Book Club: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua & Free Range Kids by Leonore Skenazy.
May 10, 2011
This was a bit of a different book club as we looked at two books. The battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Free Range Kids.
It is such a joy…I have to say… being in this book club. These two books had the potential to really push some buttons and raise some blood pressures. I joked that we could sell tickets to the discussion, but anyone looking for a fight would have been bitterly disappointed.
What we did have was lots of great discussion, prompted by the books, but more wide ranging than just the books…. and stretching to other books the group had read on parenting. All of us are mother’s of between seven and two children…. ranging in age from 2 to 14.
- structured routine feeding and co-sleeping
- the appropriate age to let children take responsibility for their lunch, getting to school, practising instruments, homework….all sorts of things.
- yelling or not yelling
- relationships with our children and our mother’s
- self esteem and how you get it or not
- our favourite parenting books
- sexual assault
- safety generally
- mistakes we have made
- where a child’s value comes from
- how much energy being a ‘super’ parent takes.
- positive reinforcement or not (should every child get a trophy)
- are our kids soft?
Yes BIG things …..
We talked much more about Tiger Mother, partly because it was written in memoir style, as apposed to Free Range Kids which is written in a more ‘you should do what I do’ style. Amy Chua seemed to be reflecting on her past parenting decisions to some extent, but is very much a work in progress (like the rest of us).
Both were funny.
Both were well written and easy to read.
Both were written when their children were under 14.
Both women have received heated reviews on their offerings.
- Why Chinese Mother’s are Superior. Complete with extract from the book…. if you want a taste.
- What happened when America’s worst mum visited Australia.
Next month The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak