I do not have to words to describe how very tired I am of The Great Amy Chua As Tiger Mother Debate. To say that I am completely and utterly over the whole flipping thing is not accurate enough.
Amy Chua didn't write a parenting manual, she wrote a memoir. She shared vignettes of her family life. Little snapshots of a couple of things that happened behind closed doors, when nobody was looking. That's gutsy. And what makes it even more gutsy is that the tales she tells are not flattering at all when taken out of context, which is exactly what the Happy-Go-Jump-To-Conclusions American Public are wont to do.
Most of these Happy-Go-Jumpers who are up in arms over how Amy Chua parents her children don't know any more about Amy Chua and her family than has been posted in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Time Magazine.
The thing is, Amy Chua is real. She told the truth about her parenting style, her successes and her failures. The woman OWNED HER FAILURES, which is not an easy thing to do. It's even more difficult to stand up and proclaim your failures to an angry mob who are shouting so loudly that they cannot even hear the punchline. Punchline is only somewhat the wrong word here; Chua's story is not a joke.
Amy Chua didn't write anything remotely revolutionary, in fact, I think she did the exact same thing that the rest of us bloggers do every.single.day. She's practically a mommy blogger, for Pete's sake. She wrote about life, parenting, relationships... just like me. That's what I write about.
The thing about parenting, and life, too, really, is that there are an infinite number of choices. When I was a kid, I had every last Choose Your Own Adventure book. If Suzy turns left, go to page 42. If Suzy turns right, go to page 89. And no matter how many choices the reader faced throughout the course of the book, the possible endings were few.
With parenting, there are really only two outcomes. Outcome 1: your child turns into a social pariah and does not behave responsibly; Outcome 2: your child turns into a responsible adult.
So what if Amy Chua turns to page 42 and I turn to page 89, if both of us are raising people who will become responsible adults? Why should it matter? Doesn't everybody win if we parents do our jobs and grow fabulous people who will rule the world with wisdom and kindness and creativity and love?
I would love it if everybody would shut up about Amy Chua. She does her best. She admits her failures. She celebrates her victories. And lucky for us, she wrote a book in which she clearly states what works for her and what doesn't. But it's not just about what works. It's about the working. And that, I think, is the whole point.