here - University of Macau

East Meeting West: Raising Globally
Competent Children
Are Tiger Moms the Answer and
Chun Zhang, Ph.D.
Visiting Fulbright Scholar
University of Macau
January 31, 2013
What is this Lecture or Conversation
 Reflecting on my journey as a scholar
 Sharing research and personal experiences
 Lessons learned from research and
 Reflecting on my parenting as a mother:
triumphs and struggles in a multicultural
 Having a conversation about parenting
hopes, ideals, tips, mistakes, and regrets
Ideal Goals for Parenting and
 As parents and educators, we need to help
the younger generation to release their
energy in positive ways and reach their
fullest potential
 Examples of Asian Americans
 Vera Wang
 Jeremy Lin
 Steve Chen
 Gary Locke
 Steven Chu
Global Competence
 Have a diverse and knowledgeable
worldview (cognitive)
 Comprehends international dimensions of
his/her major field of study (cognitive)
 Communicates effectively in another
language and/or cross-culturally
(cognitive and emotional)
 Exhibits cross-cultural sensitivity and
adaptability (social and emotional)
 Carries global competencies throughout
life (social and emotional)
Russo & Osborne cited on January 18, 2013 from
Cultural or Multicultural
Competence: Four Components
 Awareness of one's own cultural worldview
 Attitude towards cultural differences
 Knowledge of different cultural practices
and worldviews, and
 Developing an ability to understand,
communicate with, and effectively interact
with people across cultures.
Well-Rounded Child Development--Cognitive and
Social/Emotional Development: What Does
Research Say?
Kindergarteners with positive social-emotional competence
demonstrate not only more positive attitudes toward school and
smoother adjustment to school life, but also better academic
performance (Ladd, Birch, & Buhs, 1999).
Children with appropriate and effective social-emotional competence
are able to negotiate in complex social contexts and are effective in
achieving personal goals (Brown, & Conroy, 2011).
Sub-domains of social and emotional competences, such as positive
relationship with others, positive self-representation, self-image or
esteem, emotion knowledge, social abilities, and emotional
regulation, are often unique predictors of academic success (Carlton,
Goals of Parenting and Parent-Child
 Goals of Parenting
 Framework for Creating Positive ParentChild Interactions
L. Kuczynski (2003, ed.). Handbook of dynamics in parent-child
relations (pages. 172 &173)
Parenting Styles and Child Outcomes: What
Do Major Theories and Research Say?
Two dimensions of parenting styles
 parental acceptance/responsiveness
 Demandingness/control
(Grolnick, 2003)
Parenting Styles and Child Outcomes: What
Do Major Theories and Research Say?
Parenting style has often been defined as a construct
that reflects relationship qualities such as emotional
tone or affect between parent and child (Chao, 2001)
Four main parenting styles
(a)authoritative (warm, responsive/restrictive,
(b)permissive (warm, responsive/permissive,
(c)authoritarian (rejecting, unresponsive/restrictive,
demanding), and
(d) uninvolved (rejecting, unresponsive/permissive,
(Grolnick, 2003)
Parenting Styles and Child
Outcomes: What Do Major Theories
and Research Say?
 Parenting styles and children
functioning demonstrate
bidirectional relations.
 Inflexible parents tend to raise
inflexible children, whereas flexible
adolescents reinforce flexible
parenting styles.
(Williams, Ciarrochi, & Heaven, 2012)
Parenting Styles and Child
Authoritative parenting is associated with higher
school performance among EuropeanAmerican adolescents than are other
parenting styles.
Authoritarian parenting is negatively associated
with children’s school achievement in both the
United States and Taiwan and among
European-Americans and Asian-Americans
(Pong, Johnston, & Chen, 2010)
Parenting Styles and Child
 Positive effects of both authoritative parenting
and relationship closeness on school
performance were found for European
Americans and, to some extent, secondgeneration Chinese, but not first-generation
 Among European American families, the
beneficial effects of authoritative parenting are
explained through relationship closeness.
(Chao, 2001)
Parenting Styles and Child
 Relationship qualities of closeness between parent
and child affect the school performance of
European Americans. Authoritative parents may
be more effective simply because they foster close
and mutually satisfying relationships with their
 Because the effects of relationship closeness may
not be as positive for some groups as others,
particularly for more recent generations of Asian
immigrants compared with European Americans,
authoritative parenting may also have less
beneficial consequences for Asian immigrants than
for European Americans’ satisfying relationships
with their children.
(Chao, 2001)
Parenting Styles within the Contexts of
East and West Beliefs and Values
 Family is a social-cultural-economic arrangement that
influences children’s social and emotional development to a
great degree (Alizadeh, Talib, Abdullah, & Mansor, 2011).
 Traditional Western philosophy believes in problem solving
through active and direct manipulation or control to change
the environment.
 Western culture emphasizes defining and attacking the
problems directly.
 Confucian philosophy stresses rules to promote loyalty,
respect, and harmony among family members (Moodley &
West, 2005).
 Asian cultures tend to accommodate or cope with problems
indirectly (Sue & Sue, 2008).
Parenting Styles within the Contexts of
East and West Beliefs and Values
 In terms of the relational dimension, the U.S. culture is
characterized as an achievement-driven society and the
concept of individualism is emphasized. It is believed that
the individual is the psychosocial unit of operation; the
individual holds accountability for his/her own behaviors;
independence and autonomy are highly valued; and one
should be internally directed and controlled.
