Take This, Tiger Mom!

Time, Jan 23 2012

It’s been a year since the “Tiger mom” roared onto the scene, sharing how she compelled her kids to practice the piano for hours sans potty breaks and denied them frivolous activities like playdates.

In her best-selling book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Yale professor Amy Chua made the case that overly indulgent parents — you know who you are: maybe you let your kids play the occasional video game or allow them to spend the night at a friend’s house — can beget only spoiled and unmotivated children.

Now a fellow academic — and Chinese mother — is refuting that tough-as-nails approach, urging parents to let kids be kids. Girls, it turns out, just wanna have fun. And so do boys.

Happiness is actually pretty important for children, says Desiree Baolian Qin, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University.