Tigermütter oder Elefantenmütter?

MELBOURNE – Vor vielen Jahren waren meine Frau und ich im Auto unterwegs mit unseren drei jungen Töchtern auf dem Rücksitz, als eine von ihnen plötzlich fragte: „Hättet ihr lieber, dass wir schlau wären oder dass wir glücklich wären?“

An diesen Augenblick musste ich letzten Monat denken, als ich Amy Chuas Artikel „Warum chinesische Mütter besser sind“ (Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior“) im Wall Street Journal las, der über 4000 Kommentare auf wsj.com und über 100 000 Kommentare auf Facebook auslöste. Der Artikel war Werbung für Chuas Buch Die Mutter des Erfolgs: Wie ich meinen Kindern das Siegen beibrachte, das sofort zu einem Bestseller wurde.

Chuas These lautet, dass chinesische Kinder im Vergleich zu amerikanischen tendenziell erfolgreich sind, weil sie „Tigermütter“ haben, während westliche Mütter Miezekätzchen sind – oder Schlimmeres. Chuas Töchter Sophia und Louise durften niemals Fernsehen gucken, Computerspiele spielen, bei einer Freundin übernachten oder bei einer Schulaufführung mitspielen. Sie mussten jeden Tag mehrere Stunden Klavier- und Geigespielen üben. Es wurde von ihnen erwartet, in jedem Fach außer Sport und Theater Klassenbeste zu sein.

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