The author Amy Chua proposes some questionable tactics and I do not condone or fully approve of her opinions but she does have many points which I concur with : namely that the lax parenting of Western parents lead their kids astray and that the bullshit about discipline ruining kids image of themselves and their self-esteem is merely illusionary. Kids who respect their parents are not neccessarily obedient robots with no individuality or independent thought to their credit, they simply are cultured enough to understand that without their parents they would not be where they are : parents leave lasting imprints onto kids and influence greatly their psyches.
I espouse the school of thought that my kids will be disciplined but not to the point of severe strict suffocation and over-protectiveness. Kids need to experience and experiment but they need clear, clean-cut guidelines without which they will lose themselves.
I believe in filial piety and duty. My mum sacrificed her whole life and more to the good of her children, she was a sort of tiger mum as prescribed by the above mentioned author and in some respects and aspects was a little misguided but I believe that ultimately she had her childrens best interest at heart even if she was over-protective and thus in being so ruined my brother's independence.
I want my children to respect their parents and moreover to forever feel that I support and love them but that they at the very least owe a filial obedience and duty because of all the sacrifices that were made by their parents and foreparents.
I want them to understand that if I push them to the limits it is because I care for their well-being and their future. They can disagree but they have a duty to honour me and their dad. I do think that if I ever say things like 'you are stupid' because in that particular instance I do think that but not overall just a momentary and instantaneous thing that that will not damage their self-esteem or self-worth. It is worse when Western parents who do not ever freely and openly discuss their dissapointment and yet the child feels that all the same: they feel more shame than if it was said and later forgiven and forgotten.
Self-esteem and self-image and worth are complex entities and concepts. I have never felt belittled by my mum eventhough I remember clearly being scolded, yelled at and 'in the eyes of a Westerner' abused mentally or otherwise. It is to me much worse to be told that one is great and yet deep down know that that greatness is just fabricated. The American way is to honour mediocrity, it works in American society because they emphasise so much on 'encouragements and positive criticism or lack thereof'.
I could write an essay on self-esteem and all the associated press but I leave that for another time.
I just want to state that I agree in part with Amy Chua in that if I ever get caught screaming at my kids and pushing them to study or to practise to be the best they can be without cowering down and giving up I am doing my kids a service and they in turn will not see that as child abuse.
I do sincerely hope my kids will get to read my memoirs in the form of this blog and realise that all along I wanted the best for them with their best interests at heart but that they better not put me in a nursing home. (my tongue firmly in my cheek)
They do owe me at the very least years of wiping my butt, spoon-feeding me and humouring me with their presence but most of all RESPECT.