Want to join the debate? Check out the Intelligence Squared website to hear about future live events and podcasts:
Why are there so many Chinese maths and music prodigies? Because Chinese mothers believe schoolwork and music practice come first, that an A-minus is a bad grade, that sleepovers, TV and computer games should never be allowed and that the only activities their children should be permitted to do are ones in which they can eventually win a medal — and that medal must be gold.
These methods certainly seem to get results, so perhaps western parents should start being more pushy with their children. But is it defensible to cajole and bully one’s offspring to success? Isn’t it better to be raising happy, rounded individuals rather than burnt-out brainboxes? Who’s right and who’s wrong?
In this debate from 2011, Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, takes on Justine Roberts, co-founder of Mumsnet, the phenomenally successful parenting website.