Oddly enough, I’m not a particularly judgmental person. I just don’t have a lot of filtering when I’m in ‘tiger mother’ mode. I say what comes into my head.
I say ‘I love you’ to my daughters every day.
It may be the optimist in me, but I think America has a uniquely powerful and capacious glue internally. The American identity has always been ethnically and religiously neutral, so within one generation you have Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Jamaican-Americans – they feel American. It’s a huge success story.
Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. I tried to find the balance between the strict, traditional Chinese way I was raised, which I think can be too harsh, and what I see as a tendency in the West to be too permissive and indulgent. If I could do it all again, I would, with some adjustments.
I do believe that when your child does poorly on a test, your first step should not necessarily be to attack the teacher or the school’s curriculum. It should be to look at the idea that, maybe, the child didn’t work hard enough.