Amy Chua’s article “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” appeared in the Wall Street Journal on January 8, 2011. When this article was published the controversy began. One article in argument to Amy Chua’s was James Bernard Murphy’s article “In Defense of Being a Kid” which also appeared in the Wall Street Journal on February 9, 2011. Murphy contends by stating Amy Chua’s method of how to raise a child will do nothing but turn children into neurotic, self-absorbed and unhappy adults.
James Murphy, author of “In Defense of Being a Kid” and professor of government at Dartmouth College argues that children should live childhood and enjoy childhood innocence, not be pressured or forced to prepare for their adulthood and the pressure that comes with it. “Part of the point of childhood is childhood itself. ‘ (Summers 279) Childhood takes up a quarter of one’s life and it would be nice if children enjoyed it. Murphy continues to explain what the unique blessings of childhood are.
First, children have a gift of moral innocence, children are unaware of what is to come in their future and the burdens, and therefore they put their trust in us fully. Children are open to new adventures and unaware of time thus cannot be wasted. We as adults forget that most of us produced our best art, asked our deepest philosophical questions, and most readily mastered new gadgets when were children. We as parents need to take a step back from teaching our children and realize how much we can learn from them. Murphy uses emotion when he states “children are people with distinctive powers and joy.
” He realizes what children are capable of if they are given space to imagine and explore ideas of the world that we have forgotten. Murphy thinks like a child and is defending their youth. It is important to know when to give a child space to allow them to become an individual. In defense Murphy argues, “most of us would like Tom’s childhood followed by Mill’s adulthood. But as parents we are stuck with trying to balance the paradoxical demands of both preparing our children for adulthood and protecting them from it.
” The article seems to indicate you can’t have that childhood and young adulthood. I disagree because that is exactly how I grew up. Yes we did have responsibilities on the farm, but when chores were done we did what we wanted to do. We were taught what was right and what was wrong. I believe if you are raised with good morals, respect for yourself and others you can be very successful. I feel the drive to succeed comes from a supportive family and the want to be successful at what you love to do, not what you are forced to do.
Murphy uses logic with the comparison of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle and Jesus. Two of which did not have the same beliefs of children. I disagree with Aristotle when he said “no child is happy”, the only time a child is happy is when they have thoughts of the achievements as an adult. When a child is given space it gives them the opportunity to imagine, to think outside of the box and capable for intellectual activity. We have to encourage and embrace their uniqueness and imagination or as Jesus did praise our children.
I strongly agree with Murphy’s fourth thought, “We forget that most of us produced our best art, asked our deepest philosophical questions, and most readily mastered new gadgets when we were mere children. ” (Murphy 279) As children we are more carefree and have less sense of our surroundings and what people think of us. We are eager to learn and curious about adulthood but should not be rushed to become one. I believe in realizing the capacity of a child, you need to know their capabilities and their limits. Work Citied Behrens, Laurence, and Leonard J, Rosen. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print