The Tiger Mother Debate

Amy Chua recently released a book titled Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. There has been a lot of hot debate over this book. Her strict authoritarian style of “Chinese” parenting, has touched a nerve with Asians and non-Asians alike. In case you are not familiar with the subject, here is one article, an interview with Ms. Chua by Globe and Mail: Be sure to read some of the reader comments too, they are great.

I think every Asian knows the stereotype Amy Chua is so proud to be an example of. I have lived half a century among such mentality. In the last few years, on my way to becoming a Soul Coach, I have actually made major strides to remove some deeply entrenched subconscious programming in myself, directly related to this kind of cultural beliefs. And I am not entirely free yet. As a Soul Coach, I am working with people in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, even 80’s, who are now suffering mentally, emotionally and physically, from an overly demanding childhood upbringing. Approaching retirement after a successful career, they still feel they have not achieved enough. Surrounded by respectful and accomplished children and grandchildren, they still feel their lives are incomplete. They cannot find satisfaction. They cannot feel peace. The critical commands of their long-departed mothers continue to echo inside their heads.

Everything we do affect seven generations, according to the Natives. No matter whether we have physical descendents or not, we all have spiritual descendents. So the bad news is, our woes do not end with our deaths. We have and will continue to affect the world. The good news is, we all have the power to change the course of our lives this very moment, and the lives of those behind us; we can also heal up our ancestral line as well.

There are only two states in the Universe: love or fear. The idea that we are separate from one another is fear. To wish to be better than others means the desire to separate, which is fear. The idea that there is not enough food, money, love, abundance to go around is fear. To need to fight for everything means a believe in shortage, which is fear. Every one of us came from the same Divine Source. When scientists peered through powerful microscopes to the quantum level, they found that all objects turned into waveforms, and all the waves flowed together. This is hard evidence that indeed we are all one. To criticize another is to criticize ourselves. To criticize ourselves is to criticize the Divine Source. To gain at the expense of another is to step on our own toes. Love is doing the very best within myself, and believing that others have also done their best.  Love is accepting myself the way I am, and accepting others the way they are.  Love is trust, acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, generosity, peace and harmony. Living in love leads to abundance both internal and external, and a most fulfilling and desirable life. Fear comes from living in mind-consciousness. Love comes from living in heart-consciousness. Fear is impermanent. Only love is real. The solution to all human issues begins with self-love.

Psychiatrists tell us that 95% of how we do everything come from our subconscious programming. Our subconscious minds hold everything that we do without conscious effort. This includes DNA programs like breathing and heart beating, learnt programs like language and driving; cultural, ethnic, societal, and familial belief systems like Ms. Chua mentioned; as well as associations from our own experiences along the way, both pleasant and unpleasant. The unpleasant experiences that we have not made peace with are called our shadows.

I do not have children. Not by choice, but by divine design. Parenting is a very challenging job. The most popular job on Earth and yet there are no schools for it. For this reason, parenting is a classic activity where we default to our subconscious instincts, including our shadows. There are two possibilities for a person’s chosen style of parenting. (For simplicity, “mother” here refers to either parent). In situations where the mother considers her own childhood experience pleasant, she will do exactly as her mother parented her. In situations where she considers her own childhood experience unsatisfactory, she will rebel and do the opposite of what her mother would have done. But this gets dicey, as she is stepping into unchartered territory; one further move and she defaults right back to her own subconscious programs… unless she goes inward to her heart, where all real answers lie.

Ms. Chua stated the obvious that she is bringing up her children the way she was brought up. For her to proclaim that it is the best style of parenting is simply saying that the Tiger Mother style suited her own personality to a “T”. She is a law professor. What do lawyers like to do? Find fault, fight, and win? For her to claim that this parenting style is also the best for her two girls is presumptuous. Although, the girls’ souls chose her care for their life lessons, and therefore spiritually it must be the right path for them, regardless of whether they excel or disintegrate as a result. How the girls actually turn out at the end of the day, no one on Earth will know for another half a century.

Three peas in a pod. What they choose to do with their lives is really their own domestic affair. The question for us as readers is what was provoked within ourselves. Did you feel a touch of jealousy or envy? Did you cringe in bad memories? Was it total indifference? Or did you marvel at the colorful kaleidoscope of personalities that co-exist on Earth? Amy Chua is a reflection to a lot of us. What we see in the reflection is completely dependent upon our own experiences and level of awareness. For me, I know that if I had children twenty years ago, I probably would have done similarly. But I am so glad I had not, to be honest. I am very happy for the spiritual journey that I have been bestowed. Been there, done that. Thanks for showing me how far I have come, Amy!

Lol, KayMy grumpy tiger daughter