28 Dec 2011

More Tiger Parenting

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Amy Chua, in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, explained that her tiger parenting involved no interference with her kids when they are at college. That is very much the opposite of the father-in-law’s parents’ early 1940s approach. They dictated his major at Yale, and even told him what sports he could pursue.

What I really liked in Amy Chua’s piece, though, was this story:

Here’s an example of real tiger parenting for you. When I was 15, my father, a professor of chaos theory at Berkeley, took our whole family with him to Europe for his sabbatical year. For one semester, he threw my sisters and me into a local public school in Munich.

When I mentioned to him that we didn’t speak any German and couldn’t understand the teachers, he told me to check out some language books from the library, and reminded me that mathematics and science employ universal symbols. “This is an opportunity,” he said. “Make the most of it.” It ended up being one of the best years of my life.

No wonder she wound up a professor at Yale Law with that father.

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