It is also worth noting that there are severe logical problems inherent in the idea of a school full of children whose tiger moms demand they be the No. 1 student in all academic subjects, and that the intense parental investment displayed by Professor Chua is problematic in families larger than hers — begs, in fact, for a “one-child policy.” Even the most determined tiger mom might find her zeal flagging at child No. 3 or No. 4.
Furthermore, most people are not very academically inclined. If a child’s natural bent is towards some other kind of excellence — social, mechanical, athletic, creative — Chua-style parenting will only misdirect him. Children need some nagging and supervision, but they also need freedom to explore, to discover their own interests and aptitudes. We may, in our current child-raising practices, have over-emphasized self-esteem and self-discovery, but that does not make these notions nugatory. Children are entitled to a childhood, with frequent spells of play, idleness, and freedom from hovering adults.