'Tiger Mom' Didn't 'Expect This Level of Intensity'

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"You know, I was, 'What are all these Western parents, you know, so anxious about?'" she said. "Just be firm. Listen to your child, I would say, you know, you got to know and listen to your child.

"Don't assume your child is weak," she added. "If you, the parent, assume that they can't take anymore, what kind of signal are you sending them?"

Chua boasted of one example when her constant push for greatness from her children paid off. It was when daughter Lulu, around 10 at the time, came home one day with a bad grade on a math test.

"She said, 'I hate math, I'm bad at math,'" Chua said. "I didn't accept that. I said, 'I'm making practice tests,' and I hand wrote them, and I drilled them with her for a week.

"The next test, she did really well, and guess what? She decided she didn't hate math, and then her friends started calling her a math whiz and now math is her favorite subject."

Although a harsh and different style of raising children, perhaps Chua's way is one that could be not just hated but also admired.

"It could be both," she said.

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