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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eastern vs Western concept of parenting

I read Reader's Digest yesterday and I encountered an excerpt of a book published in that month respective issue (I can't remember which month it was from). The book is actually a parenting memoir of Amy Chua entitled "Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother" and as being interviewed by Reader's Digest, the respective book received many controversial opinions when its excerpt was once published in Wall Street Journal

Similarly to the parenting memoir of Amy Chua, my mum, who is a single parent is a 'Tiger Mother' herself. Being raised up by a single mother and growing up in a mix parentage background doesn't make my family different from other Asian family. In fact, I could see how different we are being raised up from my cousins or other relatives whom father or mum is a Westener; yerp, being 24 and still living with my mother.  She was a headmistress and we're living in a teacher's quarters before. Consequently, my mum is well-known for being a very strict English teacher and that character would never fade when  she was at home with me.

I am an excellent student. I got straight A's in most of my examinations and I did very well at school. Of course, there were times when I threw my tantrum and my mother was frustrated with me. But from the perspective of a child (who is considered 'pre' mature lol), it's not because on how my Asian single mother raised me up. The seed of patience, perseverance, hard works, doing my best and the most important 'nilai-nilai murni' of 'mengenang jasa orang tua' are being planted in me since I was a child. As a consequence, it motivates me to work harder and to believe ' Why B+ if you can get an A?' as Amy Chua emphasized in her interview.

The critics that Amy Chua received based on her upbringings of being a strict Asian mother is unfair and judgemental. There are thousand out there, not only Asians in particular whom being brought up by strict parents. For example, in Malay family, we don't believe that physical abuse is necessary, but canning is a way to portray a warn. Sometimes I do think that canning would nurture a child to be afraid of his or her parents rather that to respect them, yet it really works in Asian (Malaysian) family. Yeah, a child could run at least 100km/h when his or her parents pronounce the word 'ROTAN'.

Besides that, the way Asians parents brought their children up is a way that convey Thomas Alva Edison's words;

                 "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. "

In this case, my mum is my inspiration and I perspire through my life journey and that really teach me a lesson that "Kejayaan bukan datang bergolek" dan "Usaha Tangga Kejayaan" *.

Another thing is that Asian parents are streotyped to produce children to be always succesful in professionals field, music mastery and so on. Well, I am quiet agree on this opinion. This is because it could be seen on how my society is being obsessed by their children professions. As an evident, parents are very proud if their children manage to win a Medical Scholarship rather than a person who choose teaching which is a semi-professional profession. The golden rule is here; you are a throphy child if you choose your path of life with a popular profession rather than a profession that you really into. Personally, this is what I always faced in my life. I choose a profession as a teacher its not because thats the only course that I could get, it's just because that I rather see my students' faces rather than facing sick patients everyday. It's not that I'm saying that being a doctor is boring and I know that it doesn't suit me well. I may quit in the mid of my medical degree. Who knows?

Well, the bottom line is it is not your race that made you to choose your parenting style. It's more to what you believe the best of your children. I am an Asian, but I don't believe to raise up my voice to my future children when it is unnecessary.


Ibrahim Ismail said...

Hey I remember reading it as well!

I start to like your current writing style. It's formally elaborated, its own personal touch. Looking forward to know you more. ;-)

NC said...

will improve. thanks for commenting