I joined a book club. I love to read and someone asked me to join the group. I love reading a book knowing that a group of people are reading the same book so that we can discuss it. Brings be back to my high school honors reading class. I loved that class! We had our June meeting a few days ago and I went ahead and purchased the July book via Kindle. The book is Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. You can read about it here: http://amychua.com/. I thought I would peak at the book and then wait until a week before the meeting to read it. I couldn't stop reading it! I was intrigued. I had an idea what the book was about, but once I started reading from the mother's point of view, I couldn't put it down. I read it in two days. I could see myself in Amy, the mother. I could see how she wants her daughters to be successful, intelligent, and respectful. I understand that she does not want her daughters to be "typical children or teenagers." I see how she loves her family so much she is willing to wear herself out to give them the best life they can have. On the other hand, I also feel for her daughters. They want a "normal childhood," whatever that is, and they want some freedom. But I do believe that is a huge problem in America. Parents, teachers, school boards, all give children too much. Too much stuff, too much choice, too much freedom. I won't get into it much right now because I am sure some of you have not read the book and I don't want to spoil it for you. We, as parents, as adults, as the leaders of the country worry way too much about keeping our children happy all the time. School has to be fun, weekends have to be entertaining, after school hours have to be filled with sports and activities. It's all for the kids. I would say that most kids think life is about keeping them happy and entertained all the time. I worries me that Amy's kids didn't know how to play, they didn't know how to just be kids and have fun. But I can see why Amy directed their every move. It's a way to help them learn to be in control of their own lives and not depend on others to make them happy.
What do I do with this? There has to be a balance. I do let Ady skip piano practice on the weekends. She only has to practice about 15 minutes a day. She does need to practice more. She should be practicing her golf swing more. She should be reading more and practicing math skills more. I tell myself she is young and doesn't need to worry about these things. But I don't want to raise a lazy child. She gets plenty of time to play (although since we moved here she can't see to play by herself, she always wants a friend or one of her parents to play with her), plenty of time at the pool, and has little to no homework to worry about. She has chores to do, but I often let her skip them or I find myself doing things for her. When I was working full time that would not have happened. I want to raise a child that believes hard work can accomplish things, that knows she is smart but can always be smarter, and that respects us as her parents. We've got some work to do! I know that I can't complain. She is smart, loving, and determined. But I can also see her wanting to do the bare minimum, she talks back more now, and she loves to argue with us. She is 6. She seems to forget that. I let her get away with things that I know I shouldn't because I feel like she has been through a lot. I feel guilty that she has lived in four states in six years. I need to keep in mind that she is blessed with two parents that adore her, that she has everything she needs, and that she is a happy child. It's nearly impossible to see her not smiling.