By now we all know that Tiger Mother is a better mom than you. Well at least Amy Chua thinks so. Her daughters aren't allowed to have sleepovers, aren't allowed to have strengths and weaknesses, and must excel in everything except the things she deems less important. They must play only the instruments she's deemed worthy: piano and violin.
Pushing excellence? Fine. Being a controlling psycho who allows no autonomy? Not so great. But it's not my opinion that matters here. After all, according to Roger Collier, I'm not the ultimate parent. Who is?
The Caucasian male.
In Collier's article "Why Caucasian fathers are superior," he says:
So it should come as no surprise that I am better at parenting than most humans (and all animals, except bison and unicorns). The reason? I'm a Caucasian male.
I have two children, a five-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter. (I will refer to them by pseudonyms they chose for themselves: Captain Batman Skywalker and Princess iCarly Montana.) They're better than your children. Not because they're gifted. Not because they go to a better school. Not because they ingest, thrice daily, a cocktail of ginkgo biloba, Vitamin B12 and amphetamines. They're superior to your children for one reason only: me.
I accept nothing less than perfection.
The entire satirical article is hilarious, as he states that there are many things in this culture that children must learn how to do, from manipulating a boss to excelling in video games and the super-essential skill of convincing a friend to trade something awesome (like a cookie) for something terrible (like a vegetable).
Instruments? Not important. Guitar Hero's got that covered, and no one ever played a baby grand all the way to CEO. Now BlackBerry texting skills? THAT'S a must.
Obviously, it's just a sarcastic slam at Chua. I find her Tiger Mom goals very important for academic success, but not for self-esteem or autonomy in the slightest, things our culture puts much more emphasis on. And that does NOT make us weak. I'd honestly hate to see how she handles things like a slow walker, a developmentally delayed child, or potty-training.
Besides, I've been that kid who is expected to excel at every single thing, ridiculed and insulted and treated like a super-failure when I couldn't be perfect at everything (by my special advanced school program, NOT my parents). All it did was leave me with an extreme fear of failure, to the point where I refuse to even learn new card games because the idea of not understanding or doing poorly terrifies me, for fear that then I will be laughed at and ridiculed and should be ashamed of myself. I may be confrontational at times, but I avoid competition to the point of researching asthma as a middle schooler and telling my mother and doctor I had all the symptoms so that I could avoid P.E., since as a delayed puberty chubby girl, P.E. was just embarrassing. (Mom, now you know. Sorry!)
I'd much prefer my kids not know how to play the piano and have good self-esteem than have them rock out the Beethoven but fear that one wrong note loses respect of their peers ... or worst of all, their mother.
And besides, I played the trumpet, and I did it damn well. But I enjoyed it most of all because I WANTED to play it. That makes my parents, and American parents, pretty darn cool. Though obviously, nothing beats the coolness factor of the unicorn.
Except maybe the Pegicorn. Overachiever ...
What do you think? Can parenting "greatness" be achieved by both sexes, all walks of life? Or do some people really do have an advantage?
Image via realsaw/Flickr