What’s it like to be raised by a “Tiger Mum”?
It’s something that Amy Chua’s kids, 19-year-old Lulu Chua-Rubenfeld and her 23-year-old sister, Sophia, know intimately well.
The Chua-Rubenfeld sisters are the subject of the elder Chua’s 2011 parenting memoir “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” where she describes her unrelenting parenting style in brutally honest terms.
The sisters are now speaking out, five years after their mother’s book caused a media firestorm, as a “Today Show” segment from Friday morning noted, citing a recent article in The Telegraph.
The sisters spoke to The Telegraph this month, opening up about their upbringing, and saying they would raise their children the exact same way.
“Everyone talks about my mother threatening to throw my toys on the fire, but the funny thing is that was not a major memory. I remember my childhood as happy,” Sophia, now a law student at Yale and a second lieutenant in the Army, tells The Telegraph. “I am not scared of my mum and never have been. It was always unequivocally clear in my mind that my parents were on my side, no matter what. They did have high expectations of me, but because they had the confidence that I could do amazing things.”
Lulu, the younger child who’s now a sophomore at Harvard, was always a bit more rebellious.
“I had a tough childhood, but a happy one,” she tells The Telegraph. “I was playing up to six hours of violin a day and it was too much. However, when I rebelled because it was putting too much of a strain on me, my mum could easily have given up on me. She pushed me when I needed it.”
While both Lulu and Sophia say they would raise their own children the same way, Sophia tells The Telegraph that she would guide her kids toward activities they are more “naturally drawn to.”
Lulu also cautions that her mother’s parenting method doesn’t work for all children. “Assuming every kid can do this is dangerous,” she tells The Telegraph. “I know too many kids who have cracked.”
Despite all of the detractors, it seems as if Lulu and Sophia turned out quite all right. Besides their sterling, Ivy League educations, friends describe Lulu as a “free spirit,” while former employers say that she is both “charismatic and intuitive,” according to Harvard Magazine.
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