The correct way of raising a child?
Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld’s essay “Why I love my strict Chinese mom” is a response to the all the negative feedback her mother had gotten for her essay “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior”. The intention of this essay is to persuade and inform the reader of why Amy Chua raised her daughter Sophia the correct way. Chua-Rubenfeld’s first argument is that the critics (the outsider) have no clue of what the Chua-Rubenfeld family is like (p. 2, l. 21). The fact that Chua-Rubenfeld is stating that “you don’t know what you’re talking about, because you don’t know me and/or my family” makes this a classical argument, which in reality is no valid argument. However, her main claim throughout the essay is supported by a strong warrant and ground. Chua-Rubenfeld’s main claim is that Amy Chua’s strict parenting forced her to be more independent and act as an adult. The way her mother did this was by pushing her daughter to become more successful. Chua-Rubenfeld’s mother taught her that creativity takes effort, which in this case is used as Chua-Rubenfeld’s warrant: One should always work hard and push one’s self to the limit. And according to Chua-Rubenfeld this applies to everyone independent of one’s goals in life. Only by forcing body and mind one can truly achieve anything.
Chua-Rubenfeld’s ground is very much connected to her claim and warrant, because she can see how her mother’s upbringing of her has made her independent, and has made her pursue knowledge. This is why Chua-Rubenfeld calls her mother “Tiger-mom”. The tiger symbolizes a fierce and brave person and the animal itself has a very high status. These are qualities that Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld appreciates, and thanks her mother for having. The Chua-Rubenfeld way of upbringing a child appears to be completely different from what experts believe is the correct way. In Kate Lovey’s article “Let them eat pizza: Parenting guru’s recipe for bringing up children” the reader is introduced to a different opinion. A parenting guru Dr Bryan Caplan claims that children’s lives are “shaped mostly by their genes and their own choices.” (p. 5, l. 18).
This article is characterized by its great use of argumentative features. Dr Bryan Caplan bases his arguments on biological research and scientifically proved facts. The appeal form used is ethos, since the reader trusts the doctor because he has a certain authority. However, the arguments that he uses do unfortunately not appear convincing, because he only bases his ground on quantitative data. It is possible to convince someone with statistical material but it involves using an amount of qualitative data, as it explains why statistics tell us what they do. The two previous articles may seem each other’s opposites, concerning the ways of raising a child. In A. S. Neill’s article “Summerhill – a radical approach to child rearing” he introduces another way of upbringing a child where he focuses on education. He clearly states that the important part of educating is helping the child in becoming better at what the child is good at.
He supports his claim by using a lot of topological features. In the beginning of the article he incorporates a story about Nijinsky to demonstrate his point: The world will not develop geniuses if it does not spot and utilize the child’s talent. By incorporating a famous ballet dancer he engages the reader because the reader can hardly disagree on what Neill is saying. The reader is also engaged because education is such an important thing. Through the education one is developed. Therefore it is essential that the educational system is properly functioning. It is important to remember the function of our educational system. The future of the world depends on the teachers and the pupils, and education should prepare the children for the world. But there is a fine line between preparing and dictating. The society does not only need lawyers, doctors, and other jobs associated with high status. It is dependent on and needs cleaning ladies, police officers, engineers as well as any other jobs.
Therefore, in order to provide the world with smart and skilled people the educational system should develop the child’s natural talent and interests. This is also applicable when talking about the upbringing of a child. For example some kids may naturally be better at sport and the parent should thus reward and encourage the child. However, there is something called general education which should be incorporated in the learning process, because the child will probably have some difficulties in the modern society if this is ignored. Furthermore, it is necessary to teach the child how to behave in certain situations and also in general. But a lot of the upbringing of a child depends on the cultural background. Different cultures have different ways of raising children. Depending on the culture the values in the upbringing of a child may vary extremely. However, the parent should acknowledge that we live in a globalized world where the child will meet different cultures. Therefore the parent should prepare the child for an open mind.