Author and mother Amy Chua has been a hot topic in the news and blogosphere lately for her extremely stringent parenting philosophy, presented in her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. One of the best commentaries I have seen is by David Brooks, in the New York Times (Jan. 19, 2011). He argues that she is actually “coddling” her children by protecting them from the world of peer-group social interaction.
“Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls. Managing status rivalries, negotiating group dynamics, understanding social norms, navigating the distinction between self and group — these and other social tests impose cognitive demands that blow away any intense tutoring session or a class at Yale. “ He highlights the essential social and emotional skills adolescents must learn in order to achieve success in life. And Smart-Girl is one of the few programs that is grounded in theories of social and emotional intelligence!
Read Brook’s whole commentary here.