Professor Joshua Belknap | Co Req ML | Fall 2023

11/27/23: Why Chinese Mothers are Superior

Read the Chua article “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” and write an essay responding to the ideas it presents. In your essay, be sure to summarize the passage in your own words, stating the author’s most important ideas. Develop your essay by identifying one idea in the passage that you feel is especially significant, and explain its significance. Support your claims with evidence or examples drawn from what you have read, learned in school, and/or personally experienced.
Post your response to the reading passage here. Your response should be at least five (5) paragraphs long.


  1. Jguarango21

    The way I see this article by Amy Chua is that she states that “nothing is fun until you’re good at it.” I can understand why a child should experience a little of everything and also push them to be better than yesterday so that in the future they have something good guaranteed. The problem with this is that you have to cancel any preference that would ensure that they are a “perfect” child. However, it lets us know that by treating children like this they also worry about their self-esteem or so they say.

    Apparently this strategy of raising children like this is characterized by a focus on excellence and creating something beautiful. By taking them further and surpassing yourself you bring something good to them which is praise, admiration and satisfaction. This leads them to have a better and happy life. But how they manage to do it, through manipulation from an early age. So when they grow up it is easier to do what they want and not what the child wants.

    If I were to give an essay about how my parents raised me and a Chinese person read it, they would see in a very bad way how I was raised. Even though they get good grades, they don’t care about anything more than creating someone good for later. Parents want to instill something that children do not want and I have been there for a while but then I was given the opportunity to choose my decisions.

    From an early age it is easy to sow creativity and encourage the child’s passions. Creating this image in the child prepares them for the future. The problem here is that Chinese parents can do whatever they want and no one tells them anything. Maybe they see that they are successful but it causes stress, anxiety and lack of emotional resilience in children.

    In conclusion, Amy Chua’s essay sparks a debate about cultural differences in parenting styles and raises questions about the balance between discipline and fostering individuality. While her perspective challenges Western norms, it is crucial to recognize the diverse approaches to parenting and the different outcomes for children based on cultural and individual factors.

  2. Rojina

    In the article, the author explains to us that Chinese mothers have the ability to raise a successful generation, even though they are cruel to their children. In addition, he gave us three reasons that explain the way Chinese mothers deal with their children so that they are strong and successful. The problem was that Western parents feared for their children’s feelings, while Chinese mothers did not worry about what affected their children. Also, Chinese parents believed that their children owed them. Moreover, they ignored their children’s wishes while saying that they understood what was best for their children.                                                                                      I agree with the writer on most of the reasons why Chinese mothers are strong in caring for their children, but regarding the fact that children are indebted to their parents in their lives, I do not see this as fair from my perspective and as it places more responsibility on the children than they can bear.                                                A related example of the article: For me, when my parents were raising me, they were very educated in terms of knowledge, just like the Chinese parents. I think that this is not bad for us as children, and it may make us more committed to success in our academic and practical lives so that we can be at our best. But most of the time, our energy is overloaded, and this makes us stronger, but many of what we dream of doing may not be achieved due to excessive stress. In addition to this stress in education, it makes us able to respect the decisions of others and listen to the opinions of others. This is how my parents raised me in a way similar to my Chinese mother.                                                           Another example regarding the article: Be a mother of three children, and I think it would also be good for our children, is to teach them that scientific life is very important for their lives so that they can be better. Besides, we do not hold them responsible if they do not survive, as Chinese mothers do. Children in their upbringing differ from one child to another. Sometimes the child has abilities in other things and skills and is also successful in them. Because I am a mother, I do this with my daughters. I always tell them that there is a return when they get high grades. Which encourages them to succeed more.indeed that me when I’m raising my kids related to Chinese mother.                                                To conclude, Chinese mothers or other mothers do not always have the right to how to raise a child, and I may also make a mistake in the way I raise my children, but first and foremost, as mothers, we all want our children to be better than us, to live in a comfortable future.

