Mike Kueber's Blog

January 10, 2014

More on successful parenting by Amy Chua

Filed under: Book reviews,Culture — Mike Kueber @ 4:14 am
Tags: , ,

Amy Chua is a professor at Yale Law School who achieved fame a few years ago for a parenting memoir titled Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  After reading an extensive article in Time magazine about the book, I posted an entry in my blog that compared Chua’s position to the successful-parenting position I had taken a few months earlier in my blog:

  • My prescription was relatively straightforward – i.e., teach your children to have self-esteem and good values, such as the seven Roman Catholic seven virtues – prudence, justice, temperance, courage, faith, hope, and love – plus the Protestant work ethic.
  • The Chinese tiger-mom method of parenting obviously does a fantastic job of teaching the Protestant work ethic, but what about self-esteem and the values of prudence, justice, temperance, courage, faith, hope, and love?

Well, Chua is back at work dispensing her successful-parenting insights in a new book out later this month titled The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.  Based on reviews of the book, the three traits are:

  1. A superiority complex,
  2. Insecurity, and
  3. Impulse control.

Methinks Chua gives herself too much credit for thinking outside of the box.  Although a superiority complex and insecurity are generally thought to be bad things that we wouldn’t wish on our kids, I don’t find it unlikely at all that these traits would help an individual achieve.  And if specific cultural groups possess these traits, I would expect those cultural groups to achieve better.

According to Chua, the eight cultural groups in America with these traits are:

  1. Jewish
  2. Indian
  3. Chinese
  4. Iranian
  5. Lebanese-Americans
  6. Nigerians
  7. Cuban exiles
  8. Mormons

According to the book sleeve, Chua’s conclusions are not based on anecdotes or inferences, but rather “on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics.”  She suggests that her findings could revitalize the American dream, but I wonder if they might also support the notion that that some cultural groups are being held back by their traits, not their color.

I look forward to reading this book.

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