Chinese mom: secrets of education

How to educate their children Chinese Muminova people wonder why Chinese parents raise such equally successful and talented children? They wonder how these parents raise such a large number of brilliant young mathematicians and brilliant young musicians, how life in their families, and can use this experience.

I can tell you about it. I did it.

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Here, for example, the list of things that were always forbidden my daughters, Sophia and Louisa:

— to stay out;
— to go on the school holidays;
— to participate in school plays;
— whining that they have not taken in school play;
— to watch TV and play computer games;
— choose by yourself what to do after school hours;
to obtain any marks except the highest;
not to be the best student in the class on any subject, except physical training and dramatic art;
— play on any musical instrument except piano and violin;
— do not play the piano or the violin.

Chinese mom I understand the term "Chinese mother" is extensive. I know some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who fall under the definition.

I know some mothers of Chinese origin, but almost always born in the West who are not Chinese mothers, by choice or not.

I also use the term "Western parents" in a wide sense.

Western parents come in different types.

Even those Western parents think they're strict, and some were not with the Chinese mothers. I have a friend Western couple who consider themselves strict parents, as children are forced to play music for 30 minutes every day. An hour is the maximum. For Chinese moms hours is nothing. Here two or three is strictly.

You can show squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, but there are tons of books that indicate there is a notable difference between Chinese and Westerner in upbringing of children.

In one study, which involved 50 Western American mothers and 48 mothers from the families of Chinese immigrants, almost 70% of the Western mothers said that "to require children's achievements in school is bad" and that parents must strengthen children's belief that "teaching must be a joy".

In contrast, among Chinese mothers the same thoughts were at 0%. Instead, the vast most Chinese mothers said that they believe that their children are able to be the "best" students, that "academic achievement is the indicator of successful education in the family", and if children do not learn at one five, this "problem" and an indication that parents "do not fulfill their duties».

Other studies show that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately ten times more time to do together with the kids schoolwork. By contrast, Western kids are more likely are members of school sports teams.

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 Chinese strategy Chinese parents think that no pleasure is not in what you have not achieved success.

To learn something, you need to do, and the kids never want to do anything, so it is essential that the parents were deciding what to do.

This often requires fortitude on the part of parents, because the child will resist.

It is especially difficult when you start, so Western parents tend to give up immediately.

But if done properly, the Chinese strategy is triggered — so a virtuous vicious circle.

Persistent practice, practice and more practice is very important to achieve high qualifications; rote repetition is common in America to be underestimated. As soon as the child begins to achieve success in something — whether it's math, piano, baseball or ballet he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. It reinforces a sense of confidence, and the baby gets to like to do things that once brought pleasure. Confidence and makes cheerful cheerless before activity. This in turn facilitates the task of parents, who need to have the child worked more.

How not to feel "rubbish»

Chinese parents can get away with the fact that Western parents don't come.

Once, when I was young — maybe more than once, I acted extremely disrespectful to the mother. For this, the father angrily called me "garbage" in our native dialect Hockinson. It worked. I felt terrible, and I was very ashamed of his behavior. But it didn't hurt my ego or something else. I knew what high does he think of me. Of course, I didn't think I was worthless, and not feel like a piece of garbage.

As an adult, I once did this as well in relation to Sophia, calling her garbage in English when she acted extremely disrespectfully toward me. When I once told this at a party, I was immediately ostracized. A guest named Marcy got so upset that he cried and had to leave early.

My friend Susan, the hostess, tried to rehabilitate me in front of other guests. The fact is that Chinese parents may seem unimaginable, including even from a legal point of view, people in the West. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty, you should lose weight".

In contrast, Western parents are beginning to be sentimental when there is a similar question, to use the term "health" and in any case not to mention the word "well", but, nevertheless, children still have to show the doctor in connection with feeding disorders and negative self-esteem. (I once heard a Western father raised a toast to his adult daughter, and called her "beautiful and incredibly competent." She later told me that this moment felt like a waste.)

Chinese parents may require children to get only fives. Western parents can only ask their kids to try to learn better.

Chinese parents can say, "You're lazy. All your classmates ahead of you". By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicting feelings about life accomplishments and try to convince themselves that they are not disappointed at the successes achieved by their children.

Why Chinese parents get away with everything

I've thought long and hard why Chinese parents get away with what they do. I believe there are three significant differences between Chinese and Western way of parental thoughts.

First of all, I've noticed that Western parents are very concerned about self-esteem in their children. They worry about how their children will feel if something would fail and constantly trying to convince their children how good they are, despite mediocre grades or bad performance at the concert. In other words, Western parents are concerned about the mental state of their children.

Chinese parents aren't. They value strength, not weakness, and as a result behave differently.

For example, if a child brings home from school obtained in the exam "five with a minus", a Western parent will likely praise the child. Chinese mother will be enough air through the mouth from the horror and ask what went wrong.

If a child brings home a "b", some Western parents still his praise. Other Western parents will ask the child to sit down for a moment and expressed their disapproval, but very carefully, so the child does not feel slighted or loser, but won't speak the words "stupid," "slacker" and "shame". In a private conversation, the Western parents may complain that their child is not passed examinations or has no aptitude for something or something is wrong with the curriculum and possibly the school. If mark child does not improve, they can at least meet with the school Director to ask how the subject is taught, or to cast doubt on the ability of the teacher.

If a Chinese child gets a "b» (never gonna happen) — first there will be an explosion, screaming and tearing out hair. Then the poor Chinese mother will find a dozen, but rather hundreds of tests on this subject and will address them with the baby until, until I feel that he definitely gets "five".

