Comparison and Contrast of “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” and “Being an ‘Elephant Mom’ in the Time of the Tiger Mother”

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The articles by Chua and Sharma-Sindhar both begin with the same idea, that there is a right way to raise your children in order to make them successful in life. There are many differences in the way the two of them raise their children. This paper will outline the most important differences in their methods.

Chua’s article presents very distinctive ideas about the best way to parent. First, she suggests that childhood should be focused on acquiring academic knowledge. She also does not allow her children to indulge in any sort of entertainment. The closest thing to entertainment she allows them is music, but that is also very limited for them. She enables them to play either the piano or the violin. These restrictions basically allow the children no opportunities to discover themselves or find their own interests.

On the other hand, the methods that Sharma-Sindhar presents allow children to have flexibility and options. Her parenting method also allows for entertainment, as well as choice in what they want. It seems that this method will help children to be more independent and active. It will also give children the experience of being felt and heard, which could raise their self-confidence.

When it comes to motivation, it is not clear if Chua's method of parenting is encouraging or forcing. Chua makes her children practice their instruments for hours a day even if they do not like it. Also, the Chinese parents she describes spend about ten times as long as other parents every day to improve their children’s academic activities. Lastly, if a Chinese student got an B- minus in a subject or on a test, there would be punishment and screaming, in addition to the dozens of hours of practice until he or she understands the test and is able to achieve the full grade.

Sharma-Sindhar encourages the opposite of that. Her way of raising children is to encourage the child and let him gain more self-confidence. This kind of parent tends to be more accepting and understanding regarding school grades. Sharma-Sindhar said that she herself failed a class in the sixth grade and her mother told her not to worry—there would be more tests to come, and she could pass them. Moreover, she gained confidence and won the annual proficiency prize for Hindi a year later at the same school. This story demonstrates that this way of parenting can lead to success.

Chua’s method of parenting is strict but also produces success. She believes that parents can say offensive things if their children do not listen to their parents, or do not respect their parents, or misbehave. She thinks that children should be grateful to their parents for everything. Therefore, they must make significant efforts to repay their mothers and fathers by making them proud and happy.

In contrast, Sharma-Sindhar’s method is to be fun and consider the child’s feelings She believes parents should try not to harm their children’s feelings because that will affect how the child behaves in the future. She doesn't think that her kids owe her everything. Instead, she believes it is her full responsibility to provide everything for them because they didn't have the ability to choose their parents. Their job will be to their kids in the future.

Chua was raised by two Chinese parents using the same method she promotes. She uses her own experience as evidence that it is a successful way to make your children the best they can be. For this reason, she is implementing this method in her child’s life, even though her husband disagrees with her way of parenting.

Sharma-Sindhar grew up in India with “elephant” parents from a well-educated family. She moved to the United States at the age of twenty to find herself, and to have the chance to be the mother that she always wanted to be. Her mother and father were both easy-going parents that cared about how to help their children live their lives as kids, not as adults.

I do not see one method as superior to the other. Both Chua’s and Sharma-Sindhar’s parenting methods have their own strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, just like any parenting method, both require great effort and patience from the parents to help the children be successful.