On Being a "Tiger Dad," With a Nod to Amy Chua's "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother"

So I’m having a little more sympathy for the famous “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua (author of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) of late, as I’m now trying to work every day on teaching my daughter to read. She attends a Montessori school, with nice teachers and much encouragement, but it seems to me a fairly relaxed, easy forum. I’m tough on Lili, drill her, cajole her, and sometimes argue with her as I try to get her to spell “skate,” “gate,” or “butterfly.” But she’s improving noticeably lately, and is at the stage where she’s now reading entire sentences. I won’t make any claims of her being a prodigy or genius (a la those learning-scam commercials on Noggin: “Your baby can read!” “Your baby can operate a forklift!”), as I think she’s at a typical reading-development stage for a five-year-old. But I know she’s responding to my disciplined approach, even if we’re not practicing spelling/reading five hours a day. But Chua’s book sounds interesting, and I can see why it’s stirred a debate about parenting. Being demanding is itself hard work, but I think it does have a tendency to pay off, as long as it doesn’t backfire. And here’s a photo of my little monkey/genius, relaxing in between her hours of rote memorization drills on how to spell “egregious” and “martinet.”

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