  3. Daria Danchenko

    In the provocative “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” Amy Chua asserts the efficacy of Chinese parenting in producing academically and musically successful children. The strict and regimented approach she describes, barring sleepovers and demanding excellence in every endeavor, closely mirrors my understanding of Slavic parenting. Both value unwavering discipline, a concept I’ve discussed with peers who’ve navigated similar familial expectations.

    Chua’s article hinges on a significant idea: the belief that children owe their parents and must repay them through obedience and achievement. This sentiment is all too familiar in Slavic culture, where, as I’ve noted before (on perusall), children are often raised with a strong sense of duty and indebtedness to their parents. It’s a cultural echo that children exist in part to serve and honor their family, a notion I find personally and ethically complex.

    Reflecting on both Chinese and Slavic upbringing, I’ve observed a shared intensity in educational rigor. However, as I previously pointed out, such intensity can instill a sense of guilt and neurosis in children, leading them to equate their worth with their achievements. In conversations with friends from these backgrounds, I’ve seen the emotional costs of this pressure firsthand, contradicting the holistic educational values we’ve learned in school.

    Chua’s article has indeed sparked introspection on the broader implications of such parenting. While she champions a method that can lead to measurable success, the hidden price is often a child’s emotional well-being. From my perspective, this mirrors the struggles within Slavic families, where children also must navigate a path carved by rigorous expectations and strict oversight.

    In closing, while Chua’s insights into Chinese parenting offer a stark view of a high-achievement culture, they also open the door for a dialogue about balance. Drawing from my personal observations and academic learning, I advocate for a more nuanced approach, one that harmonizes the pursuit of excellence with the cultivation of well-rounded, emotionally healthy individuals. Such a balanced approach, I believe, would resonate with many students of diverse backgrounds, offering a blueprint for success that does not sacrifice personal happiness.

  4. Fernando Fernandez

    Why Chinese Mothers are Superior. The reason is because they have restrictions, but not just any restrictions, but beyond what a western american parent would. The author stated that she won’t let her kids attend a sleepover, be in a school play, complain about not being in a school play, watch tv or play computer games, choose their own extracurricular activities, and not play the piano or violin. A western american parent would let their kids do what they want, not really, but they would let them choose what their kids love and support them, they look for happiness for their kids. On the other side, Chinese or Korean, Indian, Irish and Ghanaian, they look for perfection for their child, they try to teach them something even if they don’t want to do it, they say something is not fun until you are very good at it, they are strict about what they do and how they do it. “For example my western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes everyday”. They would punish their child to teach them something and if they do it wrong they keep punishing them till they do it right and if they get an A- in a test they wouldn’t be happy, instead, they would freak out and tell them to do better and would try to fix it. The worst thing a parent can do is let their kids give up. They teach them to be better and to build confidence. All parents have different ways to raise and educate their children and Chinese people just have a different way to do it.

    The way the Chinese raise their childrens can be good and bad. They try to build confidence and to not give up. They want their kids to be better and perform well on what they are doing. And they have restrictions, restrictions are good to take care of your kids, to not let them do bad things. But you can’t restrict them from everything, if you are going to teach your child something and punish them to be better at it, it needs to be something they like, if they like any sport, instrument, art, you can’t tell them to not do any of that. If they like it you should support them, and there you can punish them to be good at it and do a lot of practice to get better at it because sometimes they just like something and do it for fun, but if you trying to make them really good at it you can find ways to convince them to practice more. For example, i sometimes think if i have kids they would do what they like, but they have to be good at it, or be good at school, i’m really honest and ignorant and if a kid tell me he don’t want to study i would say ok and explain him about having a good job and how they would be struggling in the future if they can’t find something good to do. I know they are going to be kids but there are really smart kids and they can understand you if you raise them correctly. And if i have kids they would be really smart. I would do both what a Chinese parent would do and what other parents would do. I would let my kids choose what they like and love but they will have to be very good at it and I will put effort so they can be very good at it.

