Not too long ago I read the book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, and I was shocked. Truly! I’d read a page, shake my head, and say to myself, “This woman is nuts!” I made it through the last page, closed the book, and then said to myself, “I am not pushing my children enough.” Does this make me crazy, or am I just like many parents struggling to advocate for children without overdoing it?
If you read, Mrs. Chua’s blog, http://amychua.com, she proposes a more tempered approach to parenting. Having high standards for our kids can be instrumental to their development. The looming question is what are those standards and how high should they be?
The answer to this question is unique to each child. Standard solutions are nonexistent as Amy Chua found in raising her two very different daughters. The constant, however, is a belief in our children’s capacity to work hard, be disciplined, and believe in themselves. Regardless of whether they make it to the pro’s or the intramural team, they have internalized a life-lasting confidence and work ethic. Of course, pushing our children can be a slippery slope. The art is giving them unconditional love while still holding them to high standards. Simple in words but challenging in action.