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Keep on reading'battle hymn of the tiger mother'  

2011-10-17 15:49:42|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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I talk to Lulu's tennis instructor."There's no way Lulu can ever be really good,right?I mean,she's thirteen--that's got to be ten years too late."I'd heard about the explosion of high -powered tennis academies and four-year-olds with personal trainers."Also,she's so short,like me."

"The important thing is that Lulu loves tennis."the instructor said,very Americanly."And she had an unbelievable work ethic--I've never seen anyone improve so fast.She's a great kid.You and your husband have done an amazing job with her.She never settles for less than 110 percent.And she's always so upbeat and polite

"You've got to be kidding,"I said.But despite myself,my spirits lifted.could this be the Chinese virtuous circle in action?Had I perhaps just chosen the wrong activity for Lulu?Tennis was very respectable:it wasn't like bowling.Michael Chang had played tennis.

I started to gear up..I familiarized myself with the USTA rules and procedures and the natoinal ranking system.I also looked into trainers and started calling around about the best tennis clinics in the area.

Lulu overheard me one day."What are you doing?"she demanded.When I explained that I was just doing a little research,she suddenly got furious."No,Mommy,no!"she said fiercely."Don't wreck tennis for me like you wrecked violin."

That really hurt.I backed off.

The next day I tried again."Lulu,there's a place in Massachusetts...."

"No,Mommy--please stop,"Lulu said."I can do this on my own.I don't need you to be involved.""Lulu,what we need to do is to channel your strength--"

"Mommy,I get it.I've watched you and listened to your lectures a million times.But I don't want you controlling my life."

"Okay,Lulu,I can accept that,"I said."See how undefensive and flexible I am?To succeed in this world,you always have to be willing to adapt.That's something I'm especially good at that you should learn from me."

But I didn't really give up.I'm still in the fight,albeit with some significant modifications to my strategy.I've become newly accepting and open-mined.The other day Lulu told me she would have even less time for violin because she wanted to pursue othe interests,like writing and"improve."Instead of choking,I was supportive and proactive.I'm taking the long view.Lulu can do side--splitting imitations,and while improve does seems un-Chinese and the opposite of classical music,it is definitely a skill.I also harbor hopes that Lulu won't be able to escape her love of music and that someday--maybe soon--she'll return to the violin of her own accord.

"Choice...I wonder if that's waht it all comes downto,"I mused."Westerners believe in choice;the Chinese don't.I used to make fun of Popl for giving Daddy a choice about violin lessons.Of course he chose not to.But now,Lulu,I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't forced you to audition for Juilliar or practice so many hours a day.Who knows?Maybe you'd still like violin.Or what if I'd let you choose your own instrument?Or no instrument?After all,Daddy turned out fine."

"When their kids fail at something,instead of telling them to work harder,the first thing Western parents do is bring a lawsuit!"

"Who exactly are you talking about?"asked Sophia."I don't know any Western parents who have brought a lawsuit."

I refuse to buckle to politically correct Western social norms that are obviously stupid.And not even rooted historically.What are the origins of the playdate anyway?Do you think our Founding fathers had sleepovers?I actually think America's Founding Fathers had Chinese values."

I hate to break it to you,Mommy,but....
"Mommy,if the Founding Fathers thought that way,then it's an American way of thinking,"said Sophia."Besides,I think you may be misquoting."

"Look it up"I dared her

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