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To Push or Not To Push Compare & Contrast Essay

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Updated: Dec 25th, 2018


From the moment a precious baby is born, parents focus on how they can make him or her happy, successful, smart and healthy. Everyone has his own views and understanding of happiness and success. However, society plays a big role in shaping standards of ideal living.

The essay will focus on analyzing different perceptions presented by scholars concerning ideal parenting. Success and happiness of a child are important to parents. A valid conclusion, on how parenting should ensure true happiness and success for their children will be drawn. Children should have dreams and high goals, but should be guided to connect them with real life.

According to Chua, happiness can only be achieved through hard work and success. On the other hand, Twenge claims that hard work and success should be stimulated by happiness. Kolbert describes issue of parenting as being sensitive. She targets all young parents in America and highlights outcomes of parenting.

According to Kolbert, parents give their children unanimous authority that will only lead to a less powerful generation. She highlights that children are now more powerful than their parents, since they are worshipped and pampered. Different authors give their ideas about today’s western real world standards and how to teach children to survive. Despite the style of parenting adopted, the aim is to ensure that children are happy and successful in their entire life.

The importance of having dreams and achieving them is positively correlated to success. Inspiring children to have goals and to work on attaining them is the hardest task in parenting. Chua makes it a little bit easier for herself, since she decides on what is good for her daughters to do. Her children play violin and piano very successfully.

She makes them practice three, four or five hours a day to ensure that they play to the best of their abilities and beyond. In this process, her daughters learn to love their instruments and music. She is a competitive woman and encourages her daughters to participate in all competitions and win every title.

When they want to have a break, she reminds them that their competitors will get ahead of them while they are on holiday. Her daughter Lulu, who is a very talented violinist, acknowledges that she loves violin but it is not the only thing that she wants to do in her life. Chua is dedicated and knows how to make children work hard and succeed in achieving dreams. However, dreams achieved by children are those of Chua.

On the other hand, Twenge states that American children today have so much choice and freedom, that they end up having very high and unrealistic expectations. Children are told that they can achieve everything, without being taught how to work hard and realize their dreams.

For example, a person wants to become a movie director, even before knowing how to act (Twenge 83). When young people realize that some of their goals are unrealistic, they become unhappy and depressed. Big dreamers want everything now and end up preparing themselves for failure and unhappiness.

Naturally children dream big, since they are encouraged by benefits associated with goal achievement. According to Twenge, children should be encouraged to indulge in big dreams and activities. They should be praised for good things and punished for bad deeds. As children grow, they learn to face reality and align their abilities with goals set (Twenge 102). In order to succeed, children need to possess required tools and not just feeling of being special.

Chua compares western parenting with rearing a dog. According to Chua, parenting requires patience, love and possibly an initial investment in training. She says that her dogs cannot do anything, simply because she does not attempt to shape their future. Chua does not give many instructions to them, since she trusts that they can make their own decisions. Despite the fact that she likes her dogs, she cannot raise her daughters in the same way.

Chua states that, parents need to realize that they should guide their children in choosing right goal and help them realize it. Parents should work closely with their children and ask them to do the best. Despite the fact that Lulu did not become a musician, she applied skills learnt in her violin classes to play tennis. Lulu’s instructor says that she is morally upright and improves drastically on her performance.

The instructor recommends Lulu’s parents for her great performance (Chua 220). It should be noted that, Chua does not believe in agreement between parents and children. As a mater fact, she does not mind whether her children are happy or not but emphasizes on hard work. According to her, realistic goals must be achieved.

Birth of a child marks beginning of human life and not end of mother’s pain. Parents assume responsibility of shaping life of their baby. There are those parents who choose to love their child unconditionally and celebrate every little achievement and milestone attained. They let him or her choose what to do in life, as long as it brings happiness. However, there are those who decide to make the child reach parent’s own dreams and goals without considering his or her personality.

It depends on culture and worldview of the parents. I believe that, parents need to realize that until a person is twenty one years old he cannot make proper life decisions. Good parental care entails knowing how to guide a child through important years of life, recognize abilities, make realistic goals together and stand strong to achieve them. Children need to be pushed gently, just like when they are pushed out of their mother’s body to live real life.

Kolbert targets those parents in the upper middle class who, associate fashionable style of parenting with maximum amount of things given to children. According to Many parents, good parenting is ensuring that anything a child wants is made available. Kolbert is moved by variance between behaviors of two kids, one from Los Angeles and the other from Peruvian Amazon. The kid from Los Angeles had his parents intervening and doing things for him whenever he demanded.

In the case of Peruvian Amazon kid, she helped her parents and was involved in difficult tasks like boiling crustaceans. Anthropological analysis of the article, confirms that American kids are less likely to perform even simpler tasks like tying their shoe laces and are therefore spoilt. However, concern is on kind of generation that is likely to be brought up with all authority being centered in a child, rather than being devolved by a parent (Kolbert 1).

Further, Kolbert warns parents against danger of giving in to all whims of their children. Most parents think that doing all things for their children shows, them that they are appreciated and loved. According to Kolbert, long term goals should not be over shadowed by short term ones. Parents should bring up a responsible generation, which will be able to do things independently.

