In this week’s podcast, we welcome back Mr. Rod McNair, who discusses the importance of setting appropriate goals for adults and children alike.
We start by discussing a January 2011 article from Psychology Today, “How to Raise Smart Kids Chinese-Style,” from the Looking in the Cultural Mirror blog of retired psychology professor Jefferson Fish, Ph.D. Dr. Fish points out that many Americans—including quite a few psychologists—believe that intelligence is a form of innate potential that cannot be altered. However, as Fish explains, there is another way to look at intelligence—that “formal education makes people smarter.”
Next we talk about Yale Law School professor Amy Chua’s Wall Street Journal article titled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.” Chua observes that Chinese parents spend about ten times as long each day, compared to Americans, drilling their children on academic subjects. Western children, by contrast, are more likely to spend time participating in team sports.
Chua gives a list of things her daughters have never been allowed to do, such as:
- attend a sleepover
- have a play date
- be in a school play
- complain about not being in a school play
- watch television
- play computer games
- choose their own extracurricular activities
- get any grade less than an “A”
- not be the number one student in every subject (except gym and drama)
- play any instrument other than piano or violin
- not play the piano or violin
Critics have labeled parents like Chua “Tiger Moms,” but Chua strongly believes that she has developed a strong relationship with her children and that many American parents do not want to exert the effort to develop that kind of strong bond with their children.
Moving on, we consider the history of modern motherhood, and how over the years different roles have been popular, from the “Soccer Mom” to the “Lawnmower Mom” to the “Mama Grizzly.” We consider the question of whether the Western parenting style is generally too lenient.
Mr. McNair reminds us that we should be careful not to set unrealistically lofty goals for ourselves or for our family members. Considering the biblical parable of the “talents” he tells us that we should be eager to use whatever skills God has given us, confident that if we use them God will strengthen those talents or aptitudes so that our lives can better glorify Him.
How to Raise Smart Kids Chinese-Style
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior
The Tiger Mother Responds to Readers
Making Kids Work on Goals (And Not Just In Soccer)
The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children
This week’s podcast:
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