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Tsoi Dug Blog 才德博客 » Blog Archive » Comment 2 on “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom”: Not Respecting Daughter and In Turn Allowing Daughter to Disrespect Mom二评“虎妈妈的战歌”:对女儿不尊敬,也反过来纵容女儿对母亲的不尊敬

Comment 2 on “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom”: Not Respecting Daughter and In Turn Allowing Daughter to Disrespect Mom
二评“虎妈妈的战歌”:对女儿不尊敬,也反过来纵容女儿对母亲的不尊敬

(First, I must say to Amy Chua and her family members: I apologize for passing judgment and making comments on your family’s private affairs in public – outsiders should not pass judgment and comment on how others raise and teach their children in a manner that those children can hear or read about it. I feel bad, but it can’t be helped in your case, because the Mom in your family has published this book about your family’s private affairs, a book that has shaken the world and is affecting the whole of humanity. Therefore, many people in this world now have an obligation to take a position on many things in this book and that means publicly passing judgment and commenting on how the Mom in your family raises and teaches her children.)

首先,我要先对蔡美儿及她的家人说,很抱歉,要公开对你们的家事说三道四,指手画脚。本来外人不应该在别人子女可能听到或看到的情况下评论别人怎样教养子女的,我也觉得很难过,但没办法,你们家的妈妈出版了这本震动全球的、关于你们家事的书,对全人类都有影响,所以世界上很多人现在都有责任和义务对这本书里的很多东西表明立场,亦即是公开评论你们家的妈妈怎样教养子女了。

In the book “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom” written by Amy Chua, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, supposedly represents “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior”, Amy Chua does not respect her daughter’s basic personal dignity, and in turn also allows the daughter to disrespect mother. This is completely opposite to what traditional Chinese thought advocates for bringing up children.

被华尔街时报吹捧为代表“为什么中华母亲比较优越”的蔡美儿著的“虎妈妈的战歌”一书里,蔡美儿既不尊敬女儿的基本人身尊严,也反过来纵容女儿对妈妈的不尊敬。这完全跟中华教养孩子的传统思想背道而驰。

In Chapter 11 of the book, Amy Chua describes how, when her second daughter Lulu is seven and has been unable, despite practicing on the piano many hours a day for many days, to play a certain difficult tune well, Amy Chua condemns her daughter severely. Ms. Chua accuses her daughter of “purposely working herself into a frenzy”, and of being “lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent, and pathetic”, and threatens her with no meals, no Christmas presents or birthday parties for 3, 4 years, etc. This kind of insulting condemnation and threat with punishment shows complete disrespect for the daughter’s basic personal dignify: she is only a seven-year-old who temporarily cannot attain a certain level of skill in piano; she actually has practiced for hours every day; she has not committed any serious trespasses, nor has she committed any crimes against humanity!

书中第11章蔡美儿描述二女Lulu七岁时弹钢琴尽管练习了好多天,每天弹了好多小时,但是还不能把一首难弹的歌曲弹得够好,便破口把女儿辱骂和威胁,说她“故意刺激自己以致进入狂乱状态”、说她“懒惰、懦弱、自我放纵、是个完全没用的人”,更威胁女儿,要罚她没饭吃、三四年都不许拿圣诞礼物或开生日派对等。这种辱骂和威胁,完全不尊重女儿基本的人身尊严,她毕竟只是个能力暂时不能达到琴艺某水平的七岁小孩,她毕竟天天都做了长达数小时的练习,她并没有做过大逆不道的事,更没有做过任何伤天害理的事情啊!

In turn, having received treatment that disrespects her personal dignity over and over, the daughter gradually begins to hit back. It starts with contradicting mother, and then evolves into returning the insulting rebukes, into shows of complete disrespect for mother. Perversely, this kind of behavior, which is considered a severe trespass in Chinese culture, Amy Chua does not stop at all, but instead tolerates and allows to go on, and even seems to take pride in her daughter displaying such behavior.

女儿多次承受了这种不尊敬人身尊严的对待后,很自然地渐渐开始反抗了,最先是对妈妈反驳,然后演变为反骂。变为对妈妈完全不尊敬时,蔡美儿反而对这种中华文化认为是大逆不道的行为完全不禁止,反而长期纵容,甚至好像是引以为荣。

In page 48 of the book, while describing how the second daughter resists the severe music practice schedule, Amy Chua says that she and her daughter form a pair who are “simultaneously incompatible and inextricably bound”. Then Ms. Chua rather proudly recounts how, in talking with her seven-year-old daughter, they conclude that they are “good buddies” in a “weird, terrible way”, and then daughter hugs mother. This lets us understand the real picture: Amy Chua, like so many parents who lack knowledge of the Chinese intellectual heritage, thinks that no matter how disrespectful of the offspring a parent is, as long as the parent lets the offspring also in turn show disrespect for the parent, then the parent has not mistreated the offspring!

