One recent case of alleged parental abuse is the 2011 documented case of Amy Chua, who is a Yale law professor and the wife of Yale law professor, Jed Rubenfeld. She describes herself as a “tiger mother” and wanted her children to be perfect and disciplined. She forced her 7 year old daughter Lulu to practice an advanced tune on her violin for hours on end “right through dinner into the night”(Paul:2011). The child was forced each day to practice this way with no breaks for water or even the bathroom, until Lulu learnt how to play the piece perfectly(Paul:2011).
Amy Chua would call her other daughter Sophia “garbage” when she felt disrespected, and tore up a hand-made card that Lulu made her for her birthday as not being “good enough”. Her father is also severe. He severely chastised his daughter for humiliating and disgracing him by taking him to a school Awards honor presentation where she received second prize, not first prize. The Yale Law Professor is unrepentant and claims she is preparing her daughters for adulthood because “its a tough world out there”(Paul:2011). She has even published a book entitled “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” which is now in the best seller lists in the USA.
The book details her recommended style of parenting which includes never accepting a school grade lower than an “A”, insisting on hours of math and spelling drills, piano and violin practice each day(weekends and public holidays included), of not allowing play dates, sleepovers, television, computer games, school plays.(Paul:2011).
Amy Chua states she is raising her children to rule the world. This is a classic statement of a narcissistic parent who demands perfection, and whose value system has been replaced with images of power, success, perfectionism, status, and who sneer at everyone else as inferior and weak, as Amy allegedly does claim about other parents and their children compared to herself and her children.
Amy Chua states emphatically that she is doing all this to her children out of love and that her children’s happiness is her primary goal(Paul:2011). This is a distorted sense of love. Her own parents were strict on her as well and raised Chua harshly which she does not regret. Chua believes that adult happiness comes from being able to make the most possible choices from the work ethic and scholarly achievements that childhood sacrifices gave her(Paul:2011). There is no admission that there is any meaningful cost to be paid by any child raised under such strict disciplines and a home environment absent in emotional affection or affirmative love.
Imagine a world ruled by rigid, heartless leaders who are critical and demanding such as the model and vision Amy Chua aspires to. We see this already in the Chinese culture and its leadership values of power, control and material achievements at the expense of human rights, the environment, equality and freedom of expression. Like many authoritarian cultures, this is happiness for the few at the expense of the many.