The article entitled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” written by Amy Chua and published online in The Wall Street Journal proffered pertinent issues relative to the alleged superiority of Chinese mothers in raising their children. Chua contended that Chinese parents apply a significantly anti-thetical parenting style, as compared to Western parents, that focuses on three perspectives: (1) not being overly anxious on the children’s self-esteem; (2) believing that children owe parents everything; and (3) parents know what is best for their children and therefore decide for them, especially to the extent that children’s preferences and desires are overridden. The current discourse aims to evaluate the arguments that were asserted by Chua and assess her credibility, reliability and validity through an in-depth examination of the author’s support.
In evaluating Chua’s assertion that Western parents are being overly zealous and anxious on children’s self-esteem, she expressly indicated that “they worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recitalChinese parents aren’t. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently” . The supporting arguments are unsubstantiated and illogical. The premise was that Western parents were being over anxious on the children’s self-esteem by manifesting re-assuring behavior despite children’s apparent exhibit of failed performances. Then, the author claimed that this particular parental behavior is categorized to lack strength and be fragile; which is totally inconclusive. There is neither validity nor direct relationship between parents being concerned of their children’s self-esteem and their state of being fragile. Likewise, no valid authoritative secondary studies were aptly provided to validate the veracity of this contention.
Secondly, Chua’s assertion that Chinese parents believe that their children owe them everything was likewise unfounded. She even admitted that the “reason for this is a little unclear, but it’s probably a combination of Confucian filial piety and the fact that the parents have sacrificed and done so much for their children” . The words ‘little unclear’ and ‘probably’ confirm her lack of conviction to justify her argument. The author could have validated this statement by researching the origin of filial piety and cite the authoritativeness of the source to strengthen her assertion and justify the actions that were applied.
Finally, Chua disclosed that as parents, they know what is best for their children and therefore gives apt justification for overruling their children’s preferences and desires. Again, no validating support was given to justify the supposed behavior. It is true that parents could know what is best for their children, as taken from their perspectives. But then again, this does not justify overruling the children’s preferences and desires out rightly. The author failed to present studies to support this argument and conclude that by overriding children’s preferences, all children were in fact better off as a result.
Overall, one firmly believes that Chua presented assertions using her personal perspective and generalized them as factual for all Chinese parents. This would be acceptable if authoritative information were presented to validate her contentions and signify that indeed all Chinese parents behave exactly the same way as she does in raising their children. The lack of support, logical arguments and the tendencies to generalize behavior as applicable to all, make her overall arguments weak, ineffective, and open for rebuttal.
Chua, Amy. “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.” 8 January 2011. The Wall Street Journal. 12 December 2012