Chinese 'tiger mum' draws flak for making 9-year-old son study up to 18 hours a day

A screenshot of the daily timetable drawn up by Ms Liu for her nine-year-old son.
A screenshot of the daily timetable drawn up by Ms Liu for her nine-year-old son. PHOTO: INTERNET

A woman from the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing has been dubbed the new "tiger mum" for devising a strict schedule for her nine-year-old son.

The claws were out on social media after a copy of the timetable, which sees her son wake up at 5am and go to sleep only at 11pm every day, was circulated online over the past week.

A typical weekday involves the boy taking additional English lessons on top of attending school and finishing his homework, while weekends are spent practising the piano or calligraphy, learning swimming and preparing for the International Mathematical Olympiad.

The Chongqing Times reported that the woman, surnamed Liu, was surprised at the online hate she has received over her parenting methods.

Ms Liu, a graduate of China's prestigious Peking University, told the paper she was merely repeating the steps her father - who was in the military - took while bringing her up.

"My dad told me that the only thing a child can do is to study. If he works hard now, he will not be rejected by society in the future," she said.

She also defended the six hours of sleep that her son gets each day: "Actually, six hours is just right - he's never been caught dozing off in classes. If he gets good grades, we reward him with a holiday."

Ms Liu went on to list how the various extracurricular activities planned for her son would benefit him in the long run.

For instance, learning the piano would hone his artistic talents and help him find a girlfriend, while solving math problems improved his logical thinking skills.


She also urged other parents to give her methods a try, adding: "After some self-reflection on whether I was too strict with my son, I concluded that it's not a problem as long as it is good for the child."

The title of "tiger mum" gained widespread usage in 2011, after Yale law professor and author Amy Chua released her controversial book, Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother.

The book centred on overly demanding parenting strategies she used to mould her two daughters into successful adults, which included calling them insulting names such as "garbage" and rejecting their birthday cards as she had deemed them "sub-standard".