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.