Some children of so-called “Tiger Moms” grow up to be smug, arrogant, and delusional Professors at Yale. Others run away from home before they even start college (on full scholarship, of course) to do porn. Amy Chua is one the former. Asia Carrera is one the latter.
Chua puts her (and her mother’s) approach thusly (summary from the article):
Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore override all of their children’s own desires and preferences. That’s why Chinese daughters can’t have boyfriends in high school and why Chinese kids can’t go to sleepaway camp. It’s also why no Chinese kid would ever dare say to their mother, “I got a part in the school play! I’m Villager Number Six. I’ll have to stay after school for rehearsal every day from 3:00 to 7:00, and I’ll also need a ride on weekends.” God help any Chinese kid who tried that one.
The only remotely-sane part of the “Tiger Mom” approach espoused by Chua and her ilk that is that it’s often (if not always) better for parents to push their kids to acheive, but there’s a freakin’ limit, one of which she is painfully unaware! Her style of parenting is exactly what led brilliant (MENSA brilliant) child prodigy Asia Carrera to run away from home and pursue a career of getting paid for sex.
I’m pretty sure few – if any – Tiger Mothers want their sons or daughters to be porn stars, yet it seems very few – Chua especially – fail to comprehend the real dangers of pushing your children too-hard and controlling every aspect of their lives.
Luckily, Asia Carrera has been kind enough to share her story in the FAQs on her site, which should serve as a lesson for all current and future/aspiring Tiger Moms, emphasis mine:
“How can we avoid repeating your childhood story with our own precocious little one?”
I get this question from concerned parents fairly frequently, and my immediate response is this – “the fact that you’re even writing to me to address this issue means that you’re aware of a potential problem, and taking steps to prevent it, which puts you miles ahead of the game already!” I get tons of commiserating e-mails from bright young people my age, (mostly asians) whose parents also pushed them far beyond the limits of what should be expected from children. Some are still struggling to live up to their parents demands, writing to me from prestigious universities, where they were on their way to becoming doctors and lawyers, and some of the letters were from unfortunate souls who had snapped under the pressure, and either broken off contact with their families, or run away from home, like I did.
The sad thing about all these e-mails is that neither group seems to have found any happiness, because the kids who are pleasing their parents are resentful, wishing they’d followed their own dreams, and those who DID leave home wonder sadly if their stubborn independence was worth turning their backs on their family for…
It’s a no-win situation for the kids, so it’s up to the PARENTS to prevent it from happening! Parents, of course you want your kids to do the best they can, and when you have an exceptionally bright child, that urge to push them towards success gets even stronger. But please remember that your kids are just that – KIDS, and they need to have time to play, grow up, and experience a childhood too! They’re not little adults who agree that “sacrificing playtime is imperative in the quest for ivy league college acceptance”, and even though you WILL know better as the adult, sometimes you have to step back and let them learn things on their own, and make some mistakes on their own.
Try to point them in the right direction, without subconsciously forcing them down the path that you’ve decided they should take. The bottom line is, which is more of a success story in the end – A kid who’s been coerced into med school and a huge future paycheck, while resenting his parents for killing his dream of being an artist/musician/etc…. or a kid who’s struggling to succeed in a field he loves, with a supportive, loving family behind him 100%?
Why am I writing this and what on earth does it have to do with Finance/economics/the normal stuff I write?
This, from her (slightly dated) bio:
My Idol – Warren Buffett! *sigh*… Warren is the legendary financial genius behind the most expensive stock in the world, Berkshire Hathaway. He was the richest man in America before Bill Whats-his-name and the Silicon Valley geeks took over, yet he’s always remained a modest and down-to-earth kinda guy. For years, I invested only in mutual funds, but finally I gathered the courage to buy some baby Berkshire shares right before the tech collapse. Go Warren!
I don’t know how to contact Asia (nor do I care what her real name is, but that’s another story), but if I could, I’d ask her to join the Stone Street Advisors team. I’d tell her to get into Stocktwits and investing, and use that big beautiful…brain to analyze and trade, and to share her thoughts with the world here and on ST!
Alas, I do not have her contact info, but if anyone does, please forward this to her and ask her to get in touch, as I think it would be great for all of us!