuccessful cases. For example, a Wolf Father in Guangdong province beat his daughter to death by accident last year, and another Wolf Father in Leqing caused the death of his daughter after subjecting her to six hours of physical punishment last month.

It is important to try non-mainstream education in moderation. First, parents need to realize the chanciness and risks of such education methods. Second, they should have good motives. It would be selfish of them to use their children as unwitting guinea pigs. Milan Kundera once likened life to a sketch that cannot be modified, so patents have no right to draw on the blank page however they please.

Source:Beijing Times, author: Liu Zhiquan.

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