Monday, January 31, 2011

Your Daily PSA. Or two.

I scaled back on my feelings about Tiger Mom in the comment section of the piece I wrote on the subject a couple of weeks ago. I think I might have gone too far in the scaling back department. Elizabeth Kohlbert reviewed the actual book for The New Yorker this week. Things were made clearer for me. The book is meant to be a memoir, and not a parenting manual, but Kohlbert maintains that any introspection and changing done by Tiger Mom is brief and half-hearted. Despite the reviewer's subtly disguised distaste for Ms. Chua's parenting approach, she also cites the most recent, dismal findings of how American children in the current generation are stacking up against their global counterparts. There is no justification for how poorly American children are doing academically. There is no justification for calling your children garbage when they come in second on a multiplication test either.

What is clear is that some sort of middle ground must be found soon.

Your second public service announcement is not really for the public, but it will make me feel better.

Note to the newspaper customer with the hundred year-old dog that manages, somehow, to almost daily escape the airtight security you insist exists in your backyard: I don't care how harmless you insist Houdini-dog is. I still don't want her sniffing me. Especially there. And especially at four-thirty in the morning. Oh, I hear you chuckling on the phone, insisting that your gray-muzzled beauty is harmless, and telling me it is ridiculous to be afraid of her. I'm not afraid of her! But why should delivering your paper for the dizzying sum of a dime a day cause me to bring home fleas and need to see the vet for my own, special case of mange?

Now back to your regularly scheduled life.

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