Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger mother” is probably the most famous book, outside of China, about the strict methods used by Chinese parents. For those parents who are inspired by what she wrote and intend to use her methods, please note that Amy Chua said this in an interview : “The most important thing I want to say is that this is absolutely not a book about how I think other people should parent.” (Source)
For anyone who is looking for a good parenting book written by a Chinese parent, I highly recommend 好妈妈胜过好老师. This is the only book written by 尹建莉 and it has made her one of the top 10 richest authors of all genres of books in China. (Source)
If you are expecting a book about strict parenting methods like Amy Chua’s book, you will be very surprised. 尹建莉 is the polar opposite of Amy Chua. The mainland Chinese author has a Master of Education, and she is an education expert who has worked with many children. She raised a daughter who scored well enough to enter the top universities in China at age 16. She never used coercion or threats or humiliation like what Amy Chua did to her daughters. If you aspire to be a 好妈妈, not a 虎妈妈, then you must read 好妈妈胜过好老师.
The very first chapter of her book is : 如何提高爱的质量 (how to improve the quality of love). 尹建莉 advises parents to treat their children, no matter how young, with respect and dignity. She wrote :
孩子不是为 “长大” 或 “成功” ，”成才” 活着， 孩子首先是为 “童年” 而活着。
Children do not live to become successful, children live for their childhood.
The second chapter is : 把学习做成轻松的事 (how to study in a relaxing way) . The author explains what is the most effective methods of learning to read and write in Chinese, and how children can enjoy learning and at the same time do very well in school. She wrote:
There is a magic wand that can make children more intelligent and maximize their learning potential. This magic wand refers to reading story books. She also wrote:
Many parents in this forum wrote that even though their children like to read story books, they do not write good essays. The reason is because their children have not read enough books. The author’s daughter has read about 20 million words by the time she was in high school. This is roughly equivalent to reading 30 long novels (each about 66000 words) a year since primary 1. I used to read that many Chinese books when I was in school, it is not difficult to achieve. The author gives advise on the type of books that children should read, and she also explains why it is useless to memorize model compositions. A child who spends all his time memorizing model compositions will never do as well as a child who reads extensively. The author includes important tips about how to do well in creative writing, and how to motivate children to read.
The other chapters are about moral education, how to develop good study habits, and lots of advise about how to deal with children’s behaviour problems.
I think that this is an excellent book about parenting because it places equal emphasis on achieving academic excellence, as well as character development. 尹建莉 has experience working with many children, she wrote about many mistakes that other parents made and she definitely has a very good understanding of the best parenting methods that will work on most children.
This book is available in the National Library. Go to www.nlb.gov.sg, search for Author: Yin, Jianli. The book is written in Chinese and parents who can read Chinese newspapers should be able to read this book easily.
Children do not need to suffer in order to do well in our education system, if parents are smart enough to find out what are the best methods to nurture them. I have also shared in my blog :
How to let our kids enjoy their childhood