    This can have an effect on the child’s behavior while developing, and when they become adults. If you teach them something they don’t like they would not be happy, even if they are good at it, at some point they will try to do what they really like. The author stated that something is not fun until you are good at it and I disagree but it’s true. I disagree because you need to have fun on what you doing, but i used to play soccer and i was good and it was so fun and i loved it, and i played everyday, but now when i moved to USA i stopped playing and i tried playing one day and i have never play since that day, it wasn’t fun and i couldn’t see myself doing bad and the other were doing good and i was thinking “im better than them” but i couldn’t do anything to prove it. But that’s not the point here. You should do what you like and be good at it if you like it, so parents should only punish and do a lot of practice for something just if the child likes it. So he becomes good at something he likes. So in the future they won’t be struggling doing something they don’t like, even if they are good at it they won’t be happy because they don’t like it. So parents need to make their kids good at something they like.

    Another example of the effect of those parents. My dad loves volleyball, and he wanted me to play volleyball and I didn’t want to. So he told me to play any sport, he sent me to play baseball, but in a few months I quit, but he wanted to play any sport. So i joined the soccer team because i like that, but i quit in a few months, and it wasn’t because i didn’t like it, it was because i didn’t have discipline, i just wanted to stay in the neighborhood playing soccer with my friends, i didn’t want to do practice. But my dad wanted to, he wanted to see me in the team so he could see me there and be happy. And everytime i stopped going to practice the coaches (The volleyball, baseball, soccer coaches)called my dad and told him I stopped going. And everytime i stopped going my dad went to my house (because I live with my mom) and punished me. I remember he used to grab me hard and throw me on the floor and take me to his house and talk to me. He tells me “ so you don’t want to do anything and you are doing bad at school”, and he hits me with his belt. My dad wasn’t like the chinese author,he let me choose what i like, but if i do it i have to be good at it. I have to have discipline. And that’s how it should be but without hitting your child. Back when I was little in my country they hit the childs for everything they did wrong.

    Chinese mothers are superior because they teach their child to have discipline and to never give up. If their child fails at something or does something not bad but not perfect, they would give them a lot of practice to make them good at it. They restrict many things to them and they also choose what their child can or not do. They should let their kid choose what they love and there they can punish them and give them a lot of practice to make them good at it. Parents should teach their kids confidence and discipline, so they can do good on what they like, parents should only make them practice a lot on things they really like. So kids will be happy in the future.

  5. Akobir

    Amy Chua makes the controversial claim that Chinese parenting is effective in raising children who excel intellectually and musically in her book “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” Her description of a rigorous and rigid upbringing that forbids sleepovers and requires perfection in all pursuits closely resembles my perception of Tajik parenting. They both place high importance on unshakable discipline—a notion I’ve explored with classmates who have dealt with comparable parental demands.

    The core thesis of Chua’s paper is the notion that kids have a duty to their parents to obey them and to do well to repay them. This feeling is all too common in Tajik/Russian society, where kids are frequently brought up with a strong sense of obligation and debt to their parents. The idea that children exist in part to serve and honor their families is a cultural echo, and I find it to be both emotionally and ethically challenging.

    As I compare Chinese education and education in Uzbekistan as well as in most former USSR countries I see a similar intensity in the rigor of schooling. But as I’ve already mentioned, this kind of intensity may cause youngsters to develop neuroses and feelings of guilt, making them believe that their value is solely based on their accomplishments. I’ve witnessed personally the emotional toll that this pressure has on people from similar backgrounds, which runs counter to the ideas of holistic education that we’ve been taught in the classroom.

    Chua’s piece has provoked reflection on the wider effects of this kind of parenting. Even while she advocates for a strategy that can provide quantifiable results, a child’s mental health is frequently the hidden cost. This, in my opinion, is similar to the difficulties faced by children in Tajik households, where they too have to negotiate a route marked by high standards and stringent supervision.

    In conclusion, Chua’s observations on Chinese parenting provide a clear picture of a society that values performance, but they also create a space for discussion about striking a balance. I support a more nuanced strategy that balances the quest for greatness with the development of well-rounded, emotionally healthy people, drawing on my own experiences as well as my academic knowledge. I think a well-rounded strategy like this would appeal to a lot of kids from different backgrounds as it provides a path to achievement without sacrificing enjoyment.

