Are Chinese Mothers Superior?

The most popular Wall Street Journal article at the moment is one entitled, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” Being raised by a Chinese mother, my first reaction is, “Yeeup! That’s right!”

After reading the article, my next reaction is to scratch my head. It’s definitely on the ridiculous side. I *think* the article is written as satire, but to be honest, there are some parts where I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s a bit of both? The controversy is pretty evident based on the number of comments (2347 at time of writing).

One thing the article doesn’t discuss is the spiritual affects of this type of parenting. The writer talks about how Chinese parents assume strength in their child which is the underlying reason for their methods of punishing and shaming/guilt-tripping them (they’re strong enough to handle it). However, in my opinion, this is why so many of us Chinese Americans associate our self-worth and feeling loved with our accomplishments. This makes it hard for us to grasp passages like this past Sunday’s Gospel on the Baptism of Jesus. We just can’t seem to wrap our minds around God’s love for Jesus as His Beloved Son because of who Jesus is, not what He’s done.

If you want to learn more about this concept, I highly recommend reading Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen. If you prefer youtube videos to reading, you can watch Nouwen give a talk on it (it’s split into eight parts). This is part 1.

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