Chua vs Laird: Contrasting Parenting and Teaching Approaches

Amy Chua's, "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” and Ellen Laird's, "I'm Your Teacher Not Your Internet-Service Provider", both compare and contrast the difference between a matter. In Chua's story, she relates Western parents to Chinese parents and how they differ from one another. She explains that Chinese parents are far stricter than western parents because Chinese parents push their children extremely hard. For example, the Chinese parents will be disappointed in their child if he/she makes a B or lower or any assignment.

In Laird's story, she relates the difference between her online classroom students and face-to-face students. She describes how her online students are more careless and they treat her as a peer instead of a figure of authority. She also says that her students don't respect her time management and will send their papers at inappropriate times; or send them past the deadline. Although Chua's "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior" and Liard's "I'm Your Teacher, Not Your Internet Service Provider" both explain the harness toward students, I have more sympathy towards "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.

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In Chua's story, she explains how Chinese parents are far stricter than Western parents. The Chinese parent doesn't allow their children to play sports of their choice, attend sleepovers, make a grade lower than an A, or not play the piano or violin. The children seem to be controlled and isolated from enjoyable things. In Liard's story she explains the rules and regulations for online classrooms. Her argument is strict and harsh, but it is not as strict Chua's story Liard is more lenient with her students.

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"The students extend the freedom to choose the time and place if their course work to every aspect of the class." (Laird 11). The author is not disapproving of what her students can and cannot do; but she is letting them have their independence and suffer the consequences. In "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior", the parents believe that their children owe them everything, like always being obedient and making them happy.

The parents believe that because they have dedicated a great amount of time to their kids that they need to spend their days repaying them in every way. I disagree with this practice and think that it is inequitable towards the children. I do agree with Jed's point of view when he says "children don't choose their parents; they don't even choose to be born." (Chua 411). I agree with this because I too understand that children are not asked to be brought in this word. In "I'm Your Teacher, Not Your Internet Service Provider" Laird does not expect anything in return from the students. She is not anticipating that the students will spend the rest of their days being obedient and trying to make her happy. Although Liard spends an enormous amount of time teaching and helping her students, she's not requiring a deity-like praise.

The Chinese parents in Chua's story are straightforward and can come across as disrespectful. "Chinese mothers can say or their daughters "Hey fatty - lose some weight." I find that harsh towards the children and unfair, because no child deserves to be spoken to in that manner. Chinese parents would also speak to their kids in a discouraging way by saying things like, "You're lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you." (Chua 410). The students in Laird's story are not disrespected but they have certain roles that they have to play. Each student is expected to thrive for excellence and try their hardest while in school; like in Chua's article, the children are expected to do extraordinary and make outstanding grades. The author does not force her students to maintain above an A average, nor does she push them too hard. Instead she gives rules and guidelines to follow and if they are not met or followed properly then the students will have to face the repercussions.

In Laird's story, she gives her online students more direct rules and guidelines to follow because they tend to be the type of students who do not take their class work seriously. She says that "the syllabus is not a restaurant menu, all courses components do not function at the speed of the internet, there are no sick or personal days in cyberspace, and I am not on your buddy list."(Laird 418). Meaning she expects the adult characteristics in all her students to tend to these objectives; at the same time, to be treated with an acceptable amount of respect. In Chua's story, she gives examples of the expectation of Chinese children. She says that “Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be 'the best' students, that ‘academic achievement reflects successful parenting' and id the children do not excel at school then there was a problem' and parents 'were not doing their job'. (Chua 409). This quote explains how Chinese mothers want their kids to succeed so much, that if they don't, there is a problem. Laird did not think it was a problem of that she was not doing her job when her students failed to meet standards, she simply believed it was laziness and let them deal with their failure without punishment.

I feel no sympathy for Laird's students because they are disrespectful towards their instructor and was not careful with their assignments. Every consequence and strict rule is vital for grabbing a hold of insubordinate students. In Chua's story, I felt that the children should not be forced to achieve for the best or spend half their lives repaying their parents for all the years they took care of them; taking responsibility for a child is a gift and duty, not debt that needs to be repaid. All choices of success and achievements should be made within that person; meaning all students, children, and people should have a right to their decisions in life.

Updated: May 03, 2023
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Chua vs Laird: Contrasting Parenting and Teaching Approaches. (2023, Mar 22). Retrieved from

Chua vs Laird: Contrasting Parenting and Teaching Approaches essay
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