Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Book Summary - Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Book explained in key points
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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother summary

Amy Chua

Raise your children, the South East Asian way

3.7 (80 ratings)
11 mins

Brief summary

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua is a memoir about raising children the Chinese way. She advocates tough love, discipline, and an emphasis on excellence over indulging in Western-style parenting that prioritizes a child's feelings over achievement.

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    Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
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    Chinese and Western parental mind-sets differ greatly.

    If you’re a parent, you want the best for your children. However, Chinese and Western parents have very different views on what “best” means. Here are three primary differences:

    First, Western parents want their children to have high self-esteem, while building self-esteem doesn’t hold much importance for Chinese parents.

    Western parents become concerned about their children’s feelings if they lose or fail. On the contrary, Chinese parents expect inner strength from their offspring, rather than believing they’ll be easily hurt. If a Western child doesn’t do well in school, for example, her parents will often be tactful and try not to hurt the kid’s feelings when expressing disapproval. Chinese parents, on the other hand, respond to poor results by demanding improvement, no matter how this may affect their child’s self-esteem.

    Second, Chinese parents believe that their children owe them everything.

    This likely stems from a combination of the Chinese tradition of respecting one’s elders and the fact that Chinese parents work very hard to ensure they can give their children a good education. The Chinese perspective is therefore that the children should spend their lives paying back their parents by making them proud. Western parents think otherwise. They believe that as it was they who decided to become parents, it’s their duty to take care of their children and that their children don’t owe them anything.

    Third, Chinese parents feel that they know what is best for their children.

    While Western parents usually ask their offspring what activities they’d like to try, Chinese parents believe it’s best to tell children how to spend their time. What their children want for themselves plays a far lesser role, if any.

    This means you’ll never hear of a Chinese child coming home from school and announcing proudly to her parents, “I got a part in the school play.” This is because Chinese parents feel it’s best for their offspring to only partake in extracurricular activities in which they can win a medal – preferably a gold one.

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    What is Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother about?

    Amy Chua was born in the United States to strict Chinese immigrant parents who pushed her to work hard and succeed instead of coddling and encouraging her. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (2011) is about her experience of raising her third-generation kids according to her parents’ old-school beliefs. Chua offers not only an insightful and often controversial take on parenting, but also a memoir of a very stern yet loving tiger mother.

    Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Review

    Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (2011) is a thought-provoking memoir that explores the controversial parenting methods of Amy Chua and why it's worth reading:

    • Through honest storytelling, it gives readers a firsthand account of a Chinese-American mother's strict and demanding approach to raising her children.
    • It raises questions about cultural differences in parenting styles and challenges conventional Western notions of success and achievement.
    • With its provocative narrative and insights into the pressures and sacrifices parents make, it captivates readers, making it anything but boring.

    Who should read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?

    • People who work with children – and their parents
    • Parents who are curious about non-Western child-raising methods
    • Anybody interested in an unusual family memoir

    About the Author

    Amy Chua is the John M. Duff professor of law at Yale Law School. Her book Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance – and Why They Fall was an acclaimed bestseller. In 2011, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.

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    Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother FAQs 

    What is the main message of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?

    The main message of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is the strict parenting style and high expectations of the author in raising her children.

    How long does it take to read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?

    The reading time for Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is worth reading for its insight into a unique parenting approach and its exploration of cultural expectations.

    Who is the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?

    The author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is Amy Chua.

    What to read after Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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