Chinese Culture: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Categories: Mother

Frederick Douglass said 200 years ago “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men “and today Amy Chua adapt the same concept which she writes about in her 2011 article for The Wall Street Journal, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior “Chua argues that strict parenting methods are the way to successful well-adjusted kids. According to Chau, there are 3 major differences between Chinese and Western parents. Firstly, she claims that western parents focus more on building their kid’s self-esteem through words and emotions not actions.

In contrast, Chinese parents believe that the best way in building kids’ confidence is through hard work and success. Secondly, Chinese parents feels like their kids owe them everything for sacrificing their time and effort in raising them. Finally, Chinese parents think they know what is best to their children unlike western ones. Chua provides several examples to illustrate her point of view, from recent studies to personal experiences and anecdotes. Furthermore, Chau explains that from her perspective, “Chinses mothers” is not a limited term to Chinese heritage mothers only, she uses this term to characterize any strict mother that is not afraid of pushing too hard.

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Personally, I share Chau’s view on how strict parenting will result in a strong well-raised kid and how confidence is born of hard-earned achievements. Since I Personally, were raised by strict parents who made sure I get whatever it takes to succeed in life. Besides to her use of ethos and logos which help me to understand her claim more fully.

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However, some personal anecdotes that Chua uses to support her opinion are unrealistic and extremely strict, along with her use of sarcasm and irony to reluctance for the western approach of parenting make her opinion about parenting debatable.

Chau’s use of personal experience makes her article more relatable and conceivable, her use of ethos to highlight that her childhood personal experience with strict parents did not affect her future self. In contrast, it helped sharpen up her character. Chau does not start her article by illustrating scientific fact or recent studies; Instead, she lists some of her parenting prohibitions that her daughters were forbidden of doing, whether it is as simple as a play date or as fateful as getting a B grade. Chua adds a childhood anecdote about her daughter Lulu who worked hard on learning how to play “The Little White Donkey' and even after practicing over and over the little girl is not learning, Chua refuses to concede, she believes that practicing would make everything work out eventually. “Then, out of the blue, Lulu did it. “Here, where Chau proves her point, kids don’t know what they are capable of. If parents don’t push them enough to explore their hidden talents and skills who is going to? Exactly! No one. Chua argues that “there is nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you could not “, I highly agree with Chua’s point here, confidence is the feeling of self-assurance arising from your appreciation of your own abilities. By pushing yourself – or having someone to push you- to the extreme you will adapt the idea that you are capable of doing anything which will build unshakable confidence.

While Chau’s use of personal experience and ethos simplify her idea about parenting, her use of logos make it more rational. Chua uses logic in different stages in her article, for example, she uses it in stating some studies to support her opinion like near the beginning where she includes two studies that show the differences importance of academic ()to Chinese parents compared to the western ones, firstly, one study results in that nearly 0% of Chinese parents think academic stressing is bad for their children comparing to about 70% of westerns who think otherwise. Furthermore, another study she includes shows that Chinese parents spend more time with their kids working on their future which will result eventually in academic success. Chua strengthens her argument by using facts which appeals to the reader’s seances of logic and makes her opinion more conspicuous. Personally, I think that this is accurate. Obviously, the more you spend working on your future the more your future will give you.

While Chua’s use of ethos and logos is often persuasive, there are several times where her evidences and anecdote fall under a racist criterion where she uses sarcasm and irony to illustrate the differences between western and Chinese parents, thus subversion the integrity of her argument and claim. Chua repletely focus on ethnicity in her article, this discrimination takes away her credibility in comparing between western and Chinese parents. For instance, her use of the term “Chinese mothers “and how she applies it on a bigger segment of society includes lots of discrimination in it, she could have use the term “strict mothers “instead. The readers also get a clearer observation on her attitudes, when she is comparing her statements to the Western world. Chua makes the Chinese way of upbringing children seem positive, glory and efficient. Nevertheless, she claims that the western way will result only in a higher chance in “participating in sports teams “. In other way, Chua claims that “Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners “this favoritism says a lot about Chua’s thoughts about non-Chinese parenting methods, Chua’s diffusion negates all her tries in defending herself against ethnicity discrimination.

Eventually, Chua claims that there is a huge confusion between western and Chinese parents on who cares about their kids more. She concludes, western parents respect their children’s individuality more, while Chinese parents believe that the best way in upbringing their kids is by preparing them to the world. Going over the article I find myself agreeing on some points and disinclined others. In brief, sorry Amy Chua pushing your kids to the point of tears does not make you a “superior “, combining interest in education, sports, and passion is what it takes to make you a “superior”.  

Works cited

  1. Chua, A. (2011). Why Chinese mothers are superior. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
  2. Soh, C. (2020). Chinese parenting and authoritarianism: A culturalist analysis. Social Science Information, 59(3), 375-397. doi: 10.1177/0539018420916554
  3. Ng, F. F. Y., Pomerantz, E. M., & Deng, C. (2019). Why are Chinese mothers more controlling than American mothers? “My child is my report card.” Child Development, 90(1), 197-212. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12868
  4. Chao, R. K. (2000). The parenting of immigrant Chinese and European American mothers: Relations between parenting styles, socialization goals, and parental practices. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 21(2), 233-248. doi: 10.1016/S0193-3973(99)00038-4
  5. Kwak, K. (2003). Adolescents and their parents: A review of intergenerational family relations for immigrant and non-immigrant families. Human Development, 46(2-3), 115-136. doi: 10.1159/000068599
  6. Suizzo, M. A., & Stapleton, L. M. (2020). Parenting style, academic achievement, and the psychological well-being of Chinese and Indian international students. International Journal of School & Educational Psychology, 8(2), 99-107. doi: 10.1080/21683603.2019.1649759
  7. Cheah, C. S. L., Leung, C. Y. Y., Tahseen, M., & Schultz, D. (2019). A cross-cultural analysis of parenting styles and adolescent outcomes in Chinese Americans and South Asian Americans. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 50(2), 249-266. doi: 10.1177/0022022118825065
  8. Zhou, Q., Chen, S. H., Main, A., & Lee, E. (2012). Chinese American parents’ emotional expression in the family: Relations with parents’ cultural orientations and children’s emotion-related regulation. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 18(2), 142-152. doi: 10.1037/a0027547
  9. Farver, J. A. M., Xu, Y., Bhadha, B. R., & Narang, S. K. (2002). East–West differences in socialization: A study of mothers and infants in the United States and China. Developmental Psychology, 38(5), 627-638. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.38.5.627
  10. Li, X., Li, X., & Wang, W. (2019). Parental psychological control and adolescent depression: The mediating role of rumination and the moderating role of gratitude. Journal of Adolescence, 73, 131-141. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2019.04.011
Updated: Feb 20, 2024
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Chinese Culture: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior. (2024, Feb 20). Retrieved from

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