While reading one of my magazines (Gioia, to be specific), I came across a little article about Amy Chua, who also released a book. I understand she is more known in the US than here in Italy, and from the short article her ideas come across as very controversial.
Basically, her daughters have to study piano 7 hours a day, without interruption. They are not allowed sleepovers at friend’s houses, nor to have less than excellent scores at school. The logic behind it, is that Amy Chua wants to prepare her daughters for the toughness of the real world. She is not much concerned about her daughters’ happiness, she wants them to be ready to their future.
I have been thinking about this “educational method” for the last couple of days. Please note, I am not a mother, so my opinions can miss some points.
I am all about discipline. I am a very disciplined person in all that I think is important. I was brought up this way – sometimes I joke I grew up in a lager. No way I could sleep late on Sundays, nor nap in the afternoon. TV was allowed 30 minutes a day, when I was a child. My extracurricular activities (music lessons and sport) were allowed as long as I had high grades at school.
Although I am really grateful to my parents for all the opportunities they gave me this way, and for teaching me the importance of self-discipline, I have found that I lack an extremely important skill: the ability to network. And, here in Italy, this is something extremely more important that the degrees one can earn, the number of languages one speaks, the books he/she has read. Painful, I know, but that’s the way it is. I had huge difficulties in finding a job, because I didn’t know anyone who could alert me about so-and-so looking for a chemist, or who could put me in touch with someone who needed me.
Of course, now that I have a job, my degrees and skills are greatly appreciated. But maybe if I had spent one less day a week studying and one more going out with friends, things would have been easier.