HomeChinese AmericanTiger Mom Amy Chua mellows with age and a serious illness

Tiger Mom Amy Chua mellows with age and a serious illness

Amy Chua lay in bed after doctors told her a colon illness almost took her life.

As many as eight tubes had been inserted into her body and she lost much of her hair.

The author of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother began racing through her mind all that she had never told her daughters.

Simple things such as “I’m so proud of you” and “You are so much more talented and brilliant than I ever was.”

“Oh my God, if I had really died in the hospital, there were all these things I should have said to my daughters that I hadn’t,” she shared with The Daily Mail.

During her long year of recovery, she became addicted to the painkiller oxycodone and took a leave of absence from her job at Yale.

She does not regret writing the book, although she became a villain to other parents who objected to her harsh parenting tactics.

Things like calling her daughter Sophia “garbage” for falling short of expectations or withholding dinner and even Christmas presents because the 7-year-old Lulu failed to play a complex piano piece.

Sophia is now 30 and works as a military lawyer after graduating from Yale law school.

Lulu is 27 and finished a year at a prestigious law firm before clerking for two judges in Miami.

Amy Chua the "Tiger Mom" and her daughters at the 2011 Time 100 gala.
By David Shankbone via Wikipedia Creative Commons

She looks back at her childhood with mixed feelings.

“There were happy moments and difficult moments and it was maybe a less carefree childhood than a lot of other people’s,’ she says. ‘I lost that childhood innocence, that sense of joy and wonder, and I definitely felt a lot of stress.’

Today her mother is much more nurturing and less of a Tiger Mom.

“Because I was so ill, it really caused me to think about what was important in life. I also remember my daughters saying, “You’re so much nicer now. Why can’t you always be like this?” ’

Chua has just written her first novel- a work of fiction entitled The Golden Gate.

A rich patriarchial family has just discovered one of their three grandchildren has committed murder.

It’s quite a departure from extolling the virtues of tiger parenting.

I don’t regret writing the (Battle Hymn) book,” she said. “At least,’ she adds, ‘nobody can say I’ve had a boring life.’

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’m sorry Ms. Chua suffered so much. Those who try to be “superhuman” meet some kind of wall, don’t they. We all have to deal with OHS – ordinary human “stuff”. What gets us through is love, not power. Ms. Chua emphasized power in her relationships with her daughters – high criticism, and low compassion, from the sounds of it. These tactics leave a long tail of suffering, because “happiness is love” as Grant Study director George Vaillant summarized. The dearth of attuned love in early life relationships is the “basic flaw” that leads to a “great chasm” in society. I just spoke last night on “Treating America’s #1 Addiction: Abusive Power” and that blogpost will be up on Psychology Today in a week. But I wrote a couple times about Chua’s work in the past. Readers might like

    Battle Hymn of the Teddy Bear Psychiatrist | Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-pacific-heart/201106/battle-hymn-the-teddy-bear-psychiatrist

    and

    Underscoring Amy Chua | Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-pacific-heart/201402/underscoring-amy-chua

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