Amy Chua, a Chinese-American law professor at Yale and a mom, just wrote a book about how she raises her kids. It’s called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and I don’t usually read parenting books, but I’m considering this one. NPR has a story: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/11/132833376/tiger-mothers-raising-children-the-chinese-way
I grew up in a Korean church that had a bunch of overachieving Asian kids, but unless I was just completely in the dark none of the parents came close to being as draconian as Mrs. Chua.
But assuming that Mrs. Chua’s ultimate goal is to have her kids become super-successful, is this crazy rote drilling really the best way to go, in 2011? It’s hard to get into a school like Harvard today, even with straight-A’s, honors courses, and perfect SAT scores. They seem to demand a kid demonstrate true exceptionalism in some field, or otherwise have a connection to the school. In the work place, there are probably only a couple of professional fields–medicine, law, engineering come to mind–where raw numbers like grades and test scores are the key predictors to success. For most jobs, again, having some kind of connection is probably the most important way to get the job (and that means getting out there and networking), and being able to work together with other people is probably just as important as being individually driven, to succeed at a job.