Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

All parents want the best for their children but how is this to be achieved?

Amy Chua was convinced that this meant raising her daughters as she had been, with an unblinking focus on their academic achievement, while also enforcing many hours a day of violin and piano practice to attain musical excellence. Certainly no time is to be wasted on unproductive activities such as watching TV or play-dates.

Her account of the emotional battleground that ensued as she exerted her will (for instance threatening to take out all their stuff animals and burn them if piano practice wasn’t perfect) is told with great humour and an awareness of how extreme her approach will appear to people used to the more liberal western approach.

The discussion at book club, following reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was wide ranging. It made some of us question whether we should have been more like a Tiger Mother with our children. Some were shocked when Amy rejected her daughters’ hand made birthday cards for not being made with sufficient effort while others could see how she was justified. Interestingly, all five of us agreed that we had really enjoyed the book.


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