Chinese parents demand perfect marks, because they believe that their child is able to earn them. If it's not set, Chinese parents assume that this is because the child does not want to work. That is why the way of dealing with failure is always the same — to hurt, punish and shame the child.

Chinese parents believe that their child is strong enough to survive the condemnation and as a result become better (and when Chinese kids achieve great results at home spill flows of the parent praise, inflating the ego).

Secondly, Chinese parents believe that their children owe them everything. The reason for this phenomenon is not entirely clear, but it's probably a combination of Confucian FILIAL piety and the fact that parents sacrificed a lot and did a lot for their children. (And it's true that Chinese mothers are injected like hell, spending long grueling hours to personally teach, train, and interrogate your children, spy on them). In any case, it is considered that Chinese children must spend their lives to repay a debt to their parents, obeying them and giving them a reason for pride.

In contrast, I don't think most people in the West hold the same point of view that children are obliged to all of them. My husband, jed, actually thinks the opposite. "Children do not choose parents, once he told me. They can't even choose to be born or not. Parents impose their way of life to children so that the parents ' duty to provide them. Children don't owe their parents anything. They will owe their own children." It seems to me that Western parents made a bad deal.

Thirdly, Chinese parents believe that they know better what their children need it, so they force children to behave in accordance with their own desires and preferences. That's why Chinese daughters can't have Boyfriends in College, and Chinese children do not go to overnight camping. It's also why no Chinese kid would never dare to say to his mother: "I got cast in the school play! I — the sixth peasant. I have to stay after school for rehearsal every day from three to seven, and will need to go to school on weekends". And God help that Chinese kid who dares to do something like that.

Don't get me wrong. All this does not mean that Chinese parents do not care about their children. Just the opposite. They will give everything for the children. It's just a completely different parent model.

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The secret of the "Little white donkey»

Here's the story in support of coercion, Chinese-style. Lulu was about seven, she played on two musical instruments, and worked on a piece for piano called "the Little white donkey" by the French composer Jacques Ibert. A very nice piece. Imagine a donkey walking along a country road with the owner on the back. But the thing is, this is extremely difficult for beginning musicians, because the left and right hand to play schizophrenic in different rhythms.

Lulu didn't work out. We worked on this nonstop during the week, training each hand separately over and over again. But whenever we tried to play two hands, one got lost in the rhythm of the other, and everything was falling apart.

Finally, the day before the music lesson, Lulu announced in exasperation that she was tired and she leaves.
— Go back to piano, — I ordered.
— You can't make me.
Of course you can.

Back at the piano, Lulu decided to get back at me. She beat-beating on the keys, grabbed the score and tore it to shreds.

I glued the torn and rolled up in plastic, that it would be impossible to destroy more. Then I took the Dollhouse Lulu in the car and told her that I would donate it to the salvation Army in pieces if she will not learn is to play "Little white donkey" by tomorrow.

Then Lulu said, "I thought you were going to the salvation Army, why are you still here?". I threatened to leave her with no lunch, no dinner, no gifts for Christmas and Hanukkah and birthday within the next for two, three, four years. When she continued to play correctly, I told her that she deliberately brings herself to a frenzy, as secretly afraid that she will fail. I demanded from her that she stopped being lazy, a coward, pander to their own abilities and self-pity.

Jed took me aside. He told me to stop insulting Lulu (which I didn't, I just explained) and that he doesn't think the threats will go Lulu good. In addition, he said, maybe Lulu really just not able to master the technique of the game, maybe she's not coordinated enough — if I'd ever thought about it?

— You just don't believe in it — I accused him.
— It's funny, contemptuously said jed. — I certainly do.
Sophia played this thing at her age.
But Lulu and Sophia are different people, said jed.
— Oh, no, not that, — I rolled my eyes. — Every man is unusual for its unusual way — I parodied — Even the losers got your own way. Well don't worry, you won't need to lift a finger. I'm going to do this as long as necessary, and I'm glad to be the parent that I hate. And you can be the one they adore because you make them pancakes and take them to the stadium when they play the Yankees.

I rolled up his sleeves and went back to Lulu. I used all possible weapons, and any tactics that I can think of. We worked from lunch until night, and I wouldn't let Lulu get up from the piano, even to drink water or go to the toilet. The house became a war zone, and I lost my voice, but progress was and even I had doubts.

And suddenly out of the blue, Lulu did it. Her hands suddenly came together, her right and left hand became completely unperturbed to play separately. Lulu realized all at the same time with me. I held my breath. She tried again. Then I started to play more confidently and faster, continuing to keep the rhythm: "Mom, look, it's easy!"After that she played this thing many times in a row and didn't want to get up from the piano.

That night she came to sleep in my bed and we snuggled up to each other and embraced. When she played "Little white donkey" at a concert a few weeks later, parents came up to me and said, "How wonderful Lulu is obtained with such passion, so in her spirit."

Even jed recognised my merits.

Western parents are too worried about the self-esteem of their children. But one of the worst things you as a parent can do for self-evaluation of your child is to allow him to surrender. On the other hand, there's nothing better for building confidence than learning it such that it felt impossible.

All parents want the same thing

There are books that depict Asian mothers callous scheming, indifferent to the true interests of their children.

For their part, many Chinese secretly believe that they show more concern about children and are willing to sacrifice for them more than Western parents, who seem quite satisfied that all goes bad.

I believe that it is a mutual misunderstanding. All decent parents want the best for my children. The Chinese have a completely different idea of how to achieve this.

Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to indulge their passions, supporting their choices and helping them in everything and creating a favorable environment. The Chinese, on the contrary, I believe that the best way to protect their children is to prepare them for the future, allowing them to see what they are capable of and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that can not be taken away.published 

©Amy Chua

Translation: Alexey Alexeev

P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©

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