Who is the real wimp, Amy Chua or her husband?

In today’s New York Times, David Brooks makes a great point about Amy Chua’s wrong-headed parenting choices.

When the Tiger Mother starts chewing her cubs, the larger question is why doesn’t the father of the house step in to restore sanity? What sort of father today cedes all child-rearing authority to his wife?

“Extreme parenting” is tyranny and madness. Crushed under the regime of an Amy Chua, a smart child who is well-grounded and self-protective would run away from home.

Even in a happy household, it is every husband’s sacred obligation to protect his children from momentary mood swings of the motherly variety.

Just before dinner when everyone including the dog seems to need a stiff one, Mr. Henry will on rare occasions hear Mrs. Henry carping at Little Henry about some minor transgression normally involving a small sin of omission like not putting something away in its proper place.

In order to reestablish family harmony at these critical junctures, Mr. Henry steps into the breach. First he tells Little Henry to run upstairs and hide until dinner is ready. Then he suggest to Mrs. Henry that a little bite of hors d’oeuvres might hit the spot. Then – and this is key – he refuses to engage in a fight with her no matter what.

Once dinner has begun to work its magic and conversation begins to wander merrily, all will be well.

3 Responses to “Who is the real wimp, Amy Chua or her husband?”

  1. Klee January 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Wise words, Mr Henry, wise words.

  2. Wendy January 25, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    Good point, Mr. Henry. Having read the piece in the WSJ, I wondered the same thing – where is the child’s father? And wondered if the title ought to have been “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Single Mother”.

  3. Fausta January 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    From the legal standpoint, it would also behoove the father to step in when the Tiger Mother doesn’t allow the daughters to go to the bathroom for the three hours of daily (?) piano practice. A child tells her pediatrician about that, the pediatrician has the obligation to report it, and sooner than not you have DYFUS on your case.

    Never mind that children learn from their parents how to respect others, and calling the daughters “garbage” isn’t the way to go about it.