There’s been quite a buzz about Amy Chua’s new book “Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mom.” While most critics have been quick to pounce on Chua for her heavy-handed approach to parenting, David Brooks sees things from a different perspective.
“I have the opposite problem with Chua. I believe she’s coddling her children. She’s protecting them from the most intellectually demanding activities because she doesn’t understand what’s cognitively difficult and what isn’t.
Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls. Managing status rivalries, negotiating group dynamics, understanding social norms, navigating the distinction between self and group — these and other social tests impose cognitive demands that blow away any intense tutoring session or a class at Yale.”
What do you think? Is Chua just being honest about a reality (most of us coddle our already indulged children) we’d rather not think about? Or is she too narrow in her definition of success? Or is there something else in the air that has sparked this reaction?