Recently, an article entitled "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" has made the rounds on facebook.
It has sparked a LOT of controversy about a variety of parenting topics, everything from authoritarian parenting, finding a balance, addressing racism (several commentors posted about how her belittling of her husband is abusive and race based)to Chinese nationalism, to everything in between.
My personal take on the article is two fold. First, I think she is exagerating somewhat. Taken within a North American context (where this woman and her family are living, and where she herself was raised) it's a little bit absurd.
Secondly, the title of the article further undermines all mother's abilities to exist peacefully, and further underlines the intense damage patriarchy has had on the collective female psyche. Not only does it pit every mother to mother, but also culture to culture, race to race. We know that by pitting people against each other and allowing derogatory comments to exist that we are weakening our entire culture, and by culture I mean human culture.
Motherhood is NOT a race, motherhood is about many many different things, all self-described by the women who bear that title. As a future mother, motherhood for me is about love, respect, caring, overcoming obstacles, sharing, and above all, Joy. If there is no Joy is motherhood, then it's not my kids who are doing something wrong, my perspective is wrong. I'm also not saying that Joy needs to be present ever second of every day, and if you think it does you need to go and spend some time over at Shit My Kids Ruined.
I am well aware of the need to push my kids to be the best they can be, but screaming at them day and night is equally unhealthy for their souls as it is for mine.
Some of the comments posted dealt with the high rate of suicide amongst Asian kids, and here, while others merely commented on the detrimental affects of authoritative parenting.
While I think addressing cultural child rearing differences are important, doing it in a manner that is respectful and thoughtful is MOST important.
Entrenched racism, homophobia and I'm-a-better-parent-than-you-for-xyz will not help anyone, especially the people we are trying so hard to raise to be good, hard working citizens.