书中第48页讲述二女小时怎样反抗严厉的练琴日程时蔡美儿就说,她母女俩是同时水火不容但又不能分离的一对,然后很自豪地描绘一次跟七岁的二女谈话时所得出的结论:她们俩是一对“很怪异、很坏很可怕”的“好朋友”,而女儿说完就拥抱了妈妈。这就让我们明白真相了:蔡美儿原来好像很多对中华思维传统缺乏认识的父母一样,以为无论父母对子女怎样不尊敬,只要让子女反过来也对父母不尊敬,便没有亏待子女了!

Sigh! Respect for one’s parents is actually the most basic form of respect for others, and for Amy Chua to not infuse that most basic form of respect for others into her offspring is actually considered by Chinese culture to be one of the greatest mistreatments by parents of their offspring! It is “to raise but not teach”.

唉,对父母的尊敬其实就是最基本的对他人的尊敬,而蔡美儿这样不把最基本的对他人的尊敬灌输给子女,其实就是中华文化里父母最亏待子女的行为之一啊!这叫做“养而不教”。

Of course, according to traditional Chinese culture, offspring may express differing opinions to their parents, since offspring should be able to discuss anything and everything with their parents, and also, after all, offspring have the duty to dissuade and dispute parents when they are morally wrong, but the opinions must be expressed in a respectful manner, with politeness and courtesy.

当然,根据中华传统文化,子女可以对父母提出不同意见(凡事有商量嘛,而且,子女对父母有“谏争”的义务和责任啊),但是,提出时要对父母尊敬、有礼貌。

In the name of some kind of “achievement”, and in this case it is the playing of musical instruments, to both disrespect the children and then also allow the children in turn to disrespect their parents, even to the point of loud argument and throwing things in public, can such farces represent the fine Chinese tradition of bringing up children? Absolutely not. And not only for the Chinese tradition – such farces cannot represent the tradition of any civilization for bringing up children.

父母为了某种“成绩”(在蔡美儿来说是为了琴艺)而既不尊敬子女,也纵容子女反过来对父母不敬,甚至在公众场所里大吵大闹和掷东西,这种丑剧,能够代表中华教养子女的优秀传统吗?绝对不能!而且,不光是中华传统,什么文明的教养子女传统都不能代表。

The Chinese tradition for bringing up children puts the greatest emphasis on respect, and first and foremost on respect for parents. Why is respect for parents so important? Long ago Confucius has answered this question: it is because those who respect their parents won’t disrespect others (see The Classic of Xiao, p. 5, Chapter 2, “The Son of Heaven”)! And in the Chinese intellectual tradition, respect for others is the guarantee of civil society. This is because traditional Chinese culture advocates using Li or courtesy and etiquette to bring harmony and order to society, and what is the essence of this Li or courtesy and etiquette? It is respect, nothing more. Confucius has said, “Li – it is nothing other than respect.” (See The Classic of Xiao, p. 25, Chapter 12, “A Broad and Crucial Doctrine”.) Therefore, in the Chinese intellectual heritage, respect for parents is the fundamental foundation of civil society.

中华教养子女的传统,最注重尊敬,而首要的就是尊敬父母。为什么尊敬父母这么重要呢?对此,孔子早就说出了答案,是因为尊敬父母的人不会不尊敬他人(“敬亲者不敢慢于人”《孝经》第5页第二章“天子”)。而中华思维传统里,尊敬他人就是文明社会的保障。这是因为中华思维传统主张使用礼,来为社会带来和谐和秩序,而这个礼的本质是什么呢?只不过是尊敬。孔子说,“礼者,敬而已矣”(《孝经》第25页第十二章“广要道”)。所以,对中华思维传统来说,尊敬父母是文明社会的根本基础。

Therefore, to raise children according to the Chinese intellectual heritage, the parents must set an example by showing respect for the personal dignity of the children, and at the same time, must firmly uphold the requirement that the children show respect for, and courtesy and politeness to, their parents. Parents must strictly prohibit all words and acts that show disrespect and must absolutely not tolerate them.

所以,要依照中华思维传统来抚育子女,父母一定要以身作则,尊敬子女的人身尊严,同时也一定要坚持规矩,严格要求子女对父母尊敬、有礼貌,严厉禁止一切不敬的言行,对之绝不能纵容。

Feng Xin-ming 冯欣明


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