In this regard, helping bit of children should not be erased completely but at least they should be made to take part in activities. Ill parenting is further brought forth by the fact that, American kids are not able to do things which children from other places do (Kolbert 2). Parenting is merely raising a child to be a responsible adult and not a dependent one.

Innovation and creativity needs to be boosted among kids, if sustainability is desired in the next generation. When parents do simple tasks for their kids, the child will not be willing to take part in more complicated tasks like boiling crustaceans. As a result, there will be inhibition of brain and cognitive development that could lead to retardation associated with poor decision making.

According to Kolbert, we need to consider the fact that soon we will not be together with our children especially when they are required to make best decisions. According to her, parents are not raising their children in the best way, as they are actually helping destroy their future gradually and smoothly (Kolbert 2).

Economic prosperity should not lead to ill parenting, but rather promote good nurturing. Despite the fact that parents have enough money to buy whatever their children want, extravagance should be discouraged. She talks of giving unlimited authority and all things that a child demands, as spoiling them. Parents need to show their children that not all things are easily accessible.

Children think that all things are available and behave badly any time they are not given what they want. She further compares behavior of a spoilt American kid with that of a Peruvian Amazon, who would not even recognize essence of all expensive playing stuff. According to Kolbert, availability of money should mean good parenting and not doom to the future of America. She also talks of imbalanced cognitive development that is inflicted on children by parents unknowingly.

Parents should be the ones with authority and not the children, as evidenced by demands made by a boy who orders his dad to tie his shoe laces. After the dad refused to tie the shoe laces, the child was disappointed but tied his shoelaces. Focus should be on ensuring that kids can do things for themselves as much as possible (Kolbert, 3). Parenting should instill responsibility in kids and not merely focusing on spoiling them with anything they dream of.

There are two main forms of training that contribute to overall growth and development, thereby dictating the kind of a person one will become in the long run (Kohn 66). The first methodology talks of set of rules and regulations that one must follow with no compromise. Set regulations are important in unifying common norms and practices exemplary in school set up (Kohn 77).

Kohn acknowledges this methodology and states that children should be governed and made to accept the already made norms, so as to ensure responsible beings in future. According to scholars, this is a method of reforming or enhancing moral development by exercising total discipline. Regulations are primal in ensuring that there is law and order, whereby a child who hits another is punished accordingly to discourage any similar attempt. Punishment could also be interpreted as an act of justice to the offended.

However, some scholars postulate that this form of mechanism aims at authoritative restriction from undesired activities, which is likely to limit general growth of children in terms of innovation and adventure. Application of this form of restriction is based on belief that, continued suppression of certain behavior is likely to eradicate it completely. In this regard, a well disciplined child is likely to be a very responsible human being even in future. On the contrary, a spoilt child is likely to be very irresponsible.

Despite the fact that this methodology has received significant acknowledgement, there are also critics. There are scholars who argue that such suppression of ill behavior could possess adverse impacts. As a matter of fact, some psychologists argue that suppression of behavior does not necessarily mean complete eradication but rather postponement to a later resurface (Kohn 48).

In this regard, if you discourage certain behavior in a child, he may end up doing it in future. For example, adolescents who have very strict parents misbehave when they are left alone. In this regard, restriction should only be applied to a certain degree so as to encourage innovation.

The other method that Kohn talks of challenges authoritative restriction. Moral building cannot be achieved by punishment or reward, but rather by helping children realize why it is not right to do wrong things (Kohn 96). He goes further to give an example of a child doing right things, due to fear of consequences but not because he has good morals.

For example, a child is likely to behave well around his parents because he will be punished upon misbehavior, but not because it is right to do so. According to Kohn, such kind of training will only give fake results and likely to produce an irresponsible being in future.


Parenting is one issue that should not be taken lightly by all parents. Parenting information is obvious to almost all of them, but is ignored to a great extent. Parents need to understand that income availability does not mean extravagance and giving unnecessary authority to kids. Responsibility is a virtue that can be nurtured or destroyed by parenting style. Spoiling kids with gifts not only communicate unlimited love, but also nurture extravagance trait in them.

Children need a room to expand and become innovative, so as to be able to run things independently in future. Kids therefore should be made to work independently and punished or rewarded, so as ensure that they are accountable and productive in future. Authoritative restriction might lead to future irresponsibility. A child could be obedient, simply because he dreads his parent’s reactions if he misbehaves.

Less strict parents are more likely get true picture of their children, since they do not necessarily have to feign anything. They act in accordance to their will and character, as opposed to those of authoritative parents. Parents should explain to their children, why things are done in a particular way. When children understand why they should work hard they are likely to put more effort, as opposed to when they associate their dreams with fulfillment of their parent’s wish.

Works Cited

Chua, Amy. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, New York: Penguin Group. 2011. Print.

Kohn, Arnold. Punished by rewards: the trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Press. 1993. Print.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. “Spoiled Rotten: Why do kids rule the roost?” The New Yorker magazine. 12 June. 2012: 1-8. Print.

Twenge, Jean. Generation me: Why today’s young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled and more miserable than ever before, New York: Simon & Schuster Free Press. 2006. Print.

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