Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fortitude - a Parental Must

This post has been milling in my mind for weeks.  Time to get at it!  Amy Chua is a Chinese mother who wrote an article entitled "Why Chinese mothers are Superior" for the Wall Street Journal published 8 January 2011.  The world has been in turmoil ever since.  Asian parents hate and resent her portrayal of Chinese parenting.  Western mothers are defensive.  Leaving the controversy, I find much to be said for the reasons behind the "stereotypical successful" Asian student: Asian Mothers are "in the trenches" with their children.  She clearly shows how Mothers Matter - mothers can "prepare their children...for the future by letting them see what they are capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits, and inner confidence that no one can ever take away."  The methods are debatable and up to each individual parent but of little debate is that when Mothers care enough - it "requires fortitude." Too many parents from the western mindset have shown that mothers matter as well by their absence in aiding a child to be the best he can be.  They blame society, peers, or teachers for less than stellar performance  instead of taking responsibility.  Too many legislators and school personell want to create another program instead of expecting the best of our parents.

Last week we arrived home from the grocery store at 4:30, the children were starving and snacking on yogurts I had just purchased as they ran in and out of the kitchen searching for food - there was nothing else available to eat.  Hungry and exhausted myself, I fought a mental/emotional battle and decided I would be strong and I would try even though it would have been nice to call in a pizza or send someone out for hamburgers.  I threw some macaroni into water to boil.  In the next 15 minutes I decided what to do with the macaroni, cleared the kitchen, put groceries away and started setting the table.  My six year old ran into the kitchen, peered into the pot "What are you cooking. Mommy?"  Seeing the macaroni she exclaimed  " Oh! macaroni and cheese! I love macaroni and cheese!  I love you Mommy."  She hopped down, ran away and miraculously, the foraging in the kitchen ceased.   A calm prevailed and I prepared macaroni/ hamburger/tomato  (my from scratch version of hamburger helper).  We enjoyed a wonderful family dinner.  That is fortitude.  


  1. Thanks for that. "In the trenches" is a good way to put it. I know that life well, and it's tough sometimes. In my case it came in the form of needing to pull my three kids out of public school one by one to home school them 5 years ago. I got comments that I was crazy but you know what? My kids have thrived because of it. My extracurricular life was absolutely disrupted and I had to work incredibly hard to meet all the demands it required but I'm so glad I've done it. I'm seeing now for myself the results of seeds sown in sweat and tears and the harvest is great!

  2. Fantastic! Our nation will be much stronger as we prepare ourselves not only with food but with the confidence to take a leap of faith and prepare our families to provide for themselves!