During an interview with CBC, Amy Chua digs her hole just a little bit deeper:
... even a generation or two ago here, there was a lot more of a sense of like you owe your parents a sense of decency, a sense of respect, a sense of gratitude and I really don't like a lot of what I see today, which is a lot of these kids that are very pampered and very entitled and want more more more, buy me more equipment, buy me more iPhones, buy me more this ...
I find it mildly ironic that I was just looking over Alfie Kohn's review of permissive parenting research (there is none) and increasingly narcissistic children from generation to generation (there is none of that, either) or any evidence that helicopter parenting is damaging (nor any of that), and here is Amy having a bit of a rant about what is 'wrong' with all these children raised the 'wrong' way.
Excuse me while I quote someone else on the subject for a moment:
I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint.*It is, as Kohn points out, an item of faith that children are more narcissistic than ever before, that helicopter parenting is problematic and that permissive parenting is fruitless and creates unsuccessful children. Except the research simply does not exist. In fact, the research that does exist:
... published in Pediatrics, discovered that there is indeed a parental practice associated with children who later become demanding and easily frustrated. But it’s not groovy, indulgent parenting. It’s spanking.But I want to give Amy a shovel, so she can really dig in. The hypocrisy between what she states as her values and her own attitude: oh my! From fairly late in the interview, as she really gets to chatting (referring to the child's making of a birthday card):
I think that you can do better and I think that you owe me a little bit more, and I think that people balk at that, too: 'oh my god, she wants more'Sorry, could I just highlight that? Maybe bold and italics: I think you owe ME a little bit more. This, in the midst of a thought-free rant about the sense of entitlement in children. I wonder 'are you looking in a mirror, here?'
From earlier in the interview, regarding the same anecdote:
Nope, this is not good enough. You know, when it's your birthday, I spend my whole salary hiring a magician and baking you a cake and having big parties and buying all these party favours and getting waterslides and I deserve better than this...Okay. First, this is a four-year-old she is talking to. The 4yo is the reason she spends buckets of money on lavish parties? Who is running this household? Seriously.
And, to be pedantic about her point, let me once more pick out the phrase that I believe --were it said by someone, 4, 14 or even 24, would be gilded and plastered onto a Youth Entitlement Wall of Shame somewhere: I deserve better than this.
Do I have to say anything at all here?
*from Hesiod, 8th century BC
photo used with permission Creative Commons attrib/non-deriv; PinkSugarPhotography