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Tiger mom and cubs in town

TIGER mom Amy Chua admitted yesterday in Shanghai that she doesn't know if she was right to publish the parenting memoir that made her one of the world's most controversial mothers. Chinese American Chua was in the city yesterday with her family - 18-year-old Sophia, 14-year-old Louisa, her husband Jed Rubenfeld and her parents - to promote "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." The family also participated in "Culture Matters," a cross-culture talk show. The Yale law professor gave speeches in Beijing on Monday before coming to Shanghai. The 48-year-old said she called herself a tiger mother because she was born in the Year of Tiger, according to the Chinese lunar calender. Published in January, her thought-provoking comic memoir recounts how she used seemingly harsh techniques raising Sophia and Louisa. These included banning sleepovers and playdates, "forcing" the girls to practice the piano and violin every day and calling them "garbage" and "uncultured savages" when they didn't behave in a way she wanted. The book sparked debate on different parenting methods adopted by Chinese and Western parents. "I talked to my family and close friends to make sure I should publish the book, as it involved my teenager daughters and would probably change their lives," she said. On publication of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" the general American audience rebuked Tiger Mom's strict parenting style, saying her daughters were not allowed to live the "ideal American childhood." Chua, however, appears very close to Sophia, who joined her on stage in Shanghai. "I'm proud of the book," Chua said. "It is just a story in my life: the struggles of a mother." She wrote the book in just two months and described it as "almost like an unedited diary." "And I'm proud of my mother," said Sophia in fluent Mandarin. "I'm not a robot as people seem to think I am. It's true I was made to play the piano and do homework when I was younger. But I love playing the piano and reading." "She's just a great mother." However, Chua admits to h! aving re grets. "I wish I hadn't been so harsh or lost my temper so often." "And I wish I'd paid more attention earlier to the individual personalities of my daughters," she said. "But if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would do the same thing, with some adjustments."

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