Yale Law professor, mother of two and, now, author of Amazon.com's #11 book Amy Chua appeared on the Today Show to promote her memoir about parenting, Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother, and also address the controversy that erupted when an excerpt of the book appeared in The Wall Street Journal (there are 2532 comments on the WSJ website now). Chua told Meredith Vieira that while the book is about strength is so-called "Chinese" parenting, it's "also about my mistakes and making fun of myself and how I eventually had to pull back. It's absolutely not about how to parent or saying the Chinese way is better." She also characterized the book as her own coming-of-age as a parent.

The excerpt in the WSJ detailed Chua's guidelines for her own daughters (not allowing them playdates, sleepovers, school play participation, grades lower than As, not playing the piano or violin) and apparent belief that Western parents are basically pushovers. Other reviews have noted her behavior—telling her daughter a homemade birthday card wasn't good enough or that a eulogy for a grandparent was trite. Chua clarified that she thinks Chinese parents are "driven by a belief that your children are capable more than they think they are," plus, "The Chinese approach might be better would be better at cultivating self-esteem than the Western one. You can tell your kids they're perfect, but when they go out into the real world" they won't have that coddling.

Chua's own experience: When she was in grade school, she took her father to an awards ceremony, where she got second place in history. He told her, "Never ever disgrace me again." Yeah, what the hell was she doing trying to get a prize in history—why not science or math?! But she said her parents were very loving and she thinks love and understanding come first with any parent-child relationship. Well, love, understanding, and three hours at the piano bench.

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Chua also said that this really isn't a "Chinese way" of parenting—it's common for immigrants to have a tough mentality. She also thinks that "hard work, striving for excellence, don't blame others" are American values—Chua's just trying to reclaim them because too many children are spending hours on Facebook or going to sleepovers and experimenting. That must be why Next Media Animation has depicted Chua as a wok-wielding fire-breathing despot and her children as prisoners!