  6. Jimin Yoon

    Chua highlights that Chinese moms expect academic and extracurricular excellence from their children, setting exceedingly high demands. She argues that her severe methods—which include restricted free time and demanding practice schedules—help youngsters develop self-control, grit, and a strong work ethic. Chua draws a comparison between this and what she considers to be a more permissive parenting approach in the West, contending that the latter frequently produces kids who lack the tenacity and abilities needed to succeed.

    Chua claims that it is a parent’s responsibility to challenge their children to step outside of their comfort zones and realize their full potential. This is one of the passage’s key ideas. She contends that Western parents tend to refrain from exerting too much pressure on their kids to promote happiness and self-esteem. Chua thinks this might be detrimental to a child’s growth since it may save them from experiencing the difficulties and disappointments that come with aiming for greatness.

    The argument over the ideal method of parenting and child development is where this idea’s significance lies. Chua’s viewpoint invites readers to consider how to strike a balance between encouraging independence and offering support, as well as how adversity and tenacity contribute to character development. Although her reasoning might sound extreme to some, it raises significant issues regarding how parenting practices are influenced by culture and how this affects a child’s success and well-being.

    I think it’s a good idea to push kids to realize their greatest potential. A one-size-fits-all strategy might not be appropriate, though, as every child is different. Finding the right balance between having high standards and providing space for uniqueness and personal development is essential. In addition to hard work and discipline, nurturing a child’s creativity, critical thinking, and emotional health are crucial components of their overall development.

    TTo sum up, Amy Chua’s essay on the superiority of Chinese mothers offers a thought-provoking viewpoint on parenting, supporting a rigorous and demanding method of raising children. Readers are prompted to reflect on how to balance parenting individuality and discipline when it comes to pushing kids outside of their comfort zones. Chua’s strategy may seem extreme to some, but it starts important conversations about how parenting practices are influenced by culture and what makes a successful child. In the end, it comes down to customizing parenting techniques to the particular requirements of each child and understanding that his or her overall development is aided by a mix of support, discipline, and individuality.

  7. marylin

    Chinese Mothers are Superior, It mentions one of the perspectives of a Chinese mother’s in regards to how they handle and treat their own children based on the major differences between Chinese mothers vs western mothers parenting methods. There are different ways of parenting style that can impact how their children will become as it all comes down with the specific way, responses and most importantly the motivation they responded towards them. 

          What captives more is based on the chinese parenting towards their children as it views more of a discipline and stricter response especially when it involves towards their children’s academic achievements and overall education and would technically have full control on their child’s decisions and freedom based on their beliefs mentioned “academic achievement reflects successful parent and that if children did not excel at school then there was “a problem” and parents “were not doing their job” which i believe is one of the reasons chinese mothers might tend to agree with this since one of the beliefs are due to their parenting and discipline towards them can determine your child’s future due and how they grew their child to become who they are.

         On the other hand, they dispute their stricter actions. It’s been viewed that western parents are more concerned more of their child’s self-esteem and it’s all up to the child’s independence to the point where the child will be in charge of their own decisions and wouldn’t force them to do anything they don’t fully agree with. It’s been observed as mentioned “Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they’re capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away.” This reveals that the western parent’s method would focus more on the child’s happiness since it is mainly the key of their success and passion they will be looking forward to in the future, more of a “follow in your dreams” way. 

        When it comes to parenting, I don’t think the majority of the parents realize how this can influence one another, especially an impact towards their children’s development, however it depends on their parenting style in all ways of communicating and emotional balance, we need to acknowledge how this can impact the way a child will behaving especially in a social setting. Children at a young age will most likely imitate their parents actions, in ways they behave. Certain parents would restrict their kids from going anywhere and prevent them from visiting their friends or family relatives their age to the point where the child wouldnt experience any social interactions which will result in certain issues when communicating in a social setting. 

         To summarize, based on the differences between Chinese and western parenting, there wouldn’t be any issue and any specific correct ways to raise their children. It’s all up to the parents and it’s been shown that despite the parenting differences they both care for their children and they want the truly best for their children’s future.

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