…Many in China, especially in the middle class, have begun to develop an interest in the more free-wheeling child-rearing practices of the West, seen as producing more creative, socially capable and happier children.
A selection of comments left by readers in response to a translated summary of the Chua essay on WSJ’s Chinese site reflects something of this conflict:
Isn’t this how American elites are produced? If you don’t eat bitterness, then how do you achieve? Just sit there and wait for meat pies to drop from Heaven? – “Pushi Dahuyou”
I think strictness is necessary, depending on the phase. When they’re little, children have a lot of bad habits and you have to be hard in pointing those out because otherwise they don’t understand their mistakes. When they’re a little older, you guide them gently because by that point they’re already capable of thinking for themselves. — php1988
Educating a child is like raising a tree. If it grows straight, you don’t bother with it, but if it grows crooked, you have to control it. If you just let it go, it might get all twisted, and by the time it’s fully grown all you have is a piece of conceptual art. Also: Contemporary Chinese mothers are progressing with the times, not like before when all they knew how to do was beat their children into doing their homework. The problem is now the school’s are crap!!! – whuto