I’m a little shattered after reading Amy Chua’s  Wall Street Journal description of her parenting style in Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.

“There’s good reason why Chinese kids excel in music, math and all academia, argues Amy Chua in her controversial new book: they were raised by “tiger mothers” who pushed and ridiculed them into success.”

Chua talks about not letting her daughters watch TV, forcing them to play the piano and/or violin, not letting them be in school plays, and refusing to let them have play dates or go on sleepovers.

But more than the physical demands she puts on her children, what shocked me the most was the example she gives when her young daughter made a birthday card for her mother and Chua responded with a. “I don’t want this,” saying that she expected to receive a drawing that her daughter had “put some thought and effort into.” Throwing the card back at her daughter, she told her, “I deserve better than this. So I reject this.”

Her parenting style goes against my Gen X grain. My mindset, like so many others is to encourage, praise, and to provide as many opportunities as possible and in general to raise a well rounded, happy child.

But, although I don’t agree with Chua’s parenting style, it does make us think. Maybe we should be demanding more from our children?

We know that Gen Y are the most protected generation of children. They’ve been raised with a child-centric parenting style, where they’ve been praised, encouraged and put on a pedestal to put it bluntly.

The result of this is  the fact that we are now experiencing an era where children are confident, probably more accurately, super confident. Take this quote from Colby Gergon, aged 21 in ‘Researching the Millenial Mind’ – “Yes we really are great. I will even go so far as to say that we are awesome. It’s something that we say because it’s a goal for us. It’s something to live up to each and every day. We constantly strive for awesomeness”

So think about this the next time you’re complaining about the ‘young snots’ that are entering your company fresh out of school or university, or  gap year experiencing different cultures and travelling the world –  demanding too much, and ultimately, with far too much confidence and not enough competence – who’s too blame for the product that the Gen Y’s are.

Maybe it is time we started demanding more of our children growing up, maybe we do need to see a little more tiger mom in ourselves.

“Battle Hymn of the Tiger Moms is a new book written by Amy Chua, a Chinese-American law professor from Yale, talking about her parenting and why Chinese kids – or any kid whose mom act like Chinese moms – excel.”

TomorrowToday Global