¿Madres tigres o madres elefantes?

MELBOURNE –  Hace muchos años, mi esposa y yo nos dirigíamos hacia algún lugar con nuestras tres hijitas, cuando una de ellas preguntó: “¿Que prefieren, qué seamos inteligentes o que seamos felices?”

Me acordé de este momento el mes pasado cuando leí el artículo “Por qué las madres chinas son superiores” de Amy Chua en el Wall Street Journal, que generó más de 4.000 comentarios en www.wsj.com y más de 100.000 comentarios en Facebook.  El artículo promocionaba el libro de  Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Himno de batalla de la madre tigre), que se convirtió en un éxito editorial al instante.

La tesis de Chua es que, cuando se los compara con sus pares norteamericanos, los chicos chinos tienden a ser más exitosos porque tienen “madres tigres”, mientras que las madres occidentales son gatitos, o peor. A Sophie y Louise, las hijas de Chua, nunca se les permitió mirar televisión, jugar juegos en la computadora, quedarse a dormir en la casa de alguna amiga o participar en una obra de teatro de la escuela. Tenían que pasar horas todos los días tocando el piano o el violín. Se esperaba que fueran las mejores alumnas en todas las materias excepto en gimnasia y en teatro.    

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