Yesterday in the Sunday Times and today in the Times, there were articles about a Chinese Mother and how her methods of parenting. Basically Linda Chua has written a book entitled The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother which details how she hothoused her two daughters. She is only satisfied with the best and runs a very strict regime -- no playdates, no sleepovers, no drama productions, As are the only grade good enough and if you are taking an instrument, you practise. 3 hours per day. The parent has high expectations and does not settle for anything less
She details how she locked her 3 year old daughter out in the snow when she was defiant and how they do have screaming rows.
My children were appalled.
My daughter asked if I approved. My answer was that as I had not done those things to them, then I was unlikely to approve. The mere thought of the angst expended to force a child to practice for 3 hours day in and day out makes me want to lie down in a darkened room. There again I never wanted my children to be professional or play to a professional standard. The more time you practice, the better you will be but it needs to come from within. The desire must be inside the child. It is telling that when given the option at 13, the younger daughter immediately dropped her music in faovur of tennis.
While I do believe in parents developing their children's self-discipline, and like to think of myself as reasonably strict, life is far too short. I like celebrating achievements that matter to my children.
I loved the fact that my eldest had to discover the hard way that hard work does pay off. Not for a guitar piece but for his A levels. I think he is very proud of his accomplishments. I know I am. I also think the lesson he learnt will hold him in good stead for his adulthood.
I sincerely hope my daughter is putting in the hard work required as I believe she is capable of doing well on her A levels. I hope my youngest is doing the same with his GCSEs. But ultimately it is up to them and whether it matters to them.
Tough love is hard but there is a difference between tough love and sadistic parenting.
I make no apologies for being me and my sort of mother.
It is not a race but ultimately it is about creating indivdual who will be well balanced successful adults, no matter what life throws at them.