What is your Definition of Successful Parenting?
A recent study conducted by the non-profit Pew Research Center regarding global attitudes among Americans, as well as country by country, surfaced some interesting results regarding parenting and education. The study reports that Americans think that there is a need to put more pressure on students to succeed in school. In contrast, the findings show the Chinese actually thought too much pressure was being put on children to succeed in school.
With U.S. students underperforming on international tests, most Americans (64%) say that parents are not putting enough pressure on their children to do well in school.
By contrast, 68% of the Chinese public take the opposite position and say that parents in their country are putting too much pressure on their children to succeed academically.
This past January, author Amy Chua published an article in the Wall Street Journal promoting her book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother", sharing her experience raising her kids in a traditional, strict 'Chinese" manner. A "Tiger Mom" according to Chua, can also include parents of other ethnicities who practice traditional, strict child-rearing. The article and book set off a series of heated discussions around parenting styles, with some arguing that Chinese parents were better at raising kids than Western ones.
I have not read Amy Chua's book myself, but have read articles and media reports relating to the Tiger Mom concept and the idea of raising your kids to "rule the world". Not all kids grow up to be virtuosos, world leaders, or renowned scientists. Can that be attributed to their parent's child rearing style? Does it mean that they were brought up ill-equipped to lead a successful life?
What is the definition of "successful parenting"?
Can you call yourself a successful parent if your child grows up and makes a meaningful difference in the world? Yes.
Are you parenting successfully if your child is overcoming adversity and is now thriving? Yes.
Can you claim success if your child grows up and earns an honest living, has a loving family and treats others with respect? Yes.
What if they become a teacher, doctor, or plumber? Yes.
There is no parenting style that can lay claim to title of perfection. Circumstances are not the same and needs are different, and based on the Pew Research Center's findings, the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Share your thoughts on whether you think more pressure should be placed on American students with regards to their education. Also, do you think Americans should begin to adopt a stricter approach to parenting?
Pew Research Center: Americans Want More Pressure on Students, the Chinese Want Less
Wall Street Journal: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior