On 4/21/2011, I accidentally came across an old memo book. I opened it and found it used to be my daughter’s allowance book. It says, “1 day = $1.” The first page has four columns. Their headings are Date, Math, Total, Signature. The date lasted from 10/7 to 10/21. I think the year was 2004.
I don’t remember exactly what happened. But I do remember I once worked on two things with my daughter. One was extra math work; the other dealt with allowance. To be sure, she did not want to do anything extra at that time and she did want allowance as her classmates had.
I showed my daughter this record with her handwriting. Both of us agreed that it would benefit her tremendously in terms of her math skill and her money management, if she had kept up this practice. Too bad it lasted only two weeks.
When I look back, I realize that I should have followed it through. It is entirely up to the parents to insist on the beneficial practice for the children, even if it means some unpleasant moments. The children will be grateful to the parents when they become mature.
I am certain that Amy Chua’s children would not have been so accomplished if she gave up as I so often did with my children. I hope other parents can learn something from this incident.