Lessons From the 'Tiger Mother' Brouhaha

Of the things we learned from the backlash over Amy Chua's new book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, No. 1 is to beware of insulting American mothers!

Because while most moms -- including many in the iVillage community and this reporter -- were all riled up about Chua's no-play date, no-TV, no-sleepover approach to grooming straight-A prodigies, part of our outrage may stem from what this says about us. Are we Western moms too lax, too touchy-feely? Should we be doing more? Should we be tougher parents?

But Chua says it's not about that. "I really did not intend this to be a how-to guide, or you know, about promoting the Chinese model. I really believe that," Chua told NBC News' Rehema Ellis. "There are many ways to be a good parent."

And that bring us to the second thing we learned: that this story is not so black-and-white. Chua says she didn't write the headline –- "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior," -- which appeared online in the Wall Street Journal along with an excerpt of her book. The Yale law professor says her views and the book are much more nuanced, and so she's been doing damage control over the last few days -- especially after she's claimed to receive death threats.

But another thing we learned is that Chua's children don't seem like they are in need of serious therapy -- at least according to a letter written by one of Chua's daughters to the New York Post. In it, 18-year-old Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld talks about her mom's humor and praises her tough love approach. "I admit it: Having you as a mother was no tea party," Chua-Rubenfeld writes. "There were some play dates I wish I'd gone to and some piano camps I wish I'd skipped. But now that I'm 18 and about to leave the tiger den, I'm glad you and Daddy raised me the way you did."

Is that the last word? Probably not. After all, Chua still has a book to sell and -- something we also learned with this story -- outrage translates into book sales. 

Did the Tiger Mother make you question your parenting style -- even a tiny bit? Chime in below!

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