Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 85 - Farm

Thought of the day:  An article titled "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" appeared on Wall Street Journal last weekend and created a firestorm on the internet.  It's an excerpt from a new book "Battle Hymn", written by a Chinese-American woman who raised her two daughters with very strict discipline.  For example, she disallowed play dates, TV, computer games or any choice of extracurricular activities.  Extreme methods like scolding, threatening and even name calling were employed.  It was all very harsh, even in the Chinese standard.  The article definitely struck a nerve in me and it has been on my mind all week.  I agree with her on some things.  For example, I think it's a good idea for kids to have higher expectations of themselves and learn early on that being really good at anything takes hard work.  However, I disagree that parents, or anybody for that matter, should or could design the destiny of the kids.  Her draconian approach may work for a while, but it will not work in a long term. Actually, it may even backfire.  I think the job of parents, and of anybody who is interested in the future of a child, is to help her find and develop her potentials, give her plenty of opportunities to explore, provide support when she hits a roadblock, and cheer for her when she finds her calling.  True happiness can only come from finding your own path and destiny, not from walking down a designated path and performing tasks that you were programmed to do, no matter how good you are at them.

Photo of the day:
Jasmine is showing me her farm.  Her dream is to become a farmer someday - a dream that will surely be banned by a "superior Chinese mother".

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