 Relationship in Asian cultures is lineal in nature.
Collectivism is stressed in many Asian cultures. Obeying
the wishes of ancestors or decreased parents and using
identity in relation to the family and historical past are
common practice in Asian cultures. However, such
behaviors might be misinterpreted as not being able to
establish independent identity and not holding
accountability on one’s own behaviors.
(Sue & Sue, 2008)
Acculturation: Embracing or
Rejecting Other Cultures?
Berry’s acculturation framework (1997, 2003)
Based on Berry, two dimensions of acculturation are (a)
immigrants’ maintenance of one’s heritage culture, and
(b) immigrants’ adoption of mainstream culture.
By joint consideration of both dimensions, there are four
levels of acculturation:
 integration (embrace both heritage culture and
mainstream culture),
 marginalization (embrace neither culture),
 separation (exclusively embrace heritage culture), and
 assimilation (exclusively embrace mainstream culture).
Acculturation and Child Outcomes
Adolescents with integration mode reported
the least emotional and behavioral
whereas those with marginalization mode
reported the most problems
(Shrake, 1996).
Tiger Mothers: Responses about
Amy Chua’s Book
Stereotypes of Asian Children and Parents in
the U.S.
 The Model Minority
 Asian students are math whizzes and music prodigies
 Chinese parents raise stereotypically successful kids
 Academic achievement reflects successful parenting
(Chua, 2011, p.3)
Tiger Mothers: Responses about
Amy Chua’s Book
Sophia got the best of both cultures. She was probing and
questing, from the Jewish side. From me, the Chinese
side, she got skills, skills learned in a diligent,
disciplined, and confidence-expanding Chinese way
(Chua, 2011, p8)
I have decided the hybrid approach, the best of both
worlds. The Chinese way until the child is 18, to develop
confidence and the value of excellence (Chua, 2011, p
Parenting Lessons from Amy Chua
Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality,
encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a
nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to
protect their children is by preparing them for the future and arming
them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence.
Amy demands as much of herself as she does of her daughters, and
in her sacrifices—the enormous commitment of time and energy, the
heartbreak and pain she is willing to endure—the depth of love for
her children.
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother exposes the clash of eastern and
western parental worldviews, but is ultimately the story of a mother’s
hopes for her daughters and the risks she is willing to take to invest
in their future.
(Chua, 2011, cover explanation)
Lessons for Our Parenting: Nurturing Our
Children’s Cognitive and Emotional
My Observation: We tend to value and overemphasize cognitive
intelligence over emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence
promotes greater social skills and leadership skills.
Five essential elements of emotional intelligence that are linked with
leader effectiveness:
 development of collective goals and objectives;
 instilling in others an appreciation of the importance of work
 generating and maintaining enthusiasm, confidence, optimism,
cooperation, and trust;
 encouraging flexibility in decision making and change; and
establishing, and
 maintaining a meaningful identity for an organization.
(George, 2000)
Conditional Love or Unconditional Love:
My Own Reflection and Confession
My Observation: We tend to love our children conditionally, and expect
something in return; it is almost like an expectation of return on
investment. We love our children for family pride or for our own sake.
Many western parents love children for their children’s sake, and give
unconditional love.
Unconditional Love
Empathizing: listening with your own heart to another’s heart.
Sharing authentically your most deeply felt insights, learnings,
emotions, and convictions.
Affirming the other person with a profound sense of belief, valuation,
confirmation, appreciation, and encouragement.
Praying with and for the other person from the depths of your soul,
tapping into the energy and wisdom of higher powers.
Sacrificing for the other person: going the second mile, doing far
more than is expected, caring and serving until it sometimes even
My Thoughts and Reflection: Parenting
Lessons, Hopes, Ideals, Mistakes, and
 Stages of parenting, child development, and learning/teaching
A close, warm, and supportive family relationship is the
foundation for developing independence and interdependence
 Positive, supportive, and loving parenting is a life-long learning
process that can result in an immense sense of
accomplishment and happiness. This type of relationship
building can be transferred to other relationship development.
 The good news is that most of the family’s strained
relationships (husband and wife, parent and child) can be
repaired. It is never too late to repair a strained family
 admit mistakes, forgive yourself , your spouse, and your
children, take others’ perspectives, spend quality time
together, give unconditional support and love
Lessons Learned from research
and experiences
 Overprotection may interfere with independence and risk taking
skills development
 Too many parents try to use material compensation to relieve
their sense of guilt because of being too busy—the best remedy
is to try to have quality time together with them when possible.
 Too much love or intensive mothering may result in strained
and distant relationship between children and parents; there
needs to be the right balance.
 Intellectual intelligence and emotional intelligence
 Skill-based development and inquisitiveness and creativity
 Individual and group skills development
 Closeness, warmness, and unconditional support and love
establish the foundation for trust, security, and bonding.
 Understanding, being sensitive, and showing respect for our
children, others, and other cultures
My Confession and Conclusion
As an observer, caregiver, friend, and mentor, being
a mother is a process of learning about myself,
finding out about how my child develops as an
individual, and what she loves and loves to do for
herself and others, and guiding and supporting
her unconditionally, so that she will become a
happy, competent, and compassionate individual
and professional.
Thank You Very Much for Your Attendance!

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