Saying traditional Chinese are indirect is like saying traditional Chinese women are submissive. Those were ideals which did not necessarily apply in the private home. In fact, it’s true that the women were still in charge of the home life. While it may not have been the mother herself who scolded or molded her child into a model, filial citizen, it likely was a mother-in-law, wet nurse or some other woman in the home that didn’t mince words to get the kid to do something. To become an acceptable member of society within her role parameters and above all to not shame the family.
In my (Chinese) experience, the filial code, which does persist psychologically even today, permits any level of direct guidance, manipulation or force. It has always been this way. They do whatever they have to so the kid doesn’t: turn out too fat or too lazy, have too large of feet to get a good suitor, marry the wrong person, have a daughter instead of a son, neglect their role. That is the traditional way.
And I think Ms. Chau’s parenting style sounds so abrasive because it actually is more traditional & it is jarring to the general, postmodern American population which focuses on the individual. For the Chinese (and many eastern cultures), the child is an extension of the self–not just it’s own person. So they do what they want with the child.
you seem like a nice person & i was glad to read someone’s comment that was reflective & contributive rather than racist, hot-headed or ignorant. you must be an Asian Studies scholar or something