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Why Chinese Mothers are Superior by Amy Chua – Summary – BBS 1st Year Notes

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In the article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”, the author, Amy Chua, explains that Chinese children are more successful in their life than Western children.  Chinese Children are more intelligent and smart. She also compares the different ways of raising children through short stories and gives examples from her life.

Chua has come to the United States of America with her parents when she was 1 year old. Now, she is married and has two beautiful daughters, Sophia and Louisa. She is Western but raises her two daughters with certain rules and restrictions because of her Chinese heritage.



Chua claims that Western mothers have an attitude that “stressing academic is not good for children”. They think that kids need to develop the concept of learning different things because it is helpful to them. By contrast, Chinese parents think totally different and they think that “academic success reflects successful parenting” (Chua). 

If a child has any problem with his/her grades a Chinese mother spends plenty of time of her daily life to make his/her child “superior” in the class. In the Chinese mothers’ dictionary, there is no word for giving up, whereas Western parents do not want to put pressure and force on their children to achieve or pursue things. This is why Chinese Mothers are Superior.



Chua says that when she was young her father called her “garbage” in their language when she misbehaves with her mother. She feels guilt from the bottom of her heart and agrees that she does something bad to her mother. She also thinks that her parents care about her and the word “garbage” is not going to hurt her self-respect. By contrast, she does the same thing to her daughter Sophia at a dinner party in front of her other Western friends. 

Her friends think that Chua’s behavior is really bad towards her daughter and they leave the party. In fact, the only difference between the Chinese parents and Western is that Chinese parents can tell everything to their children and they never take it negatively. If the same thing happens to any Western children the reaction is going to be the opposite and they end up getting a “negative self-image”. Chinese mother gives her full time and devotion to raising children. This is why Chinese Mothers are Superior.



Chinese parents think that they sacrifice their life and time for their children therefore children need to repay and obey their parents their whole life. By contrast, Westerners do not have the same point of view. Chua gives an example of her husband, Jed, Chua says Chinese parents want to train their children differently. Therefore, they restrict them in certain areas, so they can be more focused on their academic life. Chinese think that if children are not able to achieve their goals, then there is a lack of practice and effort behind it.  This is why Chinese Mothers are Superior.

She tells a short story in her article about her youngest daughter, Lulu, favoring the Chinese manner of raising children. When Lulu was 7 years old, she plays two instruments and she has to prepare a music piece “The Little White Donkey” on piano for her recital (Chua). The piece is very difficult to play on piano for a 7-year-old child. She is really working hard over and over on it, but she is not able to do it.



She gets frustrated and tears the book and says again and again to her mother (Chua) that she does not want to do it. Chua threatens her and tells her she has to do it anyhow and she is not going to give her any food, water and no permission to go to the bathroom until she finishes the piece. At the same time, Jed, Chua’s husband, is watching the whole scene and he takes her aside and tells Chua, please stop threatening her. 

It is not good for her, but Chua thinks that by giving Lulu punishment she is motivating her to learn the piece perfectly. After a short discussion with Jed, she goes back to Lulu and uses every technique to convince her to practice more and more to learn the piece in the correct mode. Then, suddenly, Lulu does it and she plays it over and over to become stronger and play it faster, at the right tempo. On the day of the recital, she plays it really well and each person gives her compliments. Even, Jed agrees that by not giving up she makes Lulu much more self-assured and faultless in her work.



Similar to Why Chinese Mothers are Superior

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The Hidden Life of Garbage by Heather Rogers – Summary 

Conclusion to Why Chinese Mothers are Superior

In conclusion, Amy Chua says Western parents also want their children to become more successful. They care about their self-respect, independence, and try to motivate them to make their own dreams fulfilled. Chinese parents believe that they have a good sense of choosing the right direction for their children. This is why Chinese Mothers are Superior.



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