Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
by Amy Chua
What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.
Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it’s math, piano, pitching, or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration, and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.
Thus began Sophia’s baptism of fire. Like Mrs. Vamos, Wei-Yi had expectations that were of an order galactically beyond what we’d been used to.
Note: This is an interesting statement. Wei-Yi had expected even more, far beyond Amy's expectation. What this really means is that incredible amount of work is expected to elevate one's standard, to break through the plateau.
“But you’ve given your girls so much,” Caren persisted. “A sense of their own abilities, of the value of excellence. That’s something they’ll have all their lives.”
“The important thing is that Lulu loves tennis,” the instructor said, very American-ly. “And she has an unbelievable work ethic—I’ve never seen anyone improve so fast. She’s a great kid. You and your husband have done an amazing job with her. She never settles for less than 110 percent. And she’s always so upbeat and polite.”