The reaction to Mrs. Chua's parenting premise is as extreme as her methods. At last count, the WSJ story alone has generated more than 6,000 comments and the mommy-blogosphere is inundated with stories about the "tiger mom." That's because nothing ignites Internet fervor like criticism about parenting.
But most bloggers don't realize that "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" isn't a parenting book. It is one mother's confession, and an embarrassing one at that. And unfortunately, Mrs. Chua's parenting journey is stirring the wrong debate.
The question isn't success versus happiness. In fact, both of those goals reflect selfish and self-absorbed parents whose shallow values are rooted in emotional immaturity.
Is it any wonder our kids — and our culture — seem to be floundering?
We need to stop asking easy questions like, "Are my kids happy?" or "Are my kids as successful as they could be?" and ask a more difficult one, "Are my children good?"
We need to be concerned with the condition of their hearts.
If we focus on raising children of authentic good character and well-developed consciences; if we instill a moral code that identifies good and evil and teaches right from wrong; if we promote the obligation of stewardship of the gifts and talents they are given; and if we frame these lessons in the context of a deep and abiding faith in God, we're much more likely to raise human beings with the capacity for genuine happiness and unlimited success.
Who knows? They might even get into Harvard anyway.