Amy Chua’s fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal last week has been causing shock waves of cultural angst.
“Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” argues that American-style parents are failing to teach their children proper discipline that is needed for success and self esteem. Instead, American-style parents mistakenly promote a self esteem of low expectations, which becomes a vicious cycle downwards.
In addition, Chua (who is a professor at Yale Law School) also argues that parents MUST be strictly paternalistic toward their children, and substitute their own preferences for those of the prevailing culture of self indulgence.
For a counter-story to this, see this follow-up in the New York Times yesterday, “Retreat of the ‘Tiger Mother’”.
The bottom line is: Virtues are good. But virtue taken to the extreme becomes a … vice!