Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother spoke at the 's Authors On Stage on Sun. April 3.
Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, both Yale Law School professors, made a rare appearance together as "the power couple of authors" they are.
Rubenfeld presented his newest novel, The Death Instinct, a provocative, historical mystery and candidly admitted, "I'm going along for the ride with Amy."
The event, co-sponsored by , packed the Lamb Room with a SRO audience.
Chua clarified some of the controversial press her book attracted, especially The Wall Street Journal's article, "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior."
Instead of a "how-to" guide to parenting in either American or Chinese styles, she described the book, which poured out in a moment of crisis, as a memoir of her own transformation as a mother.
Nothing less than sky high academic achievments were expected from the "Tiger Mom" as her two daughters excelled at a rigorous schedule of music lessons and performances. Older daughter Sophia was compliant but her younger sister Lulu rebelled, temporarily fracturing the family's sense of order, control and stability.
"I was humbled by a thirteen-year-old," Chua said.
Chua considers her daughters to be the heroes in her book and said, "My two daughters and our relationship is the single thing I am most proud of."
She believes there are many genuine ways to be a good parent -- here are five of them.
1. "High expectations coupled with love is the highest gift a parent can give their child. I stand firm and happy that I restricted their choices when they were very young and then relinquished more as they grew and let them make their own mistakes more often."
2. "What the piano and violin have in common is you can't play well unless you are relaxed. So don't scream "relax" at your child like I did when you see them tense up during practice."
3. "When you sense you are pushing your kids, ask who you are doing this for? Them or yourself? Doing everything for your kids is miserable, exhausting and not fun. Back off! Have a glass of wine -- go take a yoga class."
4. "Convince your kids they can do something they don't even think so themselves. My parents believed in me more than I believed in myself. Later in life when facing rejection, I believed, "I am better than these people think I am."
5. "Try to help your children be the best they can be within their limits. Ultimately, what do you want your kids to be? I want them to be happy --happiness over achievment."
About Town overheard a woman having her book signed ask Chua if her daughter Sophia would be attending Yale.
"No, she's going to Harvard," the author happily replied of her alma mater with an obvious glint of pride.