Posted by: Spacehamster74 | 01/13/2011

Heuristic versus Algorithmic parenting

I stumbled across this article by Amy Chua titled “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior”. In summary, the article posits that if you ban your child from making any friends, and make them study 24 hours-a-day you’ll produce “the perfect child”.

My parents never reached the extremes that Amy Chua did. However, I do recall being banned from seeing friends, or not being allowed to go with my parents to visit a friends place because I had homework to do. No wonder I was socially isolated when I was a teenager.

From my own personal experience, the end result is a child who might be academically brilliant, but has low self-esteem, no initiative and stifled creativity. That child might succeed at high school, but fail badly at College and barely scrape through university.

I think what’s fascinating is observing which professions Asian parents perceive as being the most successful. From my experience, the profession that garners the highest accolades are Doctors or Accountants. Engineering is regarded as mid-range. The profession that garners the lowest accolade is the IT Profession. Asian parents regard IT as being for people that play computer games and can’t work in a “real job”. Tell that to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. It certainly explains why I don’t see many Asians in IT jobs.

What’s interesting is seeing just how many people endured the same childhood that I did, and came through life bearing the same scars. I find it quite comforting to find out that I’m not alone.

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