Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Western Children need Chinese discipline urgently

Dear Parents everywhere,
          Our history of militarism, apartheid, forced removals and the deliberate erosions of family and community bonds is the worst foundation for a harsh, unempathic and emotionally abusive style of parenting.
          It’s this kind of attitude that is busy sinking the Western world and making more and more brats of our children.
          Judith Ancer, a Johannesburg based psychologist put forward this lame excuse for taking it easy on South Africa’s children. She was commenting in the Sunday Times on Amy Chua’s sensational book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
          Chau, who has two daughters and lives in New Haven, Connecticut, has caused a world wide controversy by comparing the wishy-washy Western way of bringing up kids to the much stricter Chinese method, which she advocates.
          Nowhere is this be-soft-on-the-children more prevalent than in South Africa.  It has caught this approach from first world, Western nations. Parents are not supposed to lift a hand to them and any teacher who tries is more likely to be hauled before the school authorities than the delinquent, little monster.
          Discipline has become a dirty word with the result that morality has gone out of the window and we have psychologists making excuses for all kinds of bad behaviour. If only I had been taken to one when I was at school?
          I never passed exams because I didn’t do any work but would that have been explained away because I had divorced parents; was caned too often and had a great, great grandfather who was shot for desertion at the battle of Waterloo?
         If I had been sent to a shrink then I am sure I would have been a better person now and I would not be putting a lot of nonsensical and annoying blogs into space.
                 The fact that the ‘militarism, apartheid’ etc that Ancer talked about ended in South Africa 17 years ago when a Black Government came to power hasn’t stopped her and a host of others from using this as an excuse for backing all kinds of things that don’t work.
          For the Government this explains why it has not built enough houses for the poor; the rocketing crime rate; its many other failings as well as  why a lot of its members steal from the state on a grand scale.
          If South Africa was to implement a dose of that Chinese discipline that gives the death penalty to corrupt officials there would be a lot of vacancies in Government ranks. As it is we’ll just go on justifying their behaviour because of all that baggage in our past.
          Continuing her assessment of Chau, Judith Ancer wrote, Her arguments are not based on any coherent, scientific theory of healthy child development.
          Judith tell me, How many people bring up their children ‘scientifically’ like rats in a laboratory? And what proof is there that this method, whatever it is, produces better children than the majority of us who develop outside a lab?
          Surely the real test of Chau’s, Chinese Tiger method is: Have her offspring turned out to be the kind of children that most people would want?
          The psychologist in me diagnosed her as a brittle narcissist with unresolved performance anxiety, Ancer continued. She clearly has a high IQ, but scores really poorly on any measure of emotional intelligence.
          Doesn’t that description, without the high IQ part, apply to just about anybody whose views we don’t agree with?  And Judith if you practise scientific theory in your profession you should not be giving snide opinions about somebody who has not been on the couch in front of you?
          Chau’s Chinese formula denies the child TV viewing; acting in school plays and other fun things and it tolerates nothing less that an A grade. The Western model she believes accepts mediocrity where parents praise their children for trying hard when they get low marks.
          The South African Government is doing it’s utmost to go along with this promotion of mediocrity by accepting a mere 30% as a pass in National Matriculation, examination subjects. Who knows it could be down to 20% or even lower next year because the Minister of Education would love to be able to proudly announce that everyone who had taken the examination had passed.
          Nobody seems concerned that we are producing a nation of dunces who are going to be expected to compete on the international stage with the industrial might of the Chinese and the rest of the Asian Tigers.
          I’m waiting until the pass rate gets down to 10% before trying again for my Matric certificate.         
          Great empires eventually collapse because once they have it all they get complacent and then everything goes to pot. And that’s exactly what’s happening in America and the rest of the Western world beginning with the way parents are being encouraged to bring up their darlings.
        When we are all ruled by the Chinese one of these days our children will start respecting their parents and their teachers once again and the world will be a much better place with strong discipline being enforced all round.
          So bring back the cat-o’-nine-tails, sorry I meant the cane, at schools for a start before we all go west.
          Yours sincerely,
          Jon, an Old School Disciplinarian, who was one of the few failures of that system and has the scars to prove it.

Buy my book 'Where have all the children gone?' on Amazon.com  It's a thriller with an underlying love story that defied generations of prejudice.


  1. Just say the truth - by 'western' you mean BLACK westerners. Because my kids are doing just fine.

  2. Naturally, as in any new situation, some children are initially unsettled but this is usually short-lived as they get used to it. your post very nice. Quincy Dentist