Sunday, January 23, 2011

No Battle Hymn from me

The Chinese mother who has written the book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has kept news stories and bloggers busy this week.

If you have not heard about it, I wrote about it last week also, but to explain a little, Amy Chua is a Chinese mother living in the USA raising daughters in the way she says is a very traditional "Chinese" way, in other words, very strict. When trying to help her children achieve goals, she did not hesitate to resort to almost bullying methods to ensure her daughters' successes.

I asked my daughters, since they have had experience with both an American mom and a Chinese mom, through the foster care system, if their foster mothers were more strict.

Grace told me I was like her foster mother and was NOT strict. For Annabel, anything Chinese is superior right now.

Neither had experienced anything like what the Chinese mother described, there had been never been a time when they were treated badly when they not done their best.

Yet, something happened last Sunday that made me wonder what has happened in their lives. After spending way too long trying to get some items returned, our plans were to shop so the girls could spend their Christmas money. Before we had left home, I had printed coupons to help stretch their money further and the last thing before we left home, I reminded them to get the coupons a couple of times.

When we got to their stores, there were no coupons.

Aaarrggghh! You know the look on my face was not love and kindness and I told them we would just go home, but somehow the way they looked at me made me stop. They looked as if they expected to be hit or screamed at, really they looked quite scared.

I'm not trying to get nominated for mom of the year, but the look in their eyes told me that flexibility was going to be much more important than making my point on remembering things that are important.

I am also thankful for how our technology has advanced because then we could all be happy because I could pull up the coupons on my new phone.

It's really hard sometimes to remember that my girls are "kids". They handle themselves pretty maturely and do a lot better at things than I did at their age. But they really missed getting to have much of a childhood because they had to be responsible. I think it is time for them to get to be kids.

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