Dear Tiger Mom, aka Amy Chua:
Amy “Tiger Mother” Chua might want to cover her ears right now because clinical psychologist Wendy Mogel has a message for parents that would likely send Chua into one of those shrieking fits she reserves for her daughters’ subpar piano practices, or a verboten A-minus. Here goes: Your teen may not be a genius-entrepreneur-athlete-altruist-artist. He will probably experiment with drugs, drinking and sex. The small stuff — like rudeness, irresponsibility and utter obliviousness to the effort and money you put into his well-being — will test you daily.
Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin earned two A’s, one A-plus and one A-minus during her first semester at the University of California, Santa Barbara. When she told her Chinese grandfather, she was disappointed but not shocked by his response. “He said: ‘You got an A-plus, but an A-minus, too,’ ” recalled Mates-Muchin, 36, now the associate rabbi of Temple Sinai in Oakland. Mates-Muchin, whose mother is second-generation Chinese-American and whose father is the son of Austrian Jewish immigrants, recognizes a lot of her own childhood in “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” Yale University professor Amy Chua’s controversial book about raising her daughters with traditional Chinese norms of strict discipline.