Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Amy Chua, the John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School, who joined the Yale faculty in 2001 after teaching at Duke Law School has authored her third book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," a parenting memoir about her self-described very harsh Chinese-American parenting style

Christopher Capozziello For The Globe and Mail

Enough with the violin.

Two Beijing school girls are pushing back against overly ambitious parents with The Complete Book of Combat With Mum, an online manual that teaches the fine art of softening a Tiger Mom's cold heart.

The makeshift guide is aimed at kids aged 6 to 12 who might be facing the kind of disciplinarian described in Amy Chua's notorious Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Story continues below advertisement

Ten-year-old authors Chen Leshui and Deng Xinyi shared their tips in a notebook crudely illustrated with ballpoint pen diagrams.

"Despite their simplicity, the pictures exactly capture the savagery of a Tiger Mother in full cry: a domineering powder-keg of ambition," wrote The Times' Leo Lewis.

The girls describe 20 different wiles, from bursting into tears and burying your head in mom's shoulder to threatening to run away.

More disquieting techniques include answering her punishing questions with your eyes closed and fashioning "mini weapons" out of household items.

The idea came to Ms. Chen after she got scolded for a bad exam mark, but it was actually her father – certainly no "wolf dad" – who uploaded the guide to China's equivalent of Twitter, where it went viral.

"I am against the methods of the Tiger Mother. It is needless interference in children's lives," Mr. Chen told The Times. "We always advocate that parents should provide children with a free space."

Earlier this year, Ms. Chua became the subject of international scorn after she described her merciless upbringing of daughters Lulu and Sophia, from banning sleepovers to threatening arson of Sophia's toys if she didn't get to the piano. Lulu eventually rebelled and Ms. Chua backed down a touch, letting her scale back music lessons for tennis and allowing friends over.

Story continues below advertisement

In the end, Ms. Chua was vehemently proud of the way her daughters fared in a competitive world. At the same time, she regretted not offering them more choice or paying more attention to their "individual personalities."

As The Guardian's Joanna Moorhead wrote of the rebellious spitfires at the helm of the current guide, "That's the bottom line on parenting: our kids get the final word. Every single time."

What did you take home from the original Tiger Mom? Should overbearing parents take some lessons from The Complete Book of Combat With